Urgent Care Situations for a Sick or Injured Child

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 20,701
    Robin Vick, Assistant Director of Nursing at Continuum Pediatric Nursing Services, discusses some urgent situations for a sick or injured child and how to manage them.

    Robin Vick: Hi, my name is Robin Vick. I am Assistant Director of Nursing at Continuum Pediatric Nursing Services and I want to talk with you about some urgent situations and how to manage them.

    Host: What types of child injuries are considered "urgent situations?

    "Robin Vick: The first is bleeding. If you have a wound, that does not stop bleeding within 15 minutes of continuous pressure, that child needs to be seen by the emergency room or the doctor's office. Blood loss is a significant worry and it needs to be assessed by the healthcare team. It is one situation that I want to talk to you about that is absolutely you should never do and that is apply tourniquet. If you think of the body as a system of networking blood vessels, the body needs to be able to circulate that blood through the veins and the arteries.

    If you've got a wound -- and extending to the arm or the leg, you should always apply firm pressure, but not a tourniquet. A tourniquet will close off the ability body to circulate fluids to the rest of that arm or leg and will actually prevent oxygen and circulation from flowing, which will cause more harm than good. So firm pressure in all wound care is very, very important.

    Other potential injuries that can be very urgent situation of all or harm to the child, that creates significant pain, if let's say a limb is swollen and it is painful, the child should be seen by the physician. Any swelling or obviously, is obvious in the limb as a result of a fall or an injury requires to need an attention. Right pairing is also something that a parent should evaluate. If the child has twisted his or her ankle or wrist or whatever, the doctor needs to look at that to see if anything is broken, if a tendon has been torn and how to manage it. There are some circumstances where an urgent situation can want a caution on one length and by that I mean if you are a mom or a dad or a caregiver and you see a child who has a wound maybe, he talked about cuts that weren't responding to 15 minutes of pressure, if you feel in your judgment that you are unable to safely take the child to the emergency room or take the child to the doctor's office, it's perfectly okay and you should call 911.

    We want you to be able to say, "With my situation, I am not going to be able to safely transport this child and I need help," and you can call 911 and say that, you have a child who has a wound or say that's not responding to pressure and you need help to transport him or you have a child who has a rash that's professing and you don't feel that you have the ability to transport the child safely, call them up for help. That's what they are there for.