Preg­nant women are urged to have the flu jab

Western Morning News (Saturday) - - Uk And World News - BY KEITH ROS­SITER

A mother who al­most lost her un­born baby to flu has urged other preg­nant women to get vac­ci­nated.

Devon wo­man Hay­ley Sycamore caught flu when she was eight months preg­nant. She and her daugh­ter Naomi nearly died as a re­sult.

Mrs Sycamore de­te­ri­o­rated quickly and con­tracted pneu­mo­nia. As a re­sult, Naomi was born pre­ma­turely.

This win­ter she and hus­band Steve are en­cour­ag­ing preg­nant women to have the flu vaccine.

Mrs Sycamore said she knew that be­ing preg­nant meant she was at high risk of de­vel­op­ing ill­ness and when she first started to ex­pe­ri­ence the symp­toms of flu, she just took her­self to bed.

She had not an­tic­i­pated quite how poorly she could be­come and found her­self de­te­ri­o­rat­ing very quickly.

“Naomi was born pre­ma­turely at 35 weeks, just be­fore Christ­mas, fol­low­ing emer­gency surgery,” she said. “I ended up on an in­ten­sive care unit and she was on a ven­ti­la­tor.”

Her hus­band Steve Sycamore said: “When you are young and gen­er­ally fit and healthy, you think you are in­de­struc­tible, but one sin­gle bug turns into se­ri­ous ill­ness and it all goes to hell.

“I heard the words from the con­sul­tant, ‘We need to get the baby out and they might both live’.

“Nobody should go through what we did. It was 10 years ago but I re­mem­ber the trauma very clearly. We are still re­cov­er­ing from the psy­cho­log­i­cal ef­fects of the whole ex­pe­ri­ence even though ev­ery­one is home and healthy.

“My ad­vice to any mums-tobe is just have the jab and hope­fully you never have to go through what we did.”

Emma Fuell, mid­wife at the Royal Devon and Ex­eter NHS Foun­da­tion Trust, said: “The neg­a­tive ef­fects of con­tract­ing in­fluenza in preg­nancy can­not be un­der­es­ti­mated. Not only can it make you very ill, but in the worst-case sit­u­a­tions it can re­sult in very se­ri­ous res- pi­ra­tory prob­lems, a pro­longed hos­pi­tal stay, or even death.

“Should the un­born baby con­tract the flu virus this can lead to growth prob­lems, pre­ma­ture birth and even still­birth.”

Dr Sarah Ogilvie, pub­lic health con­sul­tant at Ply­mouth City Coun­cil, said: “Flu can be re­ally se­ri­ous. We par­tic­u­larly worry about the very young, the el­derly, peo­ple with un­der­ly­ing health con­di­tions, and preg­nant women as they are at greater risk of the com­pli­ca­tions of flu.

“Around a third of deaths are in pre­vi­ously healthy peo­ple.”

Women are ad­vised to have the flu vaccine re­gard­less of the stage of preg­nancy they have reached.

The vaccine is safe at any stage of preg­nancy from con­cep­tion on­wards.

The in­jected flu vaccine given to adults con­tains in­ac­ti­vated flu viruses, so can­not give you flu.

Your arm may feel a bit sore where you were in­jected, and some peo­ple get a slight tem­per­a­ture and aching mus­cles for a cou­ple of days af­ter­wards. Other re­ac­tions are very rare.

Steve and Hay­ley Sycamore. Hay­ley caught flu and both she and her daugh­ter Naomi nearly died as a re­sult

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.