NWCH emergency room calm, but at the ready
Daily Herald Staff
Dana Hagen,18, rushed her 11-month-old daughter, Kylie Kelly, into the emergency room at Northwest Community Hospital Thursday morning, worried that the baby had the classic signs of swine flu: cough, runny nose and diarrhea. A friend of her stepfather had just come back from Mexico, and Hagen feared Kylie had picked it up from him.
After a couple hours having tests and waiting for results, the Buffalo Grove mom and baby were back home, having been declared swine flu-free.
By Thursday morning, no swine flu cases had been identified in the Northwest suburbs. The emergency room staff at Northwest Community reflected the heightened concern, but no panic: Nurses had masks at the ready whenever a potential flu case came in, but otherwise didn't wear them. The isolation room they had prepared remained empty.
By early afternoon seven people had come in fearing they had swine flu (also called 2009 H1N1 flu), and all were found negative.
Dr. George Paul, pediatric emergency medicine doctor, said so far he's treated two patients for influenza-like symptoms.
He uses the Rapid Influenza Swab Test -- a swab through the nose to the back if the throat where it collects a sample. Not pleasant, Paul acknowledged, but necessary and informative.