Friday, 5 October 2012

Bravo 811: Free, 24/7 Health Advice, Courtesy of Québec

What do you do in the middle of the night when your toddler starts vomiting and won't stop?  Probably it's just a messy nothing, but you never know.  A lot of serious diseases start that way.

Jeanne had that problem last night, and after a half dozen episodes of throwing up, in between which she kept asking for water, toward morning her mother called 811,  Quebec's free 24/7 health hot line, InfoSanté.  Christian, the nurse on call, walked Elin through the necessary steps.  Did Jeanne have a fever? How high? Could she move her head without complaiing? Did she have a headache? And so on.

Then he gave some excellent advice.  In effect he said, I see you live a few blocks away from a drugstore that will be open in half an hour.  Go there, get some pediatric rehydrating fluid and give it to her by the teaspoon every five minutes.  If she stops vomiting, wait an hour and then give her a cup.  If she continues to vomit or if her fever goes about 38.5 C (slightly more than 101 F) take her to an emergency room.

Glad to say that Jeanne quit vomiting by 8 a.m., and seemed to be her usual self by mid-day, if quite ready to take a nap. 

This is great front line health service.  Bravo!

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