When you are miles and miles away from the nearest hospital, every second counts in an emergency. When the patient is your child, it becomes even more urgent that you get help right away. If you currently take your child to a pediatrician nearby, make sure the pediatrician's office provides pediatric urgent care. In emergency cases involving children and poisoning, here is how pediatric urgent care can help.
Emergency Care with No Waiting Time
Poison in a child works faster than it does in adults because their little bodies are smaller and the poison can circulate faster because of a child's rapid heart rate. When you are rushing your child to pediatric urgent care, you are providing him or her with the immediate care he or she will need to prevent death. There is no waiting time in these clinics, which could otherwise cost your child his or her life in a very busy hospital E.R.
Diminishing the Effects of the Poison
The pediatrician in an urgent care clinic can help identify the poison sooner so that your child can receive either an emetic (vomiting elixir) or powdered charcoal, which absorbs the poison in the stomach and slows the progression of the damage caused. Diminishing the effects or eliminating the poison altogether is essential within the first twenty to thirty minutes after your child accidentally ingested it. Your pediatrician may also opt to slow your child's heart rate down to prevent the poison in the blood from reaching vital organs and the brain.
Stabilizing Your Child for Transport to the Nearest Hospital
Finally, the pediatrician in this situation will do whatever possible to stabilize your child's health and well-being before making sure a transport gets your child to the nearest hospital. The pediatrician may even put in a call to get a helicopter or an ambulance from the hospital to come to the clinic for your child. The paramedics on either type of transport will check and maintain your child's well-being en route to the nearest hospital. You may or may not be allowed to ride along, so be prepared to drive the distance.
Additional Steps Taken at the Hospital
The steps taken by the pediatrician will ensure your child's well-being until he or she gets to the hospital. There, the E.R. doctors can perform blood work tests to determine the exact type of poison, if you do not know what your child ingested. While these tests are in operation, the doctor there may opt to perform a dialysis or blood transfusion to help remove some of the poison in the event that it is a very deadly and very serious poison. Otherwise, if your child seems to have stabilized and is looking better, then the doctor may just do a thorough health exam, keep your child overnight or send them home with you.