Mum shares how she lost her 'healthy toddler' to severe pneumonia
Nearly a million kids die of pneumonia each year. Here's what parents should know about this fatal but preventable condition.
In 2015, 920,136 kids under the age of 5 died because of pneumonia. It remains to be "the single largest infectious cause of death in children worldwide," reports WHO (World Health Organization).
Princess Pagud's baby was one of those lost to the infectious disease.
The Filipino mum left a comment on our Facebook page, sharing how she lost her 2-year-old a year ago due to severe pneumonia. We decided to reach out to her, wanting to show parents how important it is to be aware of this fatal but preventable condition.
Princess confided to theAsianparent about what exactly happened to her precious baby and how the tragedy could have been avoided.
"My baby was healthy. She had fever for two days and I was going to bring her to the doctor the next morning, but she started vomiting at midnight so we brought her to the hospital immediately", she recalled.
When they got to the hospital (in Philippines), the medical staff hooked her baby to an IV, through which they gave her a medication to stop severe vomiting.
The next day, around noon, her baby started throwing up again. The medication didn't work...
The next day, around noon, her baby started throwing up again. The medication didn't work. She had asked for help, but there was only one nurse on duty as most of the staff had left to attend a Christmas party.
"We were calling out for help but no one helped us. I had to carry my child all the way to the emergency room because the doctors were there and we were in a ward," she said, adding how her baby was struggling to breathe.
The only nurse on duty hooked her baby to a nebuliser, but it was too late. She recalls screaming for help, but they couldn't save her baby.
Her baby, who she describes was perfectly healthy, had died because her lungs had filled up with phlegm, making it impossible for her to breathe.
"I wanted to clarify everything that's why I asked for her abstract records and consulted other doctors. I found out that there was really negligence on the part of my baby's doctors. I was told she should have had several tests and should have been given anti bacterial medicines", she lamented.
Princess did not disclose the name of the institution and we cannot verify if there was indeed negligence. We would like to extend our sympathies to Princess and her family.
How can pneumonia be prevented?
- The cause of pneumonia can either be fungi, bacterial, or viral.
- It can be prevented through vaccination, proper nutrition, and through providing the proper environment: avoiding pollution and practicing good hygiene.
- Exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life has also been found to help.
- If the cause of the condition is bacterial in nature, it can be treated with antibiotics. Sadly, only 1/3 of children diagnosed with pneumonia receive the needed antibiotics.
How to know if your child might be developing pneumonia
Normally, pneumonia begins as a mild cough or sore throat, much like other respiratory infections.
- fever (usually above 101°F/38.5°C)
- rapid breathing
- difficulty breathing
- chest or abdominal pain
- poor appetite
However, it's important for parents to know that there is a type of pneumonia, or what is known as Walking Pneumonia, that is so mild and subtle that those who have it barely show any symptoms. Though not easily detected, it can be treated with antibiotics.
*Republished with permission from theAsianparent Philippines