May 16, 2011

the sick baby test

the past few weeks I've seen a lot of babies. babies with pneumonia, babies with strept throat, lots of babies with rashes, lots of babies with ear infections, lots of babies who did something strange and so their mom/dad/aunt/grandpa brought them in so that the doctor could tell them everything was okay. at the beginning, my attending said, "okay, Erica, there's a 1 year old in room 22 who has been vomiting, go check her out" I hesitated a moment too long and my attending looked at my quizzically, so I said "actually, I haven't really had that much experience with babies and I'm not quite sure how to examine her".

That's when my attending told me about the sick baby test: you walk into the room and look at hte baby: is she sick or not sick?

It's a good screening test, she told me, because unlike adults, when kids are well they're running around, poking at things, trying to get your attention. They're pooping and peeing and asking someone to give them food. So if a kid isn't doing all these things that a kid does, they're probably sick. If they are doing all these things, they're probably okay.

the sick baby test, I like it. it's going to be awesome to know that for my next rotation, peds.

(PS: the 1 year old in room 22: not sick)

"some days even my lucky rocketship underpants won't help"
- Calvin (from Bill Waterson's Calvin and Hobbes)

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