When to Go To the Emergency Room

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When to Go To the Emergency Room

  Autor NN Team Data: 15.04.2009

When to Go To the Emergency Room

Your baby cannot tell when something hurts it where it hurts or how much it hurts. Signals transmitted by their body are hard to be read, especially by inexperienced parents, who, moreover, are much panicked, so it's no wonder that many parents get the child to the emergency room in the middle of the night, without being necessary. Up to three quarters of children who arrive on the consultations table in emergency, are not suffering from serious disease and do not require urgent medical care. It is true that better safe than sorry, but it's important to know, as parents, when necessary and when not necessary to give flight to the hospital with the baby. Especially as the emergency department is not exactly the place for a child, the light is strong, the sound is great and all kinds of germs are hiding in search of victims.

Some urgency is obvious and we do not need to discuss them. It is about trauma, broken bones, unconsciousness, bleeding, ingestion of banned substances, burns. We will not talk either about children with chronic diseases, whose parents should be thoroughly instructed by their doctor, about the symptoms that need to send them urgently to the emergency room. We'll talk about healthy children, which present sudden alarming symptoms.

Fever
When we speak of fever, we talk to a temperature higher than 38 degrees Celsius. It is one of the most common reasons parents bring the baby to the emergency room, even in the middle of the night. A child with high fever, feeling ill, is irritable, not eating, not talking, not playing and is able to irritate, to worry and to keep awake the whole family. In many cases, the problem is solved if we control the fever. We can do that if the child is naked and put warm compress on the chest and forehead, but not very cold, at body temperature. However, the most effective in fighting shield fever is medication treatment with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Babies and small children should not receive aspirin. If fever remains above 38.5 degrees Celsius and does not respond to conventional antithermics, the child must be brought to the hospital. If his movements become erratic, it becomes incoherent, loses consciousness or is already bluish it must be urgently taken to the doctor.

Breathing Difficulties
Breathing of a baby is a constant source of worry for parents. He did not breathe regularly as an adult, but has irregular breathing. After he breathes in and out several times rapidly, his chest remains motionless for a few seconds, and these breaks, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter go out of mind young parents. But it is something normal, the babies are breathing just like this.
In case of doubt, pick up the blouse and see the little chest. A child that cannot breathe well will use his stomach muscles and of the neck in an effort to draw more air into the chest, intercostals spaces and the space above the clavicle will widen. Also, an alarming symptom may be hissing breath, characteristic to asthmatic persons, especially if your child has been diagnosed with asthma and has not received treatment for the disease. Whistling in exhalation can be a symptom of bronchiolitis, a viral infection common in children.
Infants with nasal congestion can also hardly breathe. This is characteristic to flues and colds and so you can expect to trouble breathing if the baby has one of these diseases. You can try to get it in the bathroom full of steam to ease breathing or using a nose pump to extract mucus that fills its respiratory channel. If you apply these measures and the baby cannot breathe normally, it's time to go directly to the emergency room.

Dehydration
Can be a major problem for children. To check the moisture level, pay attention to how much it urinates. When you reach the emergency, the doctor may ask you how many diapers wet the baby in the last days to determine his level of hydration. Dehydration can become a problem if your child has a
fever and is sweating a lot, if vomiting or has diarrhoea or just simply if he does not drink enough fluids. For rehydration is recommended to drink little and often. Do not force him to drink a whole glass at once, especially if he has nausea and vomiting. Rather give him every ten minutes a few small sips. If you cannot restore the level of hydration in a child with fever, vomiting or diarrhoea then you must go to the hospital.

Behaviour problems
When a child is sick, one of the first signs is the behaviour. He has less energy, it loses its appetite, sleeping more or less, is irritable, cries a lot and for no reason. Often such changes scare us, but not always there is a problem. We must be mindful of those radical changes of behaviour. For example, a child who is tired and sleepy could be sick. But a lethargic child who cannot get out of bed, it is definitely very sick and has to go to the hospital quickly. A child who cries a lot, but stops when held in arms is not of concern. When he goes crying even harder when taken in your arms, he could have pains in one particular part of the body, so you must go to the hospital. The same applies if your child is confused, not knowing where he is, raves, lacks coherence, etc. These are the changes of behaviour that must send us to a doctor urgently. One last tip for moms: follow your maternal instinct. If you feel that something is wrong with your child, go to the doctor or the paediatrician or emergency room. If you are not sure that it is a true emergency, counsel to someone who knows better your child, call your paediatrician or family physician, if any. You know your children best. No expert can replace the experience and knowledge a mother acquires, living every day with her baby.



Read the English version of this article: When to Go To the Emergency Room