Respiratory aspiration- Avery's mom
Dear parent who has experienced the scare of a child aspirating,
Our experience began when our daughter unknowingly found a peanut on the floor and put it in her mouth. She choked on it, cutting off 100 percent of her airway. She turned purple and was unable to breathe. We called 911 and just before the ambulance arrived she was able to get a partial airway and cough up the peanut. The paramedics from our local fire station examined her and said she was ok. We took her home and I followed up with her regular pediatrician a few days later. I discussed my concern of a possible aspiration since I had researched it online after the episode. They assured me that she was ok. Her lungs were clear; she was breathing well, and there was no infection.
She continued to choke on food from that point on. It didn't matter if it was solid or liquid. She would choke a few times a day. I voiced these concerns to our pediatrician and finally, after a month, I convinced them to run a swallow study on her to find out why she kept choking.
We went in for the chest X-ray and they immediately identified the problem. The radiologist sent the report to our doctor and we were called with the news. She had a foreign body (the peanut) stuck in her lung.
We were then told to immediately take her to the emergency department to have it removed. We of course took her to Children's National because of the wonderful care they have given our son in the past.
They took her into the Emergency Department and repeated her chest X-ray. They too saw the object on the X-ray and immediately called the surgical team. They came down and spoke with us and explained that they would have to do a bronchoscopy. They explained the risks and how the procedure would be done. They scheduled her for the next morning and we were admitted to the 5th floor. The next morning we were taken to surgery. Everyone was very nice and answered all the questions we had. We waited 45 minutes as the surgery was being performed. Afterwards, and the surgeon came out to speak with us. He showed us what they had removed and how difficult it was for them to remove it. He explained that everything went well and that she was doing great. He also told us what to expect in the next few days since the lung was irritated.
We were able to see her about 20 minutes later in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). The nurse there was great as well. She stood by our side until Avery was awake and alert. She answered all of my questions and was fully aware when she had difficulty breathing. She immediately contacted the surgeon and asked to start a breathing treatment. The treatment helped a lot and she was able to return to the 5th floor after about an hour. They kept us a good portion of the day to be sure she would be ok and then we were discharged. Once again, thank you to Children's National for taking such great care of our little girl! We are forever grateful for the care you have provided to both of our children. I hope you never have to experience the need to have your child taken to the hospital, but if you do, Children's National is the place to go. There's no question about it!
Avery's Mom, Ashley