[Infections with respiratory syncytial virus. Underestimated risk during anaesthesia in infants]

J Wörner, M Jöhr, T M Berger, P Christen
Der Anaesthesist 2009, 58 (10): 1041-4
Infections with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are responsible for a large proportion of seasonal winter airway diseases. After an infection with RSV no persistent immunity remains. Adults show no or only a few symptoms similar to the common cold. However, in preterm and newborn children RSV infections lead to severe and even life-threatening bronchiolitis. These children require supplementary oxygen and often need respiratory support. The infection with RSV considerably enhances the risk of anaesthesia-related complications in infants. So far this problem has rarely been mentioned in the literature. We report on an infant with a RSV infection who was ventilation-dependent for 9 days after anaesthesia for a minor intervention.

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