Last night, I was in a meeting with some men about building steel buildings for Haitian families. We were also talking about building the toddler house at Fort Jacques. My phone rang and it was Erin, who is in charge of the mission Thirst No More in Haiti. I told her that I was in a meeting and asked if I could call her back. She sounded flustered a little bit and she said, “Well, I have some critically babies here and I need to know what to do!”
She told me that a medical team from Thirst No More was at an orphanage in Kenscoff planning to hand out worm medicine to the children. When they arrived, they found that two babies had died already during the day and three more were in critical condition! They tried starting IV’s but had no luck. The doctor that was with them finally started giving fluids through intraosseous infusion. This is where you place a large needle through the hard part of the bone into the soft area of the bone and give fluids. It was all they could find.
We first received two of the babies only because they were trying to get the other baby stabilized before bringing her down. The little boy, Woodley, was taking sips when they arrived. He did not fight me when I first put the IV in him, but shortly there after, he pulled it out! He was vomiting and had copious amounts of green diarrhea! He started taking fluids and looks so much better today. He is 9 months old according to the orphanage worker.
Geraldine, the little girl, was critical. She was dry, malnourished, had diarrhea and vomiting, and her eyes were glazed almost. I got an IV in her without her even crying. We started giving lots of fluids and she perked up a little bit. She still is lethargic and only taking small sips of rehydration fluid along with her IV fluid. She is 9 months old according to the care giver.
Fedaline, who was 1 1/2 years old, came after the others. They got her stable enough to transport here but not enough to go to the pediatric hospital by the airport. Susan put her on oxygen as soon as she arrived. She was vomiting coffee ground substance from blood in her stomach. Her oxygen saturation stayed low even with oxygen. I think she was probably very anemic. I tried for 2 hours to get an IV in her so that we could take the intraosseous infusion out. Finally after 15 sticks, I got one in her scalp. She had been stuck so many times even before arriving that I had difficulty finding a vein. Those I did find were fragile and as soon as I put fluid on them, they infiltrated. We gave her a rapid infusion of fluid to bring up her blood pressure and she perked up a little bit. The whole time I was trying to find an vein that didn’t collapse, Susan was pushing fluids in her leg bone!
She was still vomiting old blood and having white mucous diarrhea after the IV was in. We used ice water to stop the bleeding in her stomach. She survived the night but died at 7 AM this morning. We did CPR on her thinking maybe we could get her back, but her heart just stopped.
All of the kids are being isolated because we don’t know what this is that they might have. I have a feeling it might be Guardia in their water at the orphanage, but it is hard to know. I do not think it is Cholera.
God called us to Haiti to care for children just like this. We have always had an open door policy to take in very sick children. I am very sad that we lost Fedaline, but very happy that the other two are improving.
I just received a call now from Michelle, a volunteer from last year, who is bringing newborn twins to GLA from the mission where she is working right now. Life is never dull at GLA! She also promises me that the twins are healthy and doing well! That was good to hear after the night put in last night with the three sick babies!
Posted on Fri, November 12, 2010
by Dixie Bickel