Sunday, June 6, 2010

Choking

A spanish couple who spole no English came running into the ER with their very gordo 1 & 1/2 year old boy screaming and motioning that he was choking. Generally, if you are coughing or passing any air, you are not choking. This child was in distress. One second he would be pink and breathing, the next he would turn ashy and not pass air. His oxygen sats would drop then pick up. Something was intermittently obstructing his airway.

This was at an adult ER, so everyone was kind of tense. We started a line and got ready to try to get this thing out. He was too anxious for me to do this without meds. I was going to have to sedate him, go in with an laryngoscope, and try to pull the unknown object out of his airway with some long foreceps.

I was scared shitless. Putting him down carried risks, and if I couldn't get out what was obstructing him on the first try he could die.

We pushed the ketamine (medicine to put him out), and he went to sleep. I got in and saw a metal object that was stuck in his valecula. When he would breath, it was moving into his airway causing the intermittent obstuction. It looked tiny, but as I started to pull it got longer and longer (thats what she said HAHA). I was afraid I was going to drop it into his airway completely from all the secretions. Luckily I got it out. The picture is below. It was somekind of bookcase hinge.

Another life saved. Another save without getting a thank you from the family. Oh well.



- ER Doc

10 comments:

arzt4empfaenger said...

Well done! And hah, if we would only work when thanks were guaranteed, we'd hardly work at all I guess. And that doesn't only apply to people in the medical world. Sad truth.

The Bus Driver said...

holy moly i cant believe you pulled that out of a childs throat!

That reminds me of one of those untold stories of the ER that you see on discovery health where this girl was bulemic and using a fork to make herself choke to throw up, but ended up swallowing the fork.

Anonymous said...

Thank you
From every parent who may need you for what you do.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you.. from a grand parent..

Guzzo said...

I was scared shitless.

Your honesty is appreciated. I'm sure that anyone with a conscience would have felt the same way, but some wouldn't admit it. You did a great job!

Shash said...

Thank you from this reader. What a frightening experience.

As a baby my helpful older brother gave me pine needles, which I promptly tried to eat. A trip to the ER got them out of my swollen throat. Happily, I have no memory of this but I still give my brother grief about the time he tried to kill me.

Louise said...

Since the parents didn't say it: Thank you.

Texas reader said...

yes, that's the part that you attach to the metal rail inside the bookcase. once you have 4 in place, the shelf rests on them.

ERP said...

WTF. Usually people are thankful when you save a kid. But your hospital is even wackier than any I have ever worked in, what with your preponderance of cock ring problems.

Brian Pearson said...

What was it? Can't tell from the pic.