How to: save a baby, Part II

Continuing my series on first aid for babies…

Burns

My worst nightmare – dropping my cup of tea on Elphie. Especially given my track record, she’d only been in my arms five seconds in the hospital when I managed to drop my entire cup of water on her.

Interestingly another video I watched told you to apply the cling film lengthways along the burn i.e. if the burn was on the arm then you would roll the clingfilm down the arm rather than across it. No idea what properties the length of clingfilm has which is different to it width-ways!

Bleeding

I like the idea of gravity lending a hand if you move the wounded limb above the heart!

Obviously babies don’t have a lot of blood. By my calculations (using the University of Michigan Medical School tables for infant blood volume) Elphie has less than a pint of blood at the moment, so any loss could be significant.

Shock

A side effect of severe bleeding (either external or internal) can be that the baby goes into shock. This sounds less troubling than it is, as hypovolemic shock basically means the circulatory system is not providing enough oxygen via the blood, for example, if some of said blood is making a puddle on the floor. Oxygen not reaching your organs is not great and hence this can result in death. The following article from Nielsen Hayden describes the various stages of shock and what to do in each, but the Cliff Notes version from Dear Nurses shows you the symptoms and treatment for hypovolemic shock:
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Although an interesting caveat from Wikipedia is:
“Note that in children, compensation can result in an artificially high blood pressure despite hypovolemia. Children will typically compensate (maintain blood pressure despite loss of blood volume) for a longer period than adults, but will deteriorate rapidly and severely once they do begin to decompensate. This is another reason (aside from initial lower blood volume) that even the possibility of internal bleeding in children should almost always be treated aggressively.”

In any case, I reckon I would be getting myself and herself to A&E sharpish if anything like this happened! In the meantime, I think tea will be drunk with her at a distance.

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