University Hospital Sharjah saves 3-year-old Emirati baby


Staff Report

Dubai – The parents of a three-year-old infant, who was in a very critical condition, breathe a sigh of relief thanks to University Hospital Sharjah. The leading healthcare provider in the emirate announced that Reem, who has just turned three, had been discharged after a terrifying case of bacterial tracheitis and significant airway obstruction.

Dr Naguib Abdel Reheim

Reem’s airway passage was swollen because of the inflammation of the larynx and trachea. She was brought to the emergency department of UHS, known for its evidence-based methods and certified physicians in a multitude of specialisations. When she was admitted to UHS, Reem had a high temperature of 39 degrees with low oxygen saturation (89 per cent in room air) and severe signs of respiratory distress. In other words, the server airway obstruction was slowly strangling her.

“When Reem was brought in she was critical. Her parents though had immense trust in the hospital and the doctors. When they entrusted their child in our hands we knew that we couldn’t disappoint them. And we treated her like we treat every patient at UHS with utmost care and the best facilities,” said Dr Naguib Abdel Reheim, a Consultant Paediatrician & Paediatric Diabetologist at UHS. Dr Naguib has 25 years of clinical experience in paediatrics and contemporary experience in the management of young children and teenagers.

The father of the child said that the symptoms included high fever and persistent cough for two days and shortness of breath for one day. She was treated with some medications in the emergency department and then shifted to the paediatric ward, where she was examined. The mother of the child stated that the whole situation was panicky. She mentioned that they had stayed in the PICU for four consecutive days. She said Reem couldn’t breathe, as if someone was pressing her neck. She also found out later that if her child wasn’t treated in the first two hours, they would have lost her. The mother was extremely thankful and grateful to the doctors at UHS.

Within 30 minutes of shifting from emergency to the paediatric ward, the child was about to collapse. Oxygen saturation was dropping rapidly, reaching up to 60 per cent in room air and showing no signs of improvement. Clinically, the baby’s condition was deteriorating. Reem had signs of upper airway obstruction, signs of hypoxia (dusky skin from lack of oxygen). She was fighting to breathe and her consciousness was fading. The paediatrician-on-call, Dr Manzoor Ahmad made a clinical diagnosis of significant airway obstruction with respiratory failure.
At this point, he announced ‘code blue’, which is an emergency situation where a patient is in cardiopulmonary compromise, requiring a team of providers to rush to the specific location and begin immediate resuscitative efforts.
When he suspected severe airway obstruction with respiratory failure based on Reem’s history Dr Manzoor immediately transferred her to the ICU. The treating team in ICU included Dr Naguib Abdel Reheim, (Consultant Paediatrician & Paediatric Diabetologist), Dr Manzoor (Specialist Paediatrician) Dr Sujanith (Specialist Anaesthesia) & Dr Mamoun (Consultant Intensivist from ICU), where Reem received immediate medical attention as she was not out of danger.
After another two hours, her condition started to deteriorate again with oxygen saturation dropping to the 40s. They decided to put her on a ventilator at this moment. During which, the diagnosis of bacterial tracheitis was made. This case shows the impact of the teamwork which guarantees high medical care.
Three days later, tests revealed Reem was positive for an organism called Hemophilus influenza. This type of bacteria was sensitive to the medication administered during the first hour of admission based on the clinical diagnosis.This helped to save the child from a fatal outcome. “Timely action is crucial as this situation reveals. The diagnosis, the medications given, the actions taken by the ICU team were performed immediately. I would also give special recognition to the ICU team and the paediatric team at UHS, who coordinated with us on this case,” asserted Dr Naguib.
For four days, the child was managed with antibiotics, mechanical ventilation, and other supportive treatments. Reem stayed for seven days in the hospital and was discharged on the eighth day in a clinically stable condition.
Doctors advised that all parents should not take any medical condition lightly. Whenever a child is sick with high-grade fever and difficulty breathing, they should not be kept at home. Seek hospitals with a paediatric specialty centre and all the necessary facilities. Health authorities recommend vaccination for all children’s as a safety precaution. –