Sunday, October 18, 2009

Keira has H1N1

The kids were going to come up from southern Arizona this morning, Sunday, and stay through Monday, 10/19/09. But Justin, my son, was antsy; wanting to get to Phoenix so he could get a jump on a number of things he wanted to get accomplished. So he and Shannon piled 7-week-old Keira into the car, along with their laundry and everything else they needed, and came up last evening. In retrospect, it was an excellent idea.

Our little granddaughter had a rash, but during her regular visit to the pediatrician last week they had looked at it and felt it was minor and Shannon was treating it topically. Then, last night, Keira's rash got worse and she started running a fever.

One of the advantages of living where we do is that Phoenix Children's Hospital, one of the premier children's hospitals in Arizona --- if not the nation --- is literally just down the street. Justin and Shannon bundled Keira into the car and went over to their emergency room.

After a whole battery of tests, including blood tests, urine samples via a catheter, and a spinal tap, the results came back this morning. Keira has the swine flu, the rash she has on her bottom is a yeast infection which could be what compromised her immune system and left her more susceptible to serious disease. The good news is that the doctors at Phoenix Children's are confident they have caught the illness soon enough to avoid any complications like pneumonia and Keira should recover fully and very quickly.

That is not the case with some other patients at Phoenix Children's who presented symptoms for just a day or so longer than Keira did. Some of them have contracted pneumonia. Some of those have responded favorably to antibiotics. The other, more serious cases have all been successfully treated via a procedure called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, where a special machine is used to oxygenate the blood. Phoenix Children's has the capability of treating four patients at a time with this procedure, so even though it appears it will not be needed in Keira's case, it is comforting to know she is in a facility where such care is available.

Hey, folks, for the sake of all your babies and grandbabies, and everybody else, know the symptoms of H1N1:

. Fast breathing or difficulty breathing.
. Inability to drink/keep down fluids.
. Fever with a rash.
. Flulike symptoms that subside, only to return with a fever and cough.

. Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
. Pain or pressure in the chest.
. Sudden dizziness.
. Confusion.
. Severe or persistent vomiting.

At-risk Groups:
. Patients who are pregnant, obese, have diabetes, asthma, high-blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, lung disease or a neurological condition should call their physician at the onset of flu symptoms.

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