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Lost it tonight when granddaughter choked on candy

Specializes in Home Health.

With 26 years of nursing, countless numbers of CPR certifications, ACLS and PALS, experience in PACU, PEDS and NICU, I absolutely lost it tonight when my 6 year old granddaughter got a piece of hard candy stuck in her esophagus. I first thought it was in her airway, but realized she answered my question about what it was she swallowed. She was panicked, sticking her hand as far back in her throat as she could and gasping and screaming. I yelled for my husband to call 911 and he ran to bathroom where we were and saw she was breathing okay, but very panicked, clutching at her throat and chest (I imagine the stuck candy hurt). She finally vomited a few time and on the last up came the chunk of candy. She was absolutely panicked with pupils fully dilated in bright light. I was completely freaked out, screaming like a maniac.

Our emotional investment in our families really does impact our ability to react in a trauma situation. I would not have been able to care for a pet rock during that time. I do think if she had an occluded airway I would have reacted appropriately, at least I hope I would have been able to. My husband is CPR cert, so he could have stepped in. My granddaughter's mom (my daughter) said you'd never know I was a nurse, lol. Grammie first, nurse second!


Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty.

I'm sure you would've reacted appropriately had her airway been occluded but I am sooooo grateful she's OK . . . things like this make us really really realize how precious and fragile life is. . . (isabellle49) hugs :redpinkhe

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

I hear ya, Isabelle......The night my second grandson was born, we almost lost the first.

We'd just lost his uncle to esophageal CA only the day before, so the celebration of birth was somewhat tempered by the mental images of a weary warrior laying down his arms, just as a new 'soldier' met him on the pathway of life.

Eli was barely 19 months old when his baby brother came into the world via crash Cesarean section; not to be upstaged, he decided to try out some anaphylaxis, and then proceded to a full-blown seizure in his dad's car on the way home from the hospital. Back to the ER they came, Dad undoubtedly driving like the hounds of Hell were after them. I was still with my daughter as she was nursing the baby, when my husband ran into the room and told us that Eli was downstairs in the ER.

Her OB nurse and I popped her into a wheelchair and whisked her away so she could be at Eli's side as Grandpa watched over the little 'un. Almost immediately I wished we hadn't, because Eli was semi-conscious and he looked awful---he had broken out in huge, blotchy hives (we found out later he was allergic to milk) and his airway was also trying to close up. We had no idea what had caused the seizure, but his condition looked pretty critical so Life Flight was called to fly him to a specialty children's hospital 70 miles away.

Needless to say, his Mamma was nearly hysterical, and Grandma wasn't much better! My heart literally dropped into the pit of my stomach at the sight of him, because his color was bad in between the hives, and he was fighting for every breath, which I knew didn't bode well. But God is good, and evidently He figured we'd all been through enough for a while because Eli turned out fine, and so did the baby and Mamma and Daddy and Grandpa and Grandma. He's still got a mad milk allergy, and he and Cale fight like cats and dogs, but he's growing up fast......and the night he nearly died is now (thankfully) only a memory. :redbeathe


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