As a result of a collaboration between Dr. Aida Hernández Blanco as a paediatrician in Medimar International Hospital and Mandarina Garden children’s play-centre, an issue on which parents ask for information repeatedly, and which is interesting at the same time, was discussed: minor paediatric emergencies.
Who first thought about giving this talk?
It was parents who had been asking for the keys to follow in the event of some of the most common paediatric emergencies, such as a foreign body in the nose or ear, blows to the eye, or the most demanded and the one that most worries them: what to do at home to a child with a choking or a semi-choking.
When is it really necessary to go to the emergency room?
That’s difficult to answer. Whenever parents are worried. And particularly, about those paediatric emergencies on which the talk was based, the keys to follow before going to the emergency room are given, either to improve the prognosis of any accident, or to give some recommendations on some peculiarities of these emergencies.
For example, you do not need to act with the same urgency if the child has a foreign body inserted in the ear or in the nose, or if the foreign body is a button battery, which is an immediate urgency, or if it is a bug or a seed. Or, for example, how to wash the eye with physiological saline solution or with cold water, and for how long, which depends on the agent that has been in contact with the eye.
Those are small actions that must be taken before going to the emergency room, so as to improve the situation or not to worsen the injury. Of course, they do not replace health personnel assessment. And many things are the ABCs of any emergency, which may reassure parents if they know what to do and what the emergency room physician will do later.
What must be done if a child chokes?
It depends on the age of the child, and whether he/she is conscious and coughing, or he/she no longer coughs and loses consciousness. During the talk I tried to explain it as graphically as possible, explaining the protocol for Paediatric Resuscitation Group in this situation, but it is obviously something that cannot be taught in a one-hour-long talk, but in several hours and practicing with special dolls or dummies, in situ and under supervision, so that it can be learned in the best conditions.
Have you thought about teaching a specific session on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for parents, as it is a topic in high demand?
It is something we have been thinking about for quite a long time: giving a Basic CPR workshop for all parents who want to learn how to do CPR just in case some day they need such knowledge and skills. I think it’s essential that not only medical staff know how to make a basic CPR for both children and adults, everybody should, and even more if you have children in your care.
Imagine that you find your neighbour who has lost consciousness and you realize he needs CPR because he has had a cardiac arrest for any reason (a heart attack if he is aged, a malignant arrhythmia in a child, for example, or a choking in a breast-feeding baby, etc…). Before calling 112 to come with skilled health personnel who will reanimate him, CPR procedure must be done for one minute. You do not need any other materials than your mouth and your hands. And it is essential for the child’s subsequent prognosis to know how to do it properly.Published in March 2013 edition of http://www.masquesalud.es