Acute Gastroenteritis in Babies
An 11-month-old infant was brought to the casualty of Ovum hospitals with complaints of more than 15 episodes of loose motion and 4-5 episodes of vomiting on the same day. The child was feeling weak and was not able to consume any food. This was a critical condition and required the expert attention of Ovum Hospitals’ pediatric team.
Gastroenteritis is the infection of the gastrointestinal system where the stomach and intestines are inflamed and irritated. Bacteria and virus most often cause this. The prevalence of Gastroenteritis affects kids and infants as well, especially with the monsoon upon us.
It is easy to identify gastroenteritis by its 4 typical symptoms that occur individually or in combination–
- Loose motions or watery diarrhea
- Stomach cramps
Ovum’s pediatrician examined the child and determined that the baby was severely dehydrated and appeared pale with dry mouth and skin.
Dehydration in children is very common and if ignored, can be life-threatening.
The following 5 signs can easily identify it:
- Fewer episodes of urination (look for dry diapers)
- Excessive thirst, dry mouth, tongue and skin
- Fast heart beat
- Sunken eyes and grey skin
- For infants – sunken soft spot (frontonelle) on the head
“Dr. Narendra and Dr. Janice were really helpful in extending their hand in this critical condition. Ovum Hospitals has good expertise in treating the right way”- parents of the child.
The good news is these symptoms can be prevented, identified early and be treated using locally available sources. Drugs are avoided in children < 5 years and treatment is aimed at prevention of dehydration by providing Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS).
What is ORS?
ORS is a solution made from a mixture of salts, sugar and water in a proportion that will facilitate replacements of these electrolytes in the body. This solution is absorbed effectively even when the child has severe vomiting or diarrhea. ORS is very effective in the first 4 hours of onset of diarrhea.
The infant had to be brought to the hospital as she was unable to receive the initial preventive care. Examination by Ovum’s team of pediatricians and nursing staff revealed the child was having high heart rate, low pulse volume and low blood pressure which are indicative of shock and required immediate medical intervention.
You should visit your doctor for acute gastroenteritis when:
- Child is < 6 months of age
- Has blood in his/her stools or vomit
- Stomach pain is increasing
- Very high fever ( > 38.5 degree centigrade)
- Has developed frank symptoms of dehydration.
The baby was investigated for blood electrolytes, which showed high blood sodium and treatment was initiated in the casualty with intravenous fluids aimed at replacing the water and electrolytes. The girl child was discharged as she recovered from a shock condition to normalcy within 3 days.
“Very friendly and communicative in explaining each and every bit of the complication. They patiently answered all our questions and concerns” – were the words of relief from the parents.
Ovum Hospitals’ expert pediatricians also interacted with the parents on how to avoid this in future with the below preventive measures:
- Get the child vaccinated for Rota Virus Infection
- Wash hands – both parents and child. Wash hands for 20 seconds with any soap with extra focus on under-nails and web-spaces. Practice before food and after defecation.
- Avoid consuming food from outside (street foods) – especially in monsoon
- Wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them raw – do not accept cut or peeled fruits.
- Check your kid’s school and childcare center for proper hygiene. Make sure they have separate rooms for preparing food and changing diapers.
“Thanks OVUM for giving back my baby’s health” – parting words of the parents.
Ovum Hospitals believes in working not just on the medical condition, but also in catering emotional support to the patient while imparting transparency and assurance to patient’s attendants.
The most important reason why our patients recommend our hospital is “CARE”