There is nothing like seeing your child covered in blood…

My phone memory is full! We are all spending so much more time with our Families at the moment that I think I have taken more photos on my phone then ever before. My IT skills have also improved (I am quite a technophobe) and I have eventually worked out how to get my stored photos from the cloud onto my PC. A few days ago I was looking through them and a memory flashed up that wasn’t so pleasant.

My little girl, now 6, went under general aneasthetic for an operation to her face when she was just 2.5 years old. It was very sudden and unexpected and there was a lot of blood! It was in July and had been like any other ‘normal’ Saturday, we had been for a walk and a play in the garden and then I bathed Isabella, read her a story before bed and she was asleep by 7.30pm. Phew….time to relax! Little did we know! At around 9 pm we heard a little murmur from upstairs and a faint shout of ‘mam’ through the monitor. Now I wasn’t concerned, most nights Isabella woke around this time, called out a couple of times, not really awake, and would then settle down again. The second call was a bit more worrying…..’mam, mam, blood’! Luckily, Isabella has never been a kid scared by the sight of blood, she used to have nosebleeds every time she had a growth spurt and was also pretty adventurous, so was forever sporting a cut knee or gashed elbow.

Anyway, I headed upstairs and when I opened her bedroom door I was quite unprepared for the scene in front of me. Isabella sat in the middle of her cot, her pyjamas soaked in blood, her bed sheet streaked a bright red and bloody hand prints on the walls above her cot side. Now, I had worked as a Paramedic for 13 years at this point, 5 of these had been in major trauma, so I was no stranger to blood. To see my baby like this though was really disconcerting and it took all I had to smile and appear calm for her, despite my tummy doing somersaults. I picked her up and carried her into the bathroom to investigate the cause of the bleeding a bit further. I realised that the blood was coming from a tiny mark on her right cheek. I had noticed it earlier in the day, it looked liked a tiny blood blister and I thought she must have scratched her face too hard or it had just occurred naturally. I knew that at some point we would need to see a Doctor so I took a photo……look away now if you don’t like blood;

The bleeding stopped after a little pressure so I put a dressing on the tiny wound and Isabella slept in our bed for the rest of the night. The next day was a Sunday, Isabella woke up bright and breezy and we met friends for a picnic in the park that we had planned earlier in the week. The day went well and I thought that the wound was healing and I would be able to take the dressing off before bed.

Children on swing

That night we had a repeat of the first. The bleed started again and this time Isabella must have slept through it initially because it looked even heavier than before. I booked an emergency appointment with the GP and I took her along later that morning. There was no bleeding when we arrived but as soon as I took off the dressing it started again. Our GP spoke to the RVI and we headed straight up there to the children’s ward. The Nurses and Doctors were great and after a few assessments we were told that Isabella likely had a Pyogenic Granuloma. In basic terms this looks like a shiny red lump or bump on the skin but underneath is a vast collection of blood vessels. These are benign and pretty harmless but if bumped, scratched or knocked can cause profuse bleeding. We just had to wait for a couple of hours to make sure it didn’t bleed again, and then would be given an appointment to come back in a few days as an outpatient. Great, it looked like we were heading home! Literally 10 minutes before we were due to be discharged Isabella lay her head onto the pillow of the bed and the bleeding started again. We were in it for the long haul!

We stayed in hospital that night, and the next, and we were put on the emergency trauma list on day 2. My lovely little baby  underwent surgery and had her face operated on to remove the granuloma.

Pyogenic Granuloma Hospital

Fast forward 4 years and Isabella is a very lively 6 year old. She has (touch wood) never had a reoccurrence and is very proud of her scar! I will always be thankful to everyone involved in her care but, no matter my past experience in emergency, pre-hospital care, I will never forget how I felt as a Parent. Empowering Parents with the knowledge and understanding of how to help their little ones in an emergency is something I am really proud to do, and, as Parents we know are babies best!

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