The mother hovered nervously by our sides as we examined her little baby. His vital signs didn't seem to be too out of the ordinary, but the little guy was running a fever and his heart was beating a mite too fast for our liking. He was also pale and rather listless, clear indicators that he wsn't feeling good.
Little Nathaniel+ was ten months old, and up to this point, had enjoyed good health. Then earlier today, he vomited, not once, but several times. When he vomited what appeared to be bright red blood, not once, but twice, I told the mother to bring the baby in to the E.R., so we could have a look at him.
The baby turned his head when we shined lights into his big, blue eyes, and he squirmed when we felt his tummy and listened to his heart and lungs. He cried weakly when we checked his ears and tried to take blood from a chubby little arm. HIs breathing rate was good, maybe a little fast, but at least he wasn't struggling for air.
When we got the test results back, it was confirmed that he had a nasty stomach bug. Apparently he'd thrown up so hard he burst some blood vessels in his stomach; this was what caused the blood stains in his vomitus. Nothing too terribly serious, but certainly enough to scare the daylights out of poor mamma. We could treat him by giving him something (via IV) to stop the nausea (as well as some antibiotics) and to let him rest; he'd already been through enough.
The mother looked relieved when we told her that Nathaniel would be okay. It wasn't as bad as we first feared; it looked a lot worse than it was. Soon, her little guy was sleeping peacefully after we'd inserted the IV into his arm; he would probably spend overnight in the pediatric wing of the hospital, and would then be released in the morning.
After the baby was taken out of the ER by his mother, I looked heavenward and whispered a prayer of thanksgiving. I was so relieved that the baby would be okay after one night in the hospital; he would then be released, where he would continue his recovery at home.
Thank God for small favors!
+Not infant's real name.