Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Follow-up: Child with airway obstruction

A few weeks ago I wrote about a little girl with an airway obstruction who tested our team's skills to the utmost. Well, four days after we bundled her into the ambulance with heavy hearts, she walked into the clinic, followed by her beaming relatives. We were shocked and overjoyed.

It turns out that by the time she arrived at the hospital, she was already breathing far more comfortably. The doctors there removed her breathing tube and didn't replace it, but from what I can discern across a language barrier and at third hand, she didn't need it by then. We suspect that she had an obstruction beneath the level of the vocal cords, perhaps from an unusually severe viral illness, and that the steroids our team administered kicked in to reduce the swelling just in time for her arrival at the transfer hospital. She stayed a few days there, receiving antibiotics. By the time we saw her, she had no airway trouble whatsoever. The only thing wrong with her was that she seemed a little shy. Maybe that's because the whole clinic pounced on her with hugs and kisses and exclamations.

Yeah, sometimes you love this work.

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