National Spinal Muscle Atrophy Month Recognized by Florida’s Baby Nurses

August marks the return of National Spinal Muscle Atrophy Month and Florida’s baby nurses want to do their part to spread the word. It is a progressive, inherited, motor neuron disease that is estimated to affect two in every 80 Americans or two in every 12,000 live births.

Babies that are born with the disease often have trouble moving and eating. So they typically benefit from receiving in-home nursing services like the kind provided by Florida’s healthcare professionals.

Those services vary based on which form of the disease the baby is born with and how far along it has progressed. Basically, the disease may be divided up into four stages. Each one is associated with an age group and range of symptoms.

Some of the symptoms may be present in all four stages and usually vary in severity. The staging and diagnosis is normally determined after a series of lab work, case review, EMG and physical exam have been completed.

In type one or two, baby nurses may help families with the care of the child’s feeding tube and monitor his or her nutritional intake. These are important tasks because children with SMA often have a very hard time eating and drinking. This puts them at risk for aspiration and the development of secondary, nutrition related deficits and diseases.

Type one and two babies may also end up needing mechanical or assisted ventilation, which requires a variety of baby nursing tasks to be performed throughout the day and night. For example, the baby’s trach tube or volume ventilation mask may need to cleaned and replaced. They may also need to use insufflators-exsufflators to help clear the baby’s airway.

Symptoms associated with types three and four normally manifest themselves once children are past the baby stage. As such, they normally receive in-home care from Florida’s registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. The list of such services may include assistance with ambulation, respiration, nutritional intake and personal grooming.

To learn more about how Florida’s baby nurses are helping families faced with the inherited disease, please contact us at Best Care today. We can work with Florida’s families in Broward, Palm Beach and Dade Counties to provide long-term care to children diagnosed with SMA, no matter which stage of the disease they are currently in.

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