Part of the profession is to deal with a situation when the unexpected happens. A lot of times I’m left wondering if I could rewind those few minutes that made the difference between a well child and a sick one.
I’ll briefly tell you about children who came to the hospital with injuries.This blog post is not for the faint-hearted.
1. A 4 year old girl was playing on the balcony of the first floor at home when she tripped over the low parapet wall and went plunging head first to the ground. She was brought with no heart rate or breathing to the ER. Inspite of attempted resuscitation she did not survive.
2. A 6 year old girl was sitting behind her dad on the moped when they both fell down. The girl had a fractured skull and was paralysed on her left side. They took her to another hospital after coming to our ER and doing the CT scan. Fortunately, although she had a fractured skull and a blood clot in her brain, she recovered completely and the neurosurgeon called me a couple of days later to tell me she was OK.
3. A 2 month old infant was lying in his cot when he rolled over and fell down about 3-4 feet. He was brought with a fractured skull but was otherwise well.
All three are accidents – but accidents that could have been easily prevented: a higher parapet wall, a helmet, cot with siderails, some attention and supervision is all it would have taken.
Looking after children is a full time job. There are no shortcuts to safety and supervision. Just like any disease, with regards to accidents too prevention is better than cure. As doctors we cannot perform miracles – although at times we are left wondering how a child recovers!!
Accidents among children are fast becoming a leading cause of death, disability and hospitalisations both in the west (where more statistics seem to be available) and now in India too.
But I’m not here to post statistics and graphs. I’m just here to drive home a simple message: Take care of your child – even at home and when you are with your child!