Pauline tells the story of her baby’s hospitalization

When her baby girl Alma was only 7 months old, she had bronchiolitis. His mother, Pauline, tells us the story

Bronchiolitis is an infectious disease that develops in cold weather, in autumn and winter and where takes an average of 10 days. It is a disease that can bad, especially in babies, because it speeds up the child’s breathing and causes fatigue. This also contributes to making his symptoms particularly impressive, thus causing increased concern and a tendency to systematically go to the hospital.

Bronchiolitis is associated with a Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infection and affects every year in France approximately 460,000 babies. It usually starts with a simple cold or nasopharyngitis with a slight fever. Gradually, a dry cough appears. Then comes respiratory discomfort resulting in rapid, gasping for breath. Currently, “white plans” have been deployed in several hospitals in France, in the face of the resurgence of this epidemic. Pauline, whose son (now 9 months old) was hospitalized in September, recounted these six days of stress and waiting.

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A dry cough and a slight fever

Alma was a 7 month old baby at the time (September 2022) and was sick like all babies. “At first he had a dry cough so I took him to the pediatrician”, Pauline began. “He said it was nothing to worry about, but a week later his cough got worse and he started running a fever..” The doctor then advised the mother to clean her baby’s nose with saline solution and prescribed antibiotics.

Unfortunately, a few days later, while the little family was in the countryside, the baby’s condition did not improve and the parents decided to take him to the emergency room. Same assessment and again antibiotics for Alma. “I think at first the doctors did not suspect bronchiolitis, because we were very early”, the mother confessed.

Sunday, baby girl status alert immediately his mother decided to return to Paris immediately. “He looks like a bovine and always has a fever. What struck me the most was his weakness and his breathing which seemed unnatural.”, explained Pauline.

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The two-hour journey was “almost” the longest of his life

By car, Alma is not good. “I think that was when I was most scared and the two hour drive was almost the longest of my life“, recalls the young mother. Upon arrival at the emergency room, the baby is quickly cared for and undergoes a battery of tests. According to the doctors, there is nothing alarming.
I admit to having a bit of confidence in emergencies, I mean it’s great when things don’t go well, you have to go, but for follow-up, I like having a doctor in the city.”, said Pauline. “The next day, I called the pediatrician and after consultation, she told me: “Your baby is not okay”.” He then sent the mother and her baby back to the hospital’s pediatric emergency room with a registered letter and after an examination, the doctors decided to keep the baby.

A baby with breathing difficulties

I spent the first night in the emergency room and we put Alma on oxygen. He was plugged in everywhere, in the leg for a pulse, chest patches for an electrocardiogram and two tiny tubes in the nostrils for oxygen.”, continued the mother. In order to leave the hospital, the little one must spend a night without his SpO2 (saturation of hemoglobin in oxygen by pulse oximetry) falling below 90%. As a reminder, the normal value is between 90% and 100%. Alma is at 87%.

So, Pauline found herself sleeping in the hospital for 6 days. “During the day, Alma is better, we get her oxygen, but every night she comes back…”. The mother had a room for herself and her daughter, something she was thankful for.

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“You go in and you don’t know when you’re going to come out”

For the mother, the problem in the emergency room was not the treatment that, she says, immediately gave her confidence. “In the hospital, the days are long. The doctors come and when they leave the questions come. We can tell you we’ll be back and it might take 10 minutes or it might take 3 hours. In the emergency room, you go in, but you don’t know when you’re going to come out”, confessed the girl. In addition to taking care of her baby all day, the lack of visibility from the doctors is what, according to her, makes her stay tiring.

However, this hospital stay was not a traumatic adventure. “I wasn’t worried, because my daughter had already been in the hospital for 7 days and once in the emergency room, I knew my daughter was taken care of. My biggest fear was the car the day before.” For little Jeanne, her eldest by two and a half years, on the other hand, these 6 days without her sister and her mother are long. As for the father, he stayed with Jeanne at home and took care of the round trips.

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Returning from the hospital is not the easiest

Alma was able to leave the hospital on Friday, that is, 6 days after her admission, and there were no sequelae from this time. However, upon returning home, little has changed. “Before, he could be passed by the arm, but after this stay, he cried even when my mother hugged him and he kept looking for me with his eyes. It was as if he had a fear of the unknown”, explained the girl.

The hospital is violent for them. Although the staff is very kind, almost all behavior is not friendly for babies.” Now, the mother can be more attentive to her child’s symptoms without obsessing over them. “It’s true that the more often I check, the more I pay attention.” But Pauline recognizes that in
his misfortune, he was lucky, thus defining the current situation in pediatric emergencies.

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