We received a call for a possible asthma attack at a large medical clinic. We have a few clinics in our district, some with many doctors. It seems like we see some doctors more that others. I don’t know if it has to do the doctors comfort level, or the types of patients that they see. I suspect that it may involve attorneys and insurance companies.
We get to a treatment room, where we see a little girl, about three years old lying on the treatment table. Her color is awful. She is receiving a breathing treatment from a machine and a man we assume is her father is standing next to her. The doctor is in another room looking at her chart.
The little girl was totally passive, barely opening her eyes as we take her pulse, get a blood pressure, obtain her 02 saturation levels and listen to her lung sounds. We flick the bottom of her feet to determine her level of motor response. This is not typical kid behavior. We have a really sick little kid.
I start to obtain her medical history from the person we believe to be her father. He tells us that the child had been in the emergency room the night prior while suffering from difficulty breathing. They had taken a chest X-ray and had cut her loose, telling him that she was suffering from asthma. The doctor comes into the room and tells us that she had suffered from chronic pneumonia and appeared surprised that the previous night’s diagnosis did not include pneumonia or antibiotics.
About this time, the person we assume is the father informs us that that our sick little girl was diagnosed with systemic MRSA about six months ago and almost died. MRSA is Multidrug Resistant Staph Infection. There are several types and it can really be a nasty experience. It can kill people with septic shock or accompanying pneumonia. It would seem that the MRSA diagnosis, the chronic pneumonia and the symptoms that we are seeing now could be interrelated. He also adds that her almost dying is the reason “we have her” and that she was taken from her mom.
It turns out that this poor kid was a drug baby, the person we assumed was her father was actually a foster parent and it appears that the kids suffers from several chronic health issues that may or may not be related to the environmental factors in her life. The part that saddens me is that when this kid is sick, she cannot be comforted by her mother, because her mom loves the drugs more than her. I hate to see any kid in the system, even when it’s necessary.
A casual observation that I have made throughout the years is that when we adults screw up, it’s our kids and our dogs that often pay the price. Kids and dogs are the two life forms that really depend on us for their health and well being.
Hopefully, this little girl’s mom will get her act together, be able to care for her child and all will be well. I am not holding my breath.
Thanks for reading,