anna's blog

Our beautiful, gorgeous little girl, Anna, has leukaemia. She was diagnosed on Monday 5 December 2011.

And whooping cough too…

on April 28, 2018

Anna has whooping cough. The combination of that with the pneumonia means she is feeling really unwell and needing a lot of respiratory support.

I’ve learnt a lot about whooping cough, or pertussis, in the last 24 hours. Although the vaccine is given to all children as part of their early year immunisation programme, the effect of the vaccine wears off over time and so children and adults can still get it. So despite a full vaccination programme there are still a significant number of cases of whooping cough in the community, but generally not diagnosed as it can present in a similar way to a normal cough. Anna has been diagnosed because she has been tested in hospital but children aren’t routinely tested if they see their gp. The ‘whoop’ is often heard in babies but not necessarily in children or adults so what seems like a long lingering cough could actually be whooping cough.

It’s a notifiable disease so once public health are made aware of a case letters will go out from school.

Anna is well enough to be sitting up in bed or wheelchair during the day but the constant coughing and nausea means she just feels rubbish. And not surprisingly, bored and grumpy.

Her oral antibiotic, clarithromycin, makes her feel sick but her anti-emetic medication, ondanstron, makes her feel sick when she takes it as a liquid so one of the nurses sourced it in a tablet form. She remains on IV antibiotics as well.

Her oxygen levels are still low, especially overnight, so she is having additional oxygen. Her lungs continue to be full of infection and she is having physio input once or twice a day. I’ve taken in our cough assist machine to use in hospital and today for the first time they used suction through her nose to try and remove some of the mucus. Poor Anna.

The only plus side is that whooping cough means she has to be in isolation so she is in a room rather than out on the ward so she now has a tv. It’s a small comfort in the scale of things.

I think Anna’s hospital stay might be longer than we thought.

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4 responses to “And whooping cough too…

  1. Mary says:

    poor Anna and poor you! xxx

  2. vwhiteside says:

    What a surprise; it’s a long time since I heard of anyone with whooping cough. I hope it’s not too long a haul for Anna’s recovery.

  3. Joan says:

    Poor wee lamb. I hope she will soon be well on the way to recovery. x

  4. Helen Frankland says:

    Poor Anna. It must be tough for all of you. Xx

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