Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Poorly Children

It's at this time of year when it gets cold that kids start getting colds, chest infections etc.

The last two nights on the car, I seem to have done nothing but go charging around to kids who are vomiting, lethargic, not eating very well, not breathing "normally", and sleeping more than normal.

It's quite simple really. Think about how you feel when you're not well. Had a chest infection? What was it like to breathe - a bit rattly probably with lots of coughing. Had to work at it more than usual? Probably.

How did you feel - tired all the time? Didn't really want to do much? Didn't really feel hungry?

It certainly isn't rocket science. I went to a little girl last night, the call was given as unconscious. I turned up to be surrounded by about four adults, God knows how many kids, all wailing (yes including the men) because the girl was "unconscious".

She wasn't unconscious, and it must have been bloody uncomfortable laid on her front across dad's knee with his huge fingers in her mouth. I took her off him, and gently laid her on her side on the floor. She was rather "chesty", and had a temperature. She'd been given anti-biotics by the GP, but because she wasn't her normal chirpy self, the family had panicked.

It is perfectly understandable that parents get scared when their kids are ill, but they normally relax when the ambulance man/woman/crew turn up and tell them that their child is fine, but has a bit of a chest infection. Usually this is because it's what they've already been told by the GP.

But this family continued to bawl and wail with floods of tears even after I assured them the little girl was going to be fine, that she had a bit if a chest infection and a temperature, and that being lethargic and not wanting to do very much is quite normal for anyone, let alone a child who is not feeling well.

The other side of the coin, I later went to another child who'd been vomiting - and mum was quite embarrassed that she'd called when I arrived because her young son was looking much better (again, how many times have you felt much better after a good vomit?) I assured her that it wasn't a problem calling us. I examined the child, and found nothing particularly wrong with him. Mum didn't really want to go to hospital unless it was absolutely necessary (it wasn't) so I cancelled the crew and arranged for a GP to visit.

A satisfying job - mum had her head screwed on, but had a moment of panic - understandable as I've said before, and I was able to cancel the crew and free them up for the other calls that were being held.


Anonymous Jennie said...

A bloody good vomit always makes me feel better when under the weather.

3:34 pm  
Anonymous olivia said...

I wouldn't call an ambulance for 2 of my children if they were vomiting, but my middle one had a fundoplication operation (stomach wrap) and I've been advised to always get her to hospital as quickly as possible - having said which, it's generally quicker to drive her myself. Hopefully, we won't have to keep doing this for much longer as she gets older and stronger!

1:55 pm  

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