First Emergency Room Visit in Middle of the Night

Gus woke up at 2am last night with 103 degree temperature. It’s funny because I had just been talking with people at dinner about how cancer can sometimes be killed off by a temperature of 104 – 107 but that there was an issue of brain damage at those levels. So you can imagine the scene here at the orchard with both new parents of only child running around with our arms above our heads, leaving on all the lights and driving way too fast on the freeway.

Only to arrive to a very calm and slow check-in desk (even though there were no other patients to be seen). They were apparently not so worried about 103. And, of course, by the time we got back to the room and took the official temp, it had fallen to 101. Whew. I’m sure you can imagine the thoughts that were racing through my head on the way there. He was so hot and miserable and then, worse, quiet.



And by the time we were ready to go, he was ready for a nice stroll around the place (note the clock on the wall)


He’s feeling much better today but still pretty clingy. Just wants to hug all the time. Damn. Don’t you just hate that?

18 thoughts on “First Emergency Room Visit in Middle of the Night

  1. I’m glad he’s feeling better. And having taken Madeleine to the dr. when any idiot could see she was probably fine, I have to say, better safe than sorry!! Anything over 102 is kind of scary in a baby. Not looking forward to going through that….Is it flu? or could they really tell you what was going on?

  2. Just a fever -not bacterial. He’s still grumpy but that’s the only real sign that he’s sick. I should probably say that when I was taking his temperature that night, it went from 100 to 101 to 102 to 103 one measurement after the other. Also our Dr’s after hours line was busy. So we jumped in the car just in case it kept rising. Oh, and Hood River. It’s about 15 minutes closer. : )

  3. I’m not at all trying to be a smart aleck (as if I have to TRY to do that) but what did you guys learn from this? What do you think your response will be next time he has a highish temp?

  4. What we learned: The doctor told us not to worry so much about temperature but to look at how Gus is acting overall. If he’s at all perky or crying, then he’s probably fine. That said, he also told us to aggressively treat temperatures over 101.5 (38.5) using cool baths and paracetamol. We’re also looking into a children’s version of ibuprofen since Charles found that there is a question about the use of paracetamol in children associated with an increased risk of developing asthma.

  5. It’s so scary when your baby is sick and you don’t know what to do! I have two books that give great advise about when to worry and what is normal. (sick normal) First is “Taking Care of your Child” by Pantell, Fries and Vickery M.D.s. Second is “Caring for Your Baby and Young Child” birth to age 5 by The American Academy of Pediatrics. You might consider checking the used book store. They are both easy to find used. Hope you are able to rest today and that Gus is feeling better!!! 🙁

  6. Oh, Em! I am sorry to hear about your night! We’ve been there! I am glad he is doing better. I know how scary that is- especially in the middle of the night.

  7. Paracetamol? Is that the new Tylenol/aceteminophen?

    The cool baths are not much fun for the kid but pretty effective. And, interesting that the doc said to be aggressive with temps over 101.5.

    Yes, and how is Gustopher today? And you and Charles?

    Today is Gianna’s third birthday!!!

  8. Yikes! We’ve never had the middle of the night scare, thankfully. We have had good luck with cool washclothes and if necessary a little children’s tylenol with a high fever. Hope he’s feeling better…

  9. Oh wow. So sorry to hear. But glad Gus was in the mood to walk about at 4am. That must have been a huge relief!

  10. The risk of asthma is approx. the same whether you’re giving ibuprofen or acetaminophen (according to a couple of studies I’ve read). I wouldn’t worry about it. No matter what medication you choose (between those two), you will find possible side effects (kidney or liver issues, as well as the potential for asthma). Whether you’re a child or adult, with a lot of meds you’re going to run the risk of side effects. As long as you’re not using it daily (or frequently), I would continue with the tylenol (this is coming from a *vet* not a human dr obviously :). Given that it’s the only medication I was told to use for headaches, etc. when I was pregnant, I would suspect (not having done a lot of research) that it is probably safer than ibuprofen. They’re all NSAIDS, they just act a little differently biologically….But they’re all NSAIDS regardless

  11. For what it’s worth, when my kids were little, they both had a tendency to run high fevers (Brian had 107 (!!) with the mumps, and Dianne had 105 with a reaction to smallpox vaccination.) This was the old days, early 60’s when doctors were still recommending baby aspirin for fevers (not sure paracetamols had been invented then) and cool baths. Must have been OK, both ‘kids’ are now in their middle 40’s, and still kickin’. Gus is making great ‘arrrrs’ so whatever you did seems to have worked really well.

  12. sorry to hear – must have been very scary. emergency depts are great for babies (or parents of..) we’ve only done it on a sunday afternoon and late one night after a particularly bad fall out of bed, so far managed to avoid the 2am thing.

    the first time we went they tried to give daniella panadol and she REALLY didn’t want it – so much that she threw it all up immediately, poor thing! so now we stick to infant nurofen if needed.

    for what its worth my dr told me that the latest research indicates we should avoid panadol for a month either side of vaccinations (it keeps the mercury in longer or something?) and in that instance she would suggest nurofen. i’m still too chicken to go there but thats another story..

    loving the grrr’s too!

  13. I’m surprised the doc recommended nurofen. It has codeine in it. I didn’t think that was supposed to be safe for infants?

  14. yes, she said that she was surprised herself but in this instance its what she’d recommend now at that time. also to rub cod liver oil all over them every day for a week or two before and after, it was called nordic naturals and smelt of orange…Craig still hated it though!

    we dont have any option but the nurofen as the panadol makes her vomit – what are the issues with codeine? i try and avoid all this stuff usually but its another of those things that having a baby has changed!

  15. Mostly respiratory depression, but it can also cause kidney issues, but it sounds like only the cold/flu nurofen has it. Maybe the only thing in it is ibuprofen? Not sure since I don’t know if we have it in the States. And the more I read about codeine, the more it seemed there was an infant dose, but it’s not commonly used. When used, it’s for suppressing cough.

    I think, regardless, all of the fever reducers (ibuprofen, acetom, etc.) have similar side effects. Ibuprofen has a longer duration of action and perhaps a quicker time to effect. They are all “safe” medications and the upsides far outweight the downsides, esp. because the downsides are relatively rare. As long as they’re not used daily for days or weeks on end, there shouldn’t be an issue, unless, of course, the child is sensitive to it. I had a boyfriend who was “allergic” to anaprox/naproxin/aleve, whatever you want to call it. Then all bets would be off.

    I’m not sure what rubbing the cold liver oil on the skin would do (is it just at the vaccine site?). The better effect would be taken orally, but I know you have to be careful with dosing in an infant. Too easy to overdose. Even a natural product can be dangerous when too much is given.

    Also Ibuprofen would have the same effect on the glutathione, which is what clears mercury from the system. So again, I’m not sure why the doc would have you give that over panadol. But I’m not a human doc.

  16. wow, Amanda – thats really impressive!

    yes i think it is only ibruprofen

    re the cod liver oil, it was all over – i guess so the skin would better absorb it? – she was only 3 or 4 months when we got that advice so i guess these days she could take it orally if needed

    very handy knowledge to have 🙂

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