From the category archives:

Stay out of my ER!

There is currently a major national recall of window blinds due to several strangulation deaths of  children. Apparently many of these blinds were sold at IKEA.


I personally have never seen a child who was strangled on a window shade or blind before, but I have to say I am sensitive to the issue. 


As a resident, I was in the ER when a 3 year old girl was brought in with choking.  She had been eating a type of candy that was kind of like a big gummy bear.



Unfortunately, by the time she was brought in to the ER, she was unconscious, and had been without adequate air for about 20 minutes.  We were able to get a tube down her airway, and pull out the candy, but she was brain dead by that time. 


That case made me re-think my entire career. 


The look on her father’s face still haunts me.


I’m curious if anyone has any stories of other choking hazards, and specifically problems with window shades or blinds.



Well, it’s that time of year again – October 31st is always an interesting evening in the ER.
I would like to offer this tip to avoid Halloween turning into a true nightmare.
Most ER docs grow to have a healthy respect, (and fear) of peanut allergies. I have seen some truly impressive allergic reactions to peanuts, and Halloween is a particularly dangerous time for children who have these allergies.
The reason is simple. Kids love candy and want to cram as much of it as possible into their mouths, often all at once. If their parents let down their guard and allow even one candy bar with peanuts to be swallowed, the results can be very dangerous.
The last time I saw a child with a peanut allergy, it was from eating a homemade treat that had peanuts in it. The parents were not aware of this, and the boy developed severe hives and wheezing. He ended up doing well after treatment, but everybody got a scare.
If your child has allergies be sure to review this post on Epi Pens:
So please, if your child has a nut, or other food allergy, please take all the candy home for careful inspection prior to eating. Then we can all relax.
If you have a child with a peanut allergy you may find this site and check list helpful: