I found myself in a rather difficult spot, when having to deal with a medical emergency at home. It started when I’d said no to one of the older boys, after wanting a bar of chocolate so near tea. I’d said no for a reason. (He’d not want his tea and I had suggested a piece of fruit instead) However, he decided to storm off and went upstairs. What I didn’t know, was that he knew that another one of the boys had a Fruit and Nut bar in his bedroom. The boy who originally had stashed the Fruit and Nut bar away should of known better, as the kids know anything with nuts is banned from the house.
So this older boy had heard one of the other boys walking up the stairs, so he ran into the bathroom, locked himself in and began eating the bar of chocolate. Of course, he began to go into a allergic reaction and was unable to reach the emergency cords we have in the bathrooms. (We have this, because we have 2 boys who are disabled and the cords allow them to call for help.) He was slumped behind the door and unable to breathe, within minutes his airway will have closed up.
At this time, one of the other boys wanted the toilet, so he went to the 1st floor bathroom. Finding the door locked and the downstairs toilet engaged, he began hammering on the door. I came up to see what the noise was about and knocked on the door to the loo, to see if whoever was inside was OK. Getting no response, I used a 10p to release the lock, but was unable to open the door, due to boy slumped behind the door. Knowing that something was very wrong, I held the door as far as it would open and got one of the younger kids to slip through the gap. When I got told who was behind the door and that there was a bar of Fruit and Nut on the floor and this boy wasn’t moving. I asked if the person behind the door was breathing, (by placing his hand in front of his mouth) sadly he wasn’t. The boy in question could not pull him away from the door, so I told one of the boys to run downstairs to the kitchen, call an ambulance by dialing 9-999 and stating that there is a casualty with anaphylaxis and his Foster Dad was trying to get into the bathroom, to help him.
meanwhile, I had run into our bedroom and gone to the locked box we keep in our wardrobe, which has the kids meds for during the night and grabbed the spare Epi-Pen. (It saves walking down to the Laundry Room, unlocking the cupboard to get the meds and walk all the way back up again at 4am!)
An Epi-Pen btw, is a emergency injector of Adrenaline, used to reverse an anaphylactic reaction.
I opened the bathroom window on our ensuite and climbed out onto the roof of the kitchen. Carefully walking between the pitched part of the roof and the wall, made my way to the bathroom window. I told the other boy to turn away from the window and stand back. I then used a loose slate and broke the glass. I Was able to administer adrenaline and move him away from the door, for when the paramedics arrived. I also performed CPR, until
Jenny went with him to A&E, where he has recovered from the reaction and may be home later. Meanwhile, while all this was going on, one of the boys got on their bikes and cycled down to school, (using the alleyway that runs down the side of the house and down the side of the fields) to fetch Sam. (Who was preparing for his Aikido lesson.
The boys have had a good talking to about nuts not being allowed in the house, (especially chocolate with nuts in it) as well as the consequences of nut products being bought into the house. (IE: severe allergic reactions) What Sam and I have done, is to setup a nut ammunansty. There is a bin outside the office, which the kids can dump anything with nuts in, with no questions asked.
First Aid for Anaphylaxis Emergencies
- First, loosen the casualties shirt collar and if he or she is wearing a tie, loosen that too. While you do this,
- Ask a bystander to immateriality call an ambulance, (DIAL 999 OR 112 FROM THE NEAREST TELEPHONE) stating that the casualty is in anaphylaxis.
- inject the casualty with their auto injector (Epi-Pen) – push it firmly into their thigh until it clicks. Hold for 10 seconds. (The auto injector can be jabbed through clothing)
- If the casualty is not breathing, place he or she on their back and perform CPR. (Rescue Breaths will not work, as the airway is normally restricted, so perform Chest Compressions only) – Push hard and push fast, to the beat of Staying Alive By The Beegees)
- Once breathing again, place in the recovery position and closely monitor his or her breathing. If the casualty stops breathing, put them on their back again and begin CPR
- Show the Ambulance crew what allergen the Casualty has come into contact with, if possible.