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Newborn and Infant Care

Emergency case

05/14/2007

Question:

if a 9 month child`s nerve is not found n he is pricked 100 times wht happens to him????does he turn blue or feel cold????if he is given anasthesia will it b fine????if pus cells r deduced from the stool report,wht does tht indicate??if he is put on ventilator after being prickedby 100needleswht does it indicate?

Answer:

If this is your child or grandchild, I am very sorry that he is so ill. It must be a sad and scary time for all who love him.

It is difficult to tell you a lot without knowing more about whether the child is preterm and how old he is and what has been happening with him.  I am just really guessing about what is likely going on from what you have said about his condition.

It sounds as though the baby is gravely ill and the pin pricking was done to assess his level of consciousness and to learn whether or not he is in a coma. Severe infection impairs blood flow and therefore, the delivery of oxygen and glucose cells need to function normally, to the body cells everywhere in the body including the brain. When the brain is not receiving enough oxygen and glucose, then the body cannot respond normally by puling away from painful experiences like a pinprick. This tells the doctors that he is seriously ill.

Pus in the stool means that the baby has a bacterial infection in his intestine. This is extremely serious because it can cause the death of intestinal tissues. from what you are saying, it seems likely that the pediatric surgeon wants to remove the infected part of the intestine to prevent spread of the infection within the intestine and the body in general. Removing the infected intestine also makes it more likely that the antibiotics given to treat the infection will be successful.

To do this, the baby must receive general anesthesia so that he will not feel the pain. We know from studies of sick babies, that are less likely to die from surgery when general anesthesia is used. Pediatric anesthesia doctors understand the close monitoring and care a very ill baby needs to also receive anesthesia. If the baby has an intestinal infection, this is his best chance to survive it, although it is possible that he is so gravely ill, that his body cannot tolerate the stress of surgery.

Being blue and cold means that the baby's body is concentrating all of its efforts to pump blood to the brain and lungs and is diverting blood flow from less important parts of the body like the hands and feet. The baby needs to be on the ventilator to help him breathe because the infection is making it hard for his lungs and breathing muscles to work. The ventilator or breathing machine take over the work of breathing for a sick baby and is essential for the baby's survival.

As bad as all of this sounds, many babies have been in a similar condition and survived. Some have had few problems afterwards and some have had lifelong digestive problems.

The best information will come from the nurses and doctors caring for the baby who know all about his condition in detail that I do not. So please do talk to them and ask them for explanations that you can understand. They really do want you to understand but can forget that they need to explain things in a clearer, less technical manner.

I hope this information is helpful and that all will be well with the baby soon.  

For more information:

Go to the Newborn and Infant Care health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University