Discussed This Month
|wisdoms from the Preemie-l e-mail group|
|Patti discusses, "I
don't think preemies should be on the same vaccination
schedule as FT babies and that is the way it is as I
understand it. Vaccinations can be hard on FT babies so
how can doctors think of vaccinating preemies on the same
schedule. I am fearful of vaccinations anyway and
administering them to preemies is even scarier."
Suzanne responds, "I also thought it was strange that vaccinations were not given by a premie's real age, their adjusted age. John Henry was vaccinated by his chronological age. The neo and ped told me why they do it this way, and it made alot of sense to me, but I can't remember what they told me! Does anyone know the good reason the doctors gave me? Was it because the baby would be unprotected for a long time if they did shots by adjusted age and premies are at higher risk of catching something? Luckily John Henry never had much reaction to the vaccinations, other than screaming when he found out he was getting a shot. He did get a big knot in his leg once, ouch! I was sort of glad for JH to have his first shots while still in the nicu in case anything happened."
Susan adds, "I was also very concerned about giving Sammy immunizations according to the "normal" kids calendar. It didn't seem to make sense to me to give my son immunizations, when technically he should still have been safe in my womb. I had little confidence in the neonate from the Level II nursery to which we were transferred after Sammy was off the vent. She was insistent on following the immunization schedule and seemed bent on ignoring the fact that Sammy was a micropreemie. My instincts told me to hold off and not do all of them at once. I agreed to the the Hepatitis since that was a killed vaccine with few side effects. She wanted to do the oral polio which scared the willys out of me, so I told her I wanted to do some research first.We have been slowly getting him caught up on his vaccinations. He has completed all of the *killed* vaccinations which included the Hib, Hepatitis, IVP (the killed polio which has to be given by a shot, not orally), the DTaP (which is the acellular pertussis that gives much fewer side effects) and the influenza vaccine. The side effects were minimal. We gave him tylenol one-half hour before each round of shots, and followed alternately with motrin, then tylenol . . . for the following 48 hours. This must have helped, because he was only a little cranky.Even though I knew that these were killed vaccines, and I trusted our I. D. pediatrician completely, I was still nervous about giving him the shots. Our I.D. told us that the threat of whooping cough was much worse than the threat of side effects from the vaccines. She said she sees whooping cough every season, and that it would probably be the end of a Sammy because of his BPD and immunodeficiency. This was enough for me to say - bring on the shots!"
Tina responds, "My girls were not vaccinated based on their actual age. They started getting shots when they were going home. So, it would have been just about the same as their adjusted age (37 wks gestation). Haven't seemed to pose any problems either. Jori has gotten hers too, but she was about 1-3 mo adjusted age. Maybe it is just a preference based on the peds. My ped is an non practicing neo, and does things so different. Starting on solids for example, that he did by actual age, meaning their adjusted was NB to 1 mo!"
Debbie remembers, "My daughter certainly wasn't on the same schedule as a FT baby, but the Neo's at Joe DiMaggio's Childrens Hospital in Hollywood, FL believe that the immunizations should begin in the NICU days before release for 2 reasons: 1) if there are any adverse reactions what better place for them to be, they are constantly monitored and can take care of any problems immediately. 2) why release them into the world without "protection", especially if there are school age children in the house when they get home."
Kerri recounts, "... our neo had some good reasons for Jack being vaccinated based on actual rather than corrected age. I really can't remember them now - but I do remember that he stressed the importance of close medical supervision and care...Anyway, the DTP vaccination caused the problem in our case. Jack's leg doubled in size due to swelling, as did his scrotum, his temperature raged, he required high levels of O2 support (prior to the vaccination, he was hovering aroung 25% O2) and had 17 apneas in 2 hours!! It was a delayed reaction as well - with symptoms taking a little over 24 hours to start showing. How do I feel about what happened?? In a strange way relieved that the vaccination happened in hospital, where Jack could be closely monitored and where all the gear that he needed was readily available......"
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