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Saturday, August 30, 2008

She slipped and dropped her baby

Somewhere I read that one of the biggest fears of a parent is accidentally dropping a baby. Unfortunately, that fear sometimes becomes reality, as I learned tonight.

It was difficult to get all the details from the upset mother, but she said she fell and her 2-month-old baby was tossed into the air, landing on his head. CPR was started and the baby was rushed to the hospital.

By the time the baby was in the ER, it was breathing fine, but it had occasional episodes of apnea. And it was relatively limp, and occasionally it would let out a cry. It would also cry to painful stimuli, but it did not fight otherwise. It was pale and just didn't look good.

I already had a #3.5 ETT ready to go, but the baby WAS breathing with an SpO2 of 100% on room air, so I just stood by. I humbly watched as the nurses and the DR. struggled to put in an IV, and then I watched as the doctor screwed in the inner-osseous port. I had learned about this in ACLS last fall, but had never seen it done.

The baby needed an airway, so we intubated. It was a very smooth operation, considering none of us work with baby's as often as we work with adults. But thankfully we have our bi-annual check offs and reviews of such a situation JUST IN CASE.

Today, the JUST IN CASE became real. It was really sad when the mom came in. She was a wreck, and understandably so. I have no idea how I would react if I would have dropped my baby. I might just be a wreck too.

But, as a member of the medical team, we couldn't let emotion effect us. It's neat how cool and calm we can be while we work on someone's limp baby. It was sad. But we had a job to do, and we did a great job.

We stabilized the baby, and within 45 minutes he was on his way to Big City hospital. That's what we do here. We stabilize and ship. We do whatever we can to give a sick baby a chance.

We never had time to do a cat scan. Perhaps a head bleed?

Because of Hippa, though, we may never get an update.

I'm not in the business of criticizing a young mother, especially because this very easily could happen to anyone.

Still, this is a reminder that we should never take these fears of dropping a baby for granted.

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