Little Doctor is a fighter

While I was traveling to Canada, Little Doctor developed fever, cough and difficulty breathing. His treatment plan was a cough suppressant. He is a one month-old who weighs 1.5 kilograms and was started on a cough suppressant for pneumonia.

On Monday morning, when I returned, we immediately initiated a very strong antibiotic. As I left for the evening, I was extremely concerned and checked in with the nurse on multiple occasions. We reviewed all the scenarios and it seemed nothing could go wrong.

When I arrived Tuesday morning, Little Doctor had oxygen saturations of 80% (very low) and a heart rate in the 200’s (very high). My pulse nearly matched his moments later. I asked in the calmest voice I could manage “Why does he look so sick and no one is intervening”. The response was “he misses his mother, she will be coming soon”.  

I asked to immediately place him on oxygen. One to two minutes later, I questioned why his saturations were not rising and I received a shoulder shrug. After five seconds of investigating, I discovered the oxygen was not turned on.

I had trouble leaving that evening, but I was reassured that things would go better.

On Wednesday morning, I left our car and proceeded directly to the bedside of Little Doctor. I asked how the night went. I was told he cried continuously, so he was feed via tube directly in to his stomach every hour. Not every three hours as was written in the orders. In other words, he was given three times the feeding volume that was ordered. This probably does not mean much to everyone, but premature infants are delicate and fluctuations in feeding and fluids like this can be disastrous. On exam, he was crying, his abdomen was distended and firm, and he appeared ill.

I did not yell, curse, threaten or disrespect anyone but I could not hide my profound frustration and disappointment with the care we were providing. There was no smiling or jokes on rounds.

By the end of the day, Little Doctor was appearing better. And, as I left, I could tell the staff was highly annoyed with me.

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