So, since Reagan was denied for the Synagis vaccine. (UGH!) The pediatrician recommended that I send out a list of guidelines for friends and family members that will be in contact with her. I want you guys to let me know what you think. Do I need to add anything/take anything out? Thanks guys! (I will add that I used the sample letter on preemies.org as a guideline)
Dear Family and Friends,
We want to start by saying thank you for the outpouring of support we have received from everyone throughout the past seven months. So many people have done so much for us and every bit of help we have received truly is appreciated. We are experiencing the biggest challenge (and most exciting time) of our lives, and we?re lucky to be surrounded by so many family members and friends who have shown us so much love and support.
We were asked by Reagan?s pediatrician to educate all of our family and friends about ways we can keep her healthy during the winter months. One really important virus to be aware of is RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). For full-term babies, this virus usually just presents as a cold. Actually, most children will have it by the age of 2. For micro-preemies, like Reagan, it can be life threatening. It can lead to severe upper respiratory issues. This means, if she were to get the virus, she would be admitted to the Pediatric ICU and most likely placed on a ventilator until her body could fight the virus. We don?t even want to think about her being back in the hospital, so we are trying to take all the necessary precautions. According to her pediatrician, since she was such a low birth weight, was born almost 3 months early and had both of her lungs collapse at birth, she is considered ?severely high risk?. Her lungs and her immune system just simply aren?t as strong as a typical 7 month old?s. I know some people may think that exposing babies to germs early on can strengthen their immune system but with her, that?s not the case. Some infections are simply too strong for her little body to fight.
There is a vaccine that preemies can receive called Synagis that is given over the course of RSV season (October through March) that can protect them from the virus. According to the insurance company, Reagan does not qualify because she was 6 days too old at the start of RSV season, she?s not in day care, and doesn?t have any older siblings. For these reasons, unfortunately she won?t be getting the vaccine. The vaccine costs $5000 per injection, so it?s not something we can elect to give her without the insurance company involved. So, it is even more important that we take precautions to protect her.
Everyone can carry the virus but school aged children are considered to be the most at risk for carrying the virus. You can be a carrier and not know it but most of the time, the virus presents just as a cold would. Runny nose, cough, etc. Our pediatrician gave us a list of precautions to give to anyone that will be around Reagan. This is not to make anyone mad or upset, it?s to protect her. She can?t stand up for herself, so it is our job as her parents to protect her. So, again, this isn?t meant to make anyone angry or hurt any feelings. It applies to everyone.
Here is the list, courtesy of Unifour Pediatrics:
I know these rules seem like a little much, but they are exactly what the pediatrician asked us to send out. Our number one priority is Reagan and keeping her healthy.
Throughout RSV season, our pediatrician asked us to limit the amount we take her out and the amount of visitors we have. For that reason, we will not be going to any gatherings outside of home and we will limit the amount of people that come visit. This does not, what-so-ever, mean that we don?t want visitors. Reagan LOVES to be around people and she deserves love and attention just like any other baby. We are just trying to be cautious? maybe overly cautious in some opinions but when it comes to the health of your child, you?ll go to great lengths. We just don?t want her to get sick and be hospitalized. I know we can?t keep her in a bubble and protect her from everything. She just had bronchitis and an ear infection- so obviously; we know she?s going to get sick here and there. We just want to do what we can to prevent it.
We love each of you and we are so very thankful for your love, support and prayers throughout this past year. We are truly blessed to have our little peanut. We appreciate all your understanding.
John, Leslie and Reagan