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Tags: meningitis

Recognising Meningitis

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Babies, Health , Tags: learning to walk, meningitis, molly fisher, symptoms

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Molly Fisher, a little girl from Cumbria, has recently taken her very first steps after losing her toes to meningitis.  She was fitted with a pair of special shoes that aided her balance and now a year later she has been able to learn to walk.

The very brave little toddler had all the toes on her right foot and the tips of the toes on her left foot amputated after having contracted meningitis when she was aged one.  At one point it was though she would loose her legs from above the knee but thanks to her miraculous recovery, only toes needed to be removed.

The new specially made shoes compensate for the lost toes and give her support where she needs it.  The stiff soles and built-up inside of the shoe, gives her the momentum that a big toes gives those who walk that have all their toes.  Now, when wearing her little shoes, she can balance upright, walk and play.

The very grave strain of meningitis that she had contracted is life threatening and at first it was believed she wouldn't even pull through.  However, thanks to medical support and her own bravery, she is going to lead a full life and won't even need special shoes when she grows up.


What is it?

An inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.

What causes it?

An infection with bacterium or virus.

What are the different types?

  • Viral - usually appears in the summer months and is less severe.  Most recover.
  • Bacterial - more dangerous with serious risks to life.

Symptoms can include:

  • A rash that doesn't fade when pressed (look at it through a glass)
  • Stiff body movements or a floppy body
  • Irritable or disliking being touched
  • High pitched crying or moaning
  • Refusing to feed
  • Bulging fontanelle (soft area on top of head)
  • Pale skin often blotchy
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fever

If you have any concerns go straight to the doctor or ring the emergency services for help.  Don't hesitate.


Mother Knows Best!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Health , Tags: diagnosis, doctors, hospital, illness, meningitis

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Doctors are being advised to take parent's fears seriously when it comes to sick children. A parent's instinct is to be considered and taken into account when diagnosing a sick child. The idea that "Mother knows best" may be laughed at by some professionals, but parents can offer important information when discussing their child and doctors should listen, according to research published in The Lancet.

Why should doctors listen to untrained, non-medical parents?

  • A parent can be trusted to want the best for the child so are more likely to convey a concern if they think it's important.
  • They have probably nursed their child before through other ailments.
  • They know the child's 'normal' character and can tell when something is not right.

Previously a parent's view was not officially (or routinely) taken into account, but things may change and guidelines my encourage doctors to listen more to the parent; especially when it comes to serious childhood diseases.

Doctors themselves sometimes use 'gut feeling' for some diagnoses. Rapid detection of serious diseases (such as meningitis and pneumonia) can be vital and quick diagnoses can mean saving a life. If a parent's instinct says its serious, this could help get the child rushed into hospital for medical treatment.

Keep an eye out for:

  • Rapid breathing
  • High temperature
  • Poor blood circulation to the skin especially on fingers and toes
  • Lethargy and tiredness

If you feel you're not being heard by your doctor and that your concerns are not being taken seriously - GET A SECOND OPINION!


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