"Paediatric care in Crosshouse hospital. "
Posted by Fearful mum (as ),
My son started spiking temperatures, become lethargic and generally just wasn't himself. As a mother of 2 children I just knew something wasn't right. I took him to my GP where I was told "I was a paranoid parent" and that he just had a childhood bug, My elder daughter has previously suffered "silent" chest infections where it hadn't been picked up until she was very ill in A and E due to the lack of chest sounds which you expect with a chest infection, my fear was my son had the same issue as the patterns were the same however this was dismissed by my GP and later medics in Crosshouse.
Over the weekend I took my son to A and E as he was quickly deteriorating. Upon arrival his temperature was 41 degrees and he was showing signs of being septic. When I suggested this to the doctor and asked why they weren't doing the test that would be performed on an adult straight away eg blood cultures and a chest x ray I was told they wouldn't put children through these test without good cause.
I work for Ayrshire & Arran and knew that if it was an adult in the same situation alarm bells would be ringing and an emergency response would have been initiated. He was transferred to the paediatric assessment unit where he saw another doctor who suggested it was tonsillitis and he be sent home with oral antibiotics, at this point I was extremely distressed as my sons saturation levels were dropping to the extent where he was on oxygen and he hadn't been passing any urine for hours. After discussing my concerns with a nurse they asked the doctor to reconsider a chest x ray (at this point I had suggested it was his chest and asked them to x ray him 3 times and was treated like a paranoid parent who knew nothing). The doctor reluctantly agreed to x ray my sons chest and sent their colleague back with the results to inform me it was a chest infection and he was being admitted as he was requiring more and more oxygen.
They commenced my son on oral antibiotics which he point blank refused to take to the extent he was vomiting and turning blue every time we tried to give him them, I begged the doctors to give him IV antibiotics but was told it was inappropriate. My son went about 36 hours from admission without successfully having antibiotics, the next part was the most frightening for myself and my mother who witnessed it. My son was lying in my arms the morning after his admission, I expressed my concerns the he was dehydrated and I felt the infection was getting worse as he was extremely drowsy his breathing rate was rapid and his heart rate was increasing (he was continuously being monitored at this stage). My son suddenly stopped responding to me and his respiratory rate increased to 64 and his heart rate above 220, I thought my son was dying in my arms!
I immediately alerted the staff when a nurse walked in and told me he was just sleepy and the doctor would come after his rounds, but he wasn't sleepy he was becoming unresponsive and my mum immediately contacted the consultant who was on the ward, they immediately transferred my son to one of the High dependency bays where he was started on IV antibiotics and IV fluids and he gradually started to recover and bounced back after a week of care in 1B.
I can't express how terrifying my experience was with my 2 year old son for a parent to feel so helpless and genuinely believe their child was going to die in their arms is just horrific.
I feel he was repeatedly let down by medical staff who refused to listen to my concerns and made me feel like I didn't know my son. I am a staff member who works within A&E and felt like this is the only way I could discuss my sons issues without it affecting my own work. However, I feel it needs to discussed for us as a health board to learn lessons from our experience. I was shocked as in adult care we have a sepsis protocol which works very well however there didn't seem to be anything similar within my sons care if he had been an adult sepsis would have been recognized and acted upon much quicker.
In my sons full stay he didn't have one set of bloods done even after spiking temps of 41 degrees. I want to point out that the nurses, nursing auxiliaries and domestic staff in both 1A and 1B were first class and were an amazing support to my family, I honestly couldn't thank them enough. Our experience wasn't a very good one. However, I hope it can be used to learn lessons and prevent it reoccurring.