Daniel, a sixteen-month-old baby boy, came to the clinic severely dehydrated. When someone is dehydrated, they tend to feel incredibly thirsty and will guzzle any water given to them; even if it subsequently makes them vomit. This was happening to Daniel.
After a week of diarrhea and vomiting, he hadn’t been able to take on any fluids for days. Daniel was incredibly weak, and his body was shutting down. Our American pediatrician, Dr. Keith, quickly got to work assessing him and determined he needed an IV fluid drip.
Regrettably, due to the severity of his dehydration, all of Daniel’s veins were shut down and an IV wouldn’t work. The clinic did have nasogastric tubes which are inserted through the nostril into the stomach to help patients receive small amounts of fluids at a controlled rate.
The team was able to place a nasogastric tube through Daniel’s nostril. They also rigged up a bag of oral rehydration solution to slowly drip into his stomach to rehydrate him. Then they prayed. If he made it through the night and was able to keep water down, then Daniel would be in the clear.
The next morning, Daniel looked fantastic!
His once sunken eyes from the previous night were now normal; he was sitting upright, and his vomiting had stopped.
When asked about the source of the family’s drinking water, his mother initially claimed she uses cooled boiled water. Upon further questioning, she revealed that the family had been drinking from the local river.
She knew to use cooled boiled water for drinking and not the local river. However, she didn’t comprehend the deadly implications of drinking from the river. The team provided instruction on water sanitation and advised that her family would be in danger of getting sick by continuing to use the dirty river water.
Combined with practical knowledge and her very real awakening to the dangers of dirty water, the hope is for her to practice water purification in the future.
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