Baby hospitalized with virus after doctors repeatedly send her home

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 2:31 AM EST
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SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (KSL) - A Utah mom hopes others can learn from her infant daughter’s close call with respiratory syncytial virus. The illness is mild in most people but can be dangerous for infants.

Hollie Poore says after a cold went through her house in October, she noticed her 3-month-old daughter, Susie, didn’t look or sound right.

“It was like [gasping] every breath she took. It was very hard for her to breathe,” the mother said.

The family took her to the doctor, where she tested negative for RSV, a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms but can be dangerous for infants. Doctors told them to monitor Susie and sent the family home.

“So, we took her home and took her back to appointments for two days, like in, out, in, out,” Poore said.

The family questioned whether or not to keep going to the doctor, but when Susie started wheezing while breathing, they trusted their gut and rushed to the emergency room. The baby girl was immediately admitted.

“All of a sudden, there’s like 12 people in the room. They’re putting… the [oxygen] mask on her,” Poore said.

Susie was tested again for RSV. This time, it came back positive. She spent a week recovering in the neonatal intensive care unit on oxygen.

“That was the hardest part, just watching her cry and not being able to feed her. They sedate her,” Poore said.

The family says the experience is one everyone could learn from, saying we are our child’s best advocate. They’re glad they trusted their gut that something was wrong.

“It’s OK to go to the doctor again. You are not crazy. Do it. You feel stupid, but do it anyway because it’s better to be safe than sorry,” Poore said.

RSV is most common in the United States during the fall and winter months. In June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health alert about increased activity of the virus across the South.

Each year, RSV leads to approximately 58,000 hospitalizations and 100 to 500 deaths among children younger than 5, according to the CDC.

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