Archive for October, 2009

H1N1 Swine Flu – National Emergency

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

The president just declared the H1N1 (Swine Flu) situation as a National Emergency.  My experience with H1N1 has been mixed so far and I am curious to see how this announcement affects things.

My 4 year-old Caden tested positive for H1N1 in August.  He subsequently spent 6 nights in the hospital with pneumonia. Since then he has never really shaken the pneumonia and is on oxygen at home (o2 only when sleeping) after another 6 more nights at the Medical University of South Carolina this past week for pneumonia.  His flu test was negative this time. Since August we have had him in and out of the pediatrician’s office and the emergency room with high fevers and trouble breathing.

During one emergency room visit the nurse caring for my son began to “educate” me on H1N1.  The nurse tried to convince me of how much more dangerous this flu was for children.  I asked her if she had actually read any of the statistics and she said she had not.  I went on to explain that the majority of deaths were in the young adults age range.  Children and elderly were actually fairing the best in this strain of flu.  She seemed a little shocked because that was not what she had heard.  I suggested that she take a look at the CDC statistics for herself rather than going off of what she was being told.

Today my wife ran into a nurse from my son’s pediatrician’s office.  The nurse asked if we were going to the H1N1 shot.  My wife responded by saying that we had some concerns.  The nurse then said that every staff member in the practice had declined the shot for the same reason.

During our hospital stay this week our son was put on contact precautions.  This meant that every person who entered his room had to wear a disposable gown, gloves, and of course a mask.  This was even after my son tested negative for everything contagious that they tested him for.  The staff said it was hospital policy for any person coming in with respiratory problems.

The moral of this story is that there are some serious inconsistencies in messages depending on where you go even within the medical community.  How will things change with the announcement of the National Emergency for H1N1?

Also posted on my Wellsphere Page