Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blue: No Longer My Favorite Color

First, a preemptive statement...

Everyone is fine! :-)

Saturday Evening. Hannah and I sitting on the couch, Grannie Annie holding Kaylin on her lap, soaking in as much baby time as she can before she has to leave Sunday morning. Mouth watering aromas of a salmon dinner wafting in from the kitchen. All seems well, and peaceful.

Suddenly, Hannah asks "Does it look like Kaylin is getting blue around the mouth"?

We try to get Kaylin to wake up from her nap, with only partial success. We try changing her diaper - that usually gets her to wake up and fuss a bit. She's still asleep. I try to rock her from side to side - one of the nurses at the hospital showed us that trick. It triggers some kind of a reflex which causes babies to wake up and open their eyes. Again, only partial success.

Kaylin's color improves briefly, but then darkens again into a ghastly blue around her mouth.

While in the NICU, Kaylin had a few brief "episodes" where her oxygen saturation levels dropped. I wrote about that issue in an earlier post. The doctors told us that even if her O2 levels drop, she should be able to pull herself out of it, but without a monitor to see what her levels are at, we were told to watch around her mouth for a blue, dusky color. That's our indication that her oxygen is not where it should be.

We call the 24 hour line at the University of Iowa to ask what we should do. The nurse asks some questions, and then advises us to call the ambulance.

The nurse says "It may be an over-reaction, but I'd rather over-react then to have a dead child".

We agree.

The hospital is only 1.5 miles from our house, and her color has again improved, so we take her to the emergency room ourselves. Salmon can wait.

Apparently, so can we.

After walking into the Emergency Room, it takes 3 minutes for anybody to come to the window to see what our emergency is. Good thing Kaylin isn't missing a limb.

We are ushered to an examining room, where a nurse checks her oxygen levels. We are relieved to see the machine say 100%.

"The doctor will be in to see you soon".

30 minutes later, the doctor appears. We begin to describe the reason for our being there. The doctor begins touching Kaylin's face.

Hannah asks "Could you please wash your hands" ???

Really? Seriously? Do we actually have to request that the doctor wash her hands before sticking her fingers on our child's face??? Where did she come from just now? Who was she helping just before us? Sure, it could have simply been somebody with a broken finger, but maybe it was the guy next door coughing on the Ebola Virus! (Ok, no Ebola, but it illustrates the point)

Good Grief!

Hannah washes Kaylin's face as soon as the doctor steps out of the room. Good call.

Oxygen levels are once again checked - all looks good.

Her temperature is checked, rectal style. Kaylin has a mighty bowl movement during the process. Hannah and I look at each other as if to say, "The doctor deserved that for not washing her hands"! We exchange knowing grins.

We are sent on our way with assurances that we did the right thing by bringing her in, that it's better to be safe than sorry. We are told that it's not uncommon to see a slight bluish color around the mouth, especially if she get's chilled.

We come home, relieved that all is well. We bathe Kaylin to wash away the germs from the emergency room. She goes to sleep peacefully.

The salmon was great, even if re-heated.

1 comment:

  1. I hope this kind of episode doesn't have to be repeated ever again.