A Night in A&E


Last night saw us rushing to A&E as Alexander, aged 14 months experienced episodes where he was struggling for breath. As you can imagine, it was an alarming, stressful time for my husband and I. Alexander had already been seen twice by the GP yesterday, once in the morning with a 39.9 degree temperature and then at 5pm with worsening flu like symptoms.

They recommended to keep a close eye on him as children’s conditions can escalate quickly but thought it was simply a viral infection he needed to fight.

I lay next to him whiles he slept at 8pm and checked on him again at 11pm. He suddenly awoke in pain and it was then I noticed he appeared to be gasping sporadically; his breathing sounded deep and uncomfortable. We immediately headed to A&E.

The instant we arrived, Alexander began coughing a course bark-like cough and was promptly diagnosed with croup. I cried with relief that we’d finally got an answer on why he was so unwell.

As the cough had literally started as we entered A&E and is the only indicator of croup, it was no surprise the GP’s hadn’t been able to establish this earlier.

Generally by day, the symptoms are simply cold like but by night, cough and breathing symptoms become worse. I was aware of the condition but like the professionals, had assumed he simply had a cold, especially as the cough wasn’t distinctive.

Croup is an infection of the larynx (voice box) and trachea (windpipe), the upper and lower parts of the breathing tube that connects the mouth to the top of the lungs. The usual cause of croup is a viral infection and several viruses can cause it. It commonly affects children between 1-3.

We were actually informed by the hospital staff that six other children had been admitted the night before with the same condition, many arriving by ambulance and that we’d done the right thing to come in so quickly.

It goes to show, if you feel your child is unwell, (even if you’ve seen the Dr earlier) you must go with your gut and never think twice about turning up at A&E.

Alexander was given steroid medication to reduce inflammation which went to work quickly, reducing the severity of his breathing symptoms along with ibuprofen for his temperature. Within half an hour, he started to feel better. Alexander was observed for several hours after that in a pretty fish themed room with changing lights and ocean murals, such a happy place for a poorly little chap. Thank you the NHS.

As you can see above, Alexander is a lot better today. Sleeping on Mummy’s chest for several hours and even mustering up the energy to play (mostly with the lime green sink plunger-kids huh)  he’s thankfully on the mend and getting back to his happy, smiley little self.

What a night.

Think it will be early to bed for us all tonight.

Has your child had croup?

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