GP or A&E?

GP or A&E?

So last weekend it was drama-rama in our house !  I was upstairs putting laundry away and I heard the blood curdling intake of breath and the scream that every parent dreads.  I ran downstairs and M said to me that S had gotten his finger jammed in the front lounge door.  I dropped everything and looked at his hand, my immediate thought was they were broken.  We have big heavy swing shut fire doors in our house and our neighbour had previously said that their little boy had gotten his finger jammed and had to get plastic surgery on his hand afterwards.

My mind wet blank, would do I do?

M ran his hand under cold water and we got ice for it but his hand was swelling and there were indentations and bruising appearing.  S was inconsolable!  I picked up the phone and called NHS 24 (111).  I said to M if we called ahead and informed them we could maybe get fast tracked at A&E, I always live in hope.  The call handler was brilliant and said they would forward the records to the hospital and off M went to accident & emergency.  2 hours of pacing with the baby and M & S were back…..thank god his fingers were not broken, just a little swollen.

M said to me afterwards that I need to stop over reacting…..but did I?  What would you have done?

Baby Centre have a great blog to refer to when your baby or child’s not well.  Is it GP or A&E?


When to see the doctor?

  • Diarrhoea for more than 12 hours.
  • Repeated vomiting, or vomiting for 12 hours or more. Or if she has other symptoms as well as vomiting, such as diarrhoea, a fever, or a rash.
  • A fever. Take your baby to the doctor if she has a fever of 38 degrees C or higher and she’s under three months, or 39 degrees C or higher if she is older than three months.
  • An object lodged in her nose, ear, mouth, or vagina. Never try to remove objects yourself.
  • A burn larger than a 50p piece, particularly if the skin is blistering (this includes sunburn).
  • Persistent crying. As a parent you know your baby’s pattern of crying better than anyone. If she is crying more than usual, or if her cry sounds high-pitched, or she is whimpering or moaning, see your doctor.
  • Blood-streaked vomit or poo. Often this isn’t due to anything serious, but it still needs checking with your doctor straight away.
  • An unexplained rash, particularly if it’s accompanied by a fever.
  • A barking cough with a loud, high-pitched rasping sound when she breathes in. This may be croup. Croup is quite rare now thanks to the Hib vaccination, but this needs to be checked by your doctor.
  • She has not wanted to drink for more than eight hours. Or she’s had less than half of her usual amount to drink over the past 24 hours. This includes breast or bottle feeds for young babies.
  • Sunken fontanelles (the soft spots on your baby’s head), along with other symptoms, including dry lips, dark yellow urine, and fewer wet nappies than usual. These can be signs of dehydration.
  • Your baby has been unusually irritable and moody for no apparent reason in the past 24 hours.
  • Your baby has pink, watery, or sticky eyes. This could be a sign of an eye infection, such as conjunctivitis. This can be very infectious and needs treating promptly.
  • Discharge from her ears, eyes, navel, or genitals over the past 24 hours


When to go to A&E?

  • Has a cut that keeps bleeding or one that is deep and may need stitching. Until you get to A&E, do your best to stop the bleeding by putting pressure on the cut with a clean cloth. Also try to keep the injured part raised above the heart to reduce the flow of blood to the wound.
  • Has a serious fall, and you suspect she may have a broken bone or sprain.
  • Gets a serious bump to the head.
  • Swallows or eats anything that may be poisonous or harmful, but seems well.
  • Has severe stomach pain.

When to call 999?

  • Shows one or more possible signs of meningitis. These include: a fever with cold hands and feet, swollen fontanelles, unusual crying or moaning, drowsiness, floppiness, dislike of bright lights, grunting or rapid breathing, pale blotchy skin, or a purple-red rash that doesn’t disappear when you press a glass against it.
  • Has an existing infection and shows the following signs of sepsis: cold and clammy or mottled skin, breathing difficulties, drowsiness or loss of consciousness.
  • Is unconscious or semi-conscious.
  • Is having trouble breathing or is breathing abnormally quickly, particularly if her skin and lips start to take on a bluish tinge. This means she isn’t getting enough oxygen.
  • Has a seizure (convulsion or fit) for the first time or one that lasts for more than five minutes. Her eyes will roll back in her head, she will be unresponsive, and her limbs will twitch. Seizures are usually caused by a fever, but not always.
  • Becomes unwell after swallowing something poisonous or harmful, such as medicine meant for adults. Remember to take the packet or bottle to the hospital with you.


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