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Friday, April 1, 2011

Avery's night in the ER

On Sunday, we were in Newport having dinner with Alex's family for his Grandpa Al's 87th birthday. We had noticed earlier in the day that Avery was coughing and had taken a super long nap and seemed to be a little wheezy. As the evening progressed and with the rest of the family weighing in, we noticed that Avery was feeling feverish and having a bit of a hard time breathing (her chest caved in quite a bit with each breath).
I called Kaiser to try and make an urgent care appointment to get Avery checked out on our way back down south, and the nurse I spoke with told me to "Immediately hang up and call 911 so she can be brought to the nearest emergency room." I was shocked! We decided to drive her ourselves directly to Hoag which was less than a mile from his grandparent's home on Lido Island.

We arrived at Hoag's ER around 7:30 PM and after the reception nurses checked her out, she did have a 100.9 fever and they sent us to see a doctor.
They ordered a chest x-ray for pneumonia and an RSV test. While waiting for the results, Avery was hooked up to an oxygen level monitor on her big toe (via sticker, not a needle thank goodness). She was in great spirits the whole time, and several nurses poked their head in our curtain to see the cute baby.

Still waiting for the results, Avery finally fell asleep around 11:30 and while sleeping, they noticed that her oxygen level dropped to 88/89%. While awake, it was around 95/96% and they said that anything below 92% is worrisome. They had us administer oxygen (pic above) for about an hour, while we learned that both tests came back clear.

Since we are Kaiser patients and her oxygen levels had dropped into the danger zone, they decided to keep us overnight for observations, which meant a ambulance ride to Kaiser Anaheim at 2:30 AM! Avery got to ride in an inflatable car seat on a gurney and spent the whole ride flirting with the ambulance guys.

After we were admitted into Kaiser Anaheim and were settled into our room around 3:30 Am, Avery was again hooked up to an oxygen monitor. That big 97 is the number we were watching to make sure it didn't drop below 92 again. After a long and mostly sleepless night, Avery's levels stayed up very high without any oxygen assistance and we were sent home the next day.

Avery and Alex napping on our cot while waiting to be discharged home.

The doctors ended up calling what she had "bronchialitis" which is just bronchitis in a baby, or a respiratory virus (though she was negative for the strain of RSV that has been going around). 
We were given a nebulizer which is a compressor and tubing that blows albuterol in a mist that she has to inhale (basically, a baby inhaler). We give her treatments as needed.

Avery has been to her pediatrician here in Carlsbad to follow up on her night in the ER, and she is doing great. She doesn't seem to mind and responds very well to the albuterol treatments and has needed it less as the days go by. 

It was definitely an exhausting and stressful 24 hours for us. Seeing our baby girl with an oxygen mask on her tiny face and riding in an ambulance were definitely moments we hope to NEVER have to repeat (though our friends tell us it will happen again at least a few more times). Avery's sweet temperament and high spirits throughout the entire ordeal helped Alex and I to keep our cool and stay positive. 
We are beyond grateful that she is a healthy and happy baby and is able to keep us on our toes ;)


  1. oh Tish, what a terrifying experience that must have been. Avery seems like such a good baby to be in good spirits the whole time. Glad she is doing better.

  2. Wow! So glad to hear everything was okay! How scary!

  3. Glad to hear everything is going ok!! We too are a nebulizer family Jackson started treatments at about 3 months old....they are a saving grace for any breathing related issues!

  4. Beyond happy to hear that the three of you are safe and sound. I cant believed how composed you were to take photos. It must have been terrifying. May peaceful nights follow for you all... Love steph n Jono