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AbbVie teams up with charities to raise awareness of bronchiolitis

Most common cause of infant hospital admissions in winter
more than a cold

AbbVie and special care baby charities Bliss and Tamba [the Twins and Multiple Birth Association] have launched this year's 'More Than a Cold' campaign.

The campaign, also supported by the British Lung Foundation, Tiny Tickers, Tiny Life, WellChild and NCT, aims to raise awareness of bronchiolitis and other winter illnesses that infants, especially those born prematurely, are at risk of.

A recent survey commissioned by AbbVie found that 58% of parents aged 18 to 40 with children under 5 years old had not heard of bronchiolitis, a lower respiratory tract infection. Fourteen per cent of all emergency admissions for children under the age of one year were for lower respiratory tract infections from April 2012 to March 2013.

Keith Reed, CEO of Tamba, said: “We want to help parents do what they can to keep their babies healthy and out of hospital so they don't have to go through the stress of revisiting hospital again.

“Even the smallest and simplest actions – such as washing hands thoroughly and not smoking around babies – could have a remarkable impact on the wellbeing of premature babies and their families."

Through the campaign, healthcare professionals in both primary and secondary care are encouraged to make parents aware of resources that are available at the campaign site, morethanacold.co.uk.

A winter illness checklist poster and a bronchiolitis leaflet are available, as well as a new 'emo-graphic' showing the emotional impact of having a baby ill in hospital. A 'Vernon the Virus' comic strip is also available to help parents talk about winter illnesses with their children.

In addition to increasing awareness of infant winter illnesses and their potential complications, the campaign also highlights the emotional cost of prematurity and related complications for parents.

Dr Hilary Cass, consultant in paediatric disability and president of the RCPCH, commented: "Over recent years hospital admissions for infants with bronchiolitis have increased by 50% - which isn't good for the child, their family or for the health system which is already under strain.

"We must do more to ensure parents of premature babies understand some of the symptoms that could indicate a more serious infection and are able to act accordingly. Coughs, colds and sniffles affect all babies and although the consequences of bronchiolitis are thankfully not life-threatening for most, but the sooner it is identified, the quicker it can be treated.”

Article by
Kirstie Pickering

20th October 2014

From: Marketing, Healthcare

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