It is not even one week since I received a call from a prospective pediatrician for NJH about the pediatric workload at NJH. Well, this post is sort of an answer . . .
Today's patients in the Acute Care Unit . . .
Bed Nos. 1: 3 year old boy, AA. Admitted with complaints of one day history of fever, multiple episodes of seizures and altered sensorium since today early morning. We had to intubate him and mechanically bag him within minutes of his admission. The diagnosis - Meningoencephalitis with aspiration pneumonia. The boy is quite sick.
Bed Nos. 2: LK, a 9 year old girl, who was sick with fever since 4 days. Since today morning, he had multiple episodes of seizures. The diagnosis - Meningoencephalitis with aspiration pneumonia. Her condition is better than AA, but needs oxygen to maintain saturation although she is not intubated.
Bed Nos. 3: 9 year old girl, NK, who came on the 3rd August after a krait bite. She has been intubated since. By God's grace, her condition has improved quite a lot. Weaning off the ventilator would take some more time.
Bed Nos. 4: 20 year old young lady, KK, who had a cobra bite at around 3 pm yesterday and was brought around 8 pm after going through the customary rituals of 'jhad-phuk' and couple of visits to other hospitals. We had to intubate her within minutes of her arrival . . . She continues to be on the ventilator. To make matters worse, she has a bad ischaemia of the site of the bite - Right middle finger - which most probably needs amputation. The only adult patient now in the ACU.
Bed Nos. 5: 16 year old boy, who was bitten by a krait on 2nd of August. He has also been on the ventilator since admission. Dr. Roshine plans to take him off the ventilator sometime later today.
Bed Nos. 6: 10 year girl, BK, admitted today morning with the history of fever since 8 days, headache and vomitting since 3 days and couple of episodes of seizures since yesterday. Lumbar puncture is suggestive of a tuberculous meningitis.
So, 4 out of 6 patients in ACU are children, another one is a teenager. That provides the answer to the prospective pediatrician . . .
The things to be thanked for . . . all the 6 patients are sick and it was such a relief to see all of them hooked onto multipara monitors. Thanks to all those who helped us to get to this state of affairs. 6 multipara monitors, 1 full fledged ventilator, 2 anesthesia ventilators, 2 syringe pumps . . .
The sad thing was to see little AA being manually ventilated . . . However, you know, there are no ventilators of any type other than those we have for a radius of almost 150-200 kilometers.
Of course, many more things to be done before it would become a full fledged ICU . . . more on that in the next post . . .