6 Alabama kids were on life support with flu - page 3

These were otherwise healthy children who came down with a severe strain of seasonal flu. The original link to the local news is included but takes forever to load so that I decided to use a link... Read More

  1. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Our kiddie from last year, well we didn't mask as a rule with him. He was intubated the entire time he was with us; we use inline suction so the only time the circuit was open was if he needed really aggressive suctioning, then we wore regular isolation masks. Our droplet and contact precautions stipulate masks only when within one meter of the patient or if contact with infectious matter is anticipated. I can't remember anyone getting sick after working with him. I know they aren't routinely masking with our big girl right now either. It's odd that no one else in her family is ill.

    We have a supply of N95 masks in a variety of sizes and are fit-tested every year to make sure we have protection. My face seems to change shape year-to-year, so I have to refer to the sticker the infection control people put on my ID card to make sure I have the right one! and of course it's not a "usual" size so they're not kept handy in the unit, but in a storage room. The alst kid I wore one for was a suspected TB, turned out to be plain old RSV, but an atypical presentation.
  2. by   oramar
    Quote from janfrn
    Our staffing levels are so tight that one ECMO patient strains us to the limit at times.
    This is one scary statement. Your health service better start working some flexibility into the program.
  3. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Quote from oramar
    This is one scary statement. Your health service better start working some flexibility into the program.
    Preaching to the choir, honey!! I've just fired off a long and detailed letter to our local union president. I'm thinking I should be going to the BON too...
  4. by   indigo girl
    Quote from janfrn
    Preaching to the choir, honey!! I've just fired off a long and detailed letter to our local union president. I'm thinking I should be going to the BON too...
    You go, girl!


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    BTW, here is another poor little kid from Florida, just 9 years old, my gosh:
    http://www.sptimes.com/2007/01/05/Ta...r_death_.shtml

    Unclear if any prior existing conditions. Maybe it depends on the viral loading dose at exposure. Which viral subtype is it?
  5. by   indigo girl
    Houston, we have a problem.

    Speaking of Tamifu, the time between the onset of symptoms and the administration of the anti-viral is of prime importance in virulent influenza.

    I just found out that Tamiflu treatment began within 24 hours of symptoms for the 15 year old that died in Egypt last month of H5N1...
    The failure is not dose related. It has to do with the viral sequences, and what this particular strain has acquired presumably through recombination.

    Now I understand the urgency to fund research into more antivirals like the parenteral one that the company in Birmingham is developing. They were given 1.2 million to help with this effort. Let us hope that they are successful.
    Birmingham firm gets $1.2 million contract for bird flu treatment - Tuscaloosa
    Last edit by indigo girl on Jan 10, '07
  6. by   indigo girl
    Another pediatric flu fatality, this time in NY, a ten year old, from influenza A with no mention of any prior existing conditions. I am guessing that this is an unusual case, but it's just a guess:

    http://www.wgrz.com/news/news_articl...?storyid=43985

    Quote from http://www.wgrz.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=43985
    The health department has advised those who came in contact with the boy to see their doctors.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Jan 10, '07
  7. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Indigo girl, I tried to find out more about our teenager as promised, but the unit was desperately short staffed, I was covering breaks for two other patients and admitting a post-op cardiac patient who came out at 1000, and the bedside nurse for the patient in question didn't know anything. About anything. I can tell you that she was successfully decannulated on Saturday and extubated on Sunday and seems to be well on her way to a full recovery. And she's no longer isolated. The attending in the unit on Monday is an ID specialist so I'm guessing she's no longer contagious. And I don't know if we ever did get the Tamiflu...

    Our other ECLS patient (RSV) was also successfully decannulated on the weekend although he remains intubated. Once they drained his pleural and pericardial effusions, bingo he was better. Imagine!

    As for your post about the newest fatality... how horrible!!
  8. by   indigo girl
    Quote from janfrn
    Indigo girl, I tried to find out more about our teenager as promised, but the unit was desperately short staffed, I was covering breaks for two other patients and admitting a post-op cardiac patient who came out at 1000, and the bedside nurse for the patient in question didn't know anything. About anything. I can tell you that she was successfully decannulated on Saturday and extubated on Sunday and seems to be well on her way to a full recovery. And she's no longer isolated. The attending in the unit on Monday is an ID specialist so I'm guessing she's no longer contagious. And I don't know if we ever did get the Tamiflu...

    Our other ECLS patient (RSV) was also successfully decannulated on the weekend although he remains intubated. Once they drained his pleural and pericardial effusions, bingo he was better. Imagine!

    As for your post about the newest fatality... how horrible!!
    I appreciate that you got back to me about this. I am glad that both kids appear to be doing better.
  9. by   cactus wren
    I find this kinda interesting;
    Authorities aren't releasing the boy's name.
    The health department has advised those who came in contact with the boy to see their doctors.

    Now we know where that wacky psychic went to. How can the contacts report if they don`t know the name?
    Nothing to see here, move along....
  10. by   gr8greens
    Quote from cactus wren
    I find this kinda interesting;
    Authorities aren't releasing the boy's name.
    The health department has advised those who came in contact with the boy to see their doctors.

    Now we know where that wacky psychic went to. How can the contacts report if they don`t know the name?
    Nothing to see here, move along....

    I was thinking the same thing. We are all aware of HIPPA and the limits it places on people.....and as I was told in another forum....the local health dep't was handling the necessary contacts. That doesn't comfort me much. The child probably was in contact with more children the family is unaware of.
  11. by   indigo girl
    There is a major pandemic flu conference given by CIDRAP in Orlando, Florida in Feb 2007 at which many famous names are speaking or attending. The reason I mention this in this thread is because I noticed that one of these speakers is likely to know something about these cases in Alabama. I would be willing to bet, that these cases WILL be discussed. It is too good an opportunity to miss. This man should be prepared, because I am not the only one who is looking for answers to these very puzzling cases.

    https://programs.regweb.com/metro/ci...fm?page=agenda

    Look who he is:

    Richard Whitley, MD
    Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology and Medicine
    Director, Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infections
    University of Alabama at Birmingham

    Do you think he knows anything? I bet he does!
    Last edit by indigo girl on Jan 11, '07
  12. by   nurs4kids
    Indigo,
    I work at the hospital in B'ham and to my knowledge, there are no hidden answers. Granted, I do not work in PI, but my friends do. These are healthy children who are getting sick QUICK. We've been swamped with RSV, I can't help but wonder if the two are exacerbating one another. I do suspect they figured out something b/c the later dx'd cases recovered quicker than the initial ones. The first child to end up on ECMO has a relative that works with me, so her case is well known. I'm nervous about HIPPA, so I will not go into detail.

    Dr. Whitley is excellent and I agree, he probably has answers.

    The week before Christmas, I took my son to the pediatrician for mycoplasma. The doc said they'd dx'd 6 flu that morning alone. My son is autistic and although both children are utd on immunizations, I'm scared to death to get their flu shot b/c it contains thermerasol. I'm also scared not to get them immunized since both me and hubby work in the hospital. I'm going on prayer at the time..lol.
  13. by   indigo girl
    Quote from nurs4kids
    Indigo,
    I work at the hospital in B'ham and to my knowledge, there are no hidden answers. Granted, I do not work in PI, but my friends do. These are healthy children who are getting sick QUICK. We've been swamped with RSV, I can't help but wonder if the two are exacerbating one another. I do suspect they figured out something b/c the later dx'd cases recovered quicker than the initial ones. The first child to end up on ECMO has a relative that works with me, so her case is well known. I'm nervous about HIPPA, so I will not go into detail.

    Dr. Whitley is excellent and I agree, he probably has answers.

    The week before Christmas, I took my son to the pediatrician for mycoplasma. The doc said they'd dx'd 6 flu that morning alone. My son is autistic and although both children are utd on immunizations, I'm scared to death to get their flu shot b/c it contains thermerasol. I'm also scared not to get them immunized since both me and hubby work in the hospital. I'm going on prayer at the time..lol.
    I can certainly understand if there is a co-infection with another virus or a prior existing condition. But, we don't know that. We only know that the docs were saying that these kids were otherwise healthy, and they seemed puzzled and concerned about this. Something is not adding up.

    FluMist does not contain the ingredient that you are concerned about. But, there may be other risks. Ask your doc.

    I would love to talk to Dr. Whitley. I am writing up a list of questions during my daily commute to work. Poor guy, I hope that he is ready...

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