Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dear Moms and Dads that visit my ER,

I am beginning to think that you lack all common sense. It seems that all of grandma's home remedies and experience has been forgotten or thrown to the wayside. The days of chicken soup, ginger ale, and vicks rub all but forgotten instead the treatment of choice is hauling your children to the ER in the dead of winter at 2 am demanding instant fixes and ABO(antibiotics). So I have decided to do a little education teaching and hopefully save a kiddo or two from my rectal thermometer..

Ok I am going to start with my biggest pet peeve. Medicate your child's fever. Don't bring them into me and when I ask whether you gave tylenol or motrin look at me like I am insane. When you have a fever you treat it.. pass on the courtesy. Also remember kids have little bodies and they get hot faster and hotter than you and me. They are able to tolerate these fevers, don't bring in your child with a 100 temp freaking out. You won't get my attention until maybe 103 .You will get my attention and a tongue lashing for bundling up these children practically suffocation them in the 5 layers of coats and blankets. When you have a fever would you want all that on you... NO so why do you think your child does... think parents.

Next kids vomit.. those buggers do it alot. And amazingly they don't need to be rushed to the ER EVERY TIME! If junior has been vomiting for more than 24 hours and not peeing, and hard to arouse I want to see him. I don't want to see him 20 minutes after the very first episode, nor do I want you to bring in juniors vomit for me to see. Now if it is pure blood, and not spaghetti sauce ok I might tolerate seeing it but DON"T shove it into my face the minute you walk into triage.

Suzie and Sam are going to get colds many times in their childhood. So you better learn to deal with it and come up with some coping plans.. because there is NOTHING I can do about it. No we aren't going to prescribe ABO to make YOU feel better like they use to do.... that is the reason why we have so many bugs that are resistent to almost all ABO. What I will do is give little one tylenol/motrin if needed for that fever that you have chosen not to treat just to prove to us that Sam and Suzie are sick and then a popsicle. And that Mom and Dad just cost you $400+
So in the future why don't you try to push fluids, give tylenol/motrin for fever and if needed a vaporizer and let junior veg on the couch for a day. That way we can avoid that pissed off call to our billing depart yelling "All they did was give motrin and a popsicle, I could have done that !"
Exactly.. and if you had you would saved yourself that $400+.

Now on to my favorites.. you know who you are.. Stand up proud parents... You who bring in your beautiful sleeping babes at 3am because they are NOT crying. You kill me. You should be thanking whatever GOD you believe in that you don't have a colic child. That you aren't awake at 3am crying yourself and begging your baby to please finally go to sleep after being awake for days on end. New parents cherish the silence, because it does not last.. soon you will be yelling for them to keep it down because you can't hear the TV or the phone.

Now that I have covered all the things that with a little common sense or call to grandmother could fix and keep little one out of the ER ....lets talk to the parents of children that are really sick... Thank you for realizing that Sally is sicker than chicken soup can fix and need to be seen by a Dr now and treated and can't wait for the clinic to open in the morning. Now you have made it that far why stop with great thinking... Why now that you are here are you refusing to let us do the tests necessary. I know as a mother myself that it is hard to see Sam cry as we stick an IV in him but we need to run test on his blood, give him fluids and medicine through it. I know that the idea of us placing a catheter into Sally is something you don't want to see dad, but I need sterile urine to see if she is lethargic because of a severe UTI. I need to do that LP(lumbar puncture) on your 36 hour newborn with a 103 temp to rule out menigitis. I know that all of these tests are going to cause discomfort to baby, but please know I do them as gently as I can, and as a last resort when there is no other way to get the information I need. Your parental instincts were right to walk thru those doors with your dear sick child.. now please trust me and my team to care for your child so that you don't walk out of them empty handed.

I think I covered the issues that bug me the most.. there are more that I know I will cover in future postings but I gotta run.. I think I just heard my Sally sneeze!

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