Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Trip to the ER: Severe Allergic Reaction

We took Evie to the Cardon's Children Medical Center ER last Sunday. This is her third time in the hospital's emergency room. She was having difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, croaky voice, and slightly swollen lip. The culprit? Gold fish crackers. Well, that was our suspicion. She was playing with other kids at church and according to her Dada, he saw a girl holding a bowl of gold fish crackers. Minutes later, he noticed Evie coughing, eyes watery. We immediately gave her a teaspoon of Benadryl (antihistamine), washed her face and hands. She also asked me to wash her mouth. After I was informed by her Dada that he noticed a girl holding a bowl of gold fish crackers, I asked her if she ate some. And the answer was YES. Her voice was not normal. I can tell that she had eaten something she's not supposed to. Most probably her throat was tightening that's why her voice was hoarse. She kept coughing and experiencing labored breathing. We thought she will be fine after taking a dose of antihistamine, but her wheezing didn't stop. She never had this severe of allergic reaction before. So we decided to take her to the ER, again. The good thing was, the hospital was not too far from our church.

A Dose of Epinephrine and Oral Medication/Inhalation

After checking her vital signs, the hospital staff immediately gave her oral medication (chewable pills and breathing treatment) and epinephrine injection or better known as EpiPen. I've heard of EpiPen before. One of the kids in our Sunday school class before takes this medication in his bag all the time because he gets severe allergic reaction when he eats something that his body cannot tolerate. It's for emergency use—for life-threatening situations.

It's very scary to think that Evie's life was in danger that moment. We do not know how much gold fish crackers she ate—one, two, a handful? We remember how when her voice started to sound croaky when she gulped a drop of cow's milk when she was very young. That's how a very small amount of dairy product affected her fragile body.

She wasn't happy at all with the injection and her entire 3 hours of stay in the emergency room. The pink dinosaur mask and cartoon TV shows did not make her feel any better at all. She'd cry everytime a hospital staff enters the room. She might have thought of them as people who's going to hurt her. Later she fell asleep in my arms. Dr. Rodney Ohmart, her attending doctor checked her again after an hour or so and was happy that after giving her the treatment she needed, she was 100% better.

Severe Allergic Reaction Prescriptions

The doctor prescribe our daughter three kinds of medical prescriptions: EpiPen-Jr injection, ProAir HFA (albuterol inhalation) and Prednisolone. The first two prescriptions are for emergency purposes and the last one she has to take for three days after her trip to the ER. It is quite relieving that we have these emergency tools to give her JUST IN CASE (God forbids) the same thing occurs in the future. With what just happened and how she doesn't know and understand what kind of food she should not eat, it is very frightening to not have these life-saving instruments in hand. And of course, a bottle of antihistamine SHOULD ALWAYS be within our reach when it's needed. IT'S A MUST.

The hospital gave us very important handouts about allergic reaction and related topics. I'll definitely post it here in my blog for parents who are in the same boat as ours. I believe it's a great information that will help us know the things we need to do when our child suffers such kind of life-threatening physical reaction.

No comments:

Post a Comment