This past fall I went to pick up our little boy from school. His recess was right before pick up, and I really hated the days I had to take him early, just as much as he hated missing playing with his friends. I did my mental note of what was going on outside, there was a cool strong breeze blowing, the temp was fine for him to be out, and he had his preventative meds that morning. I really didn't think we would have a problem. Maybe a few hives, but nothing serious. To be on the safe side, I decided I would limit recess time to 10-15 minutes. Boy was I ever wrong...
I won't bore you with all the details, but our son went into anaphylactic shock that day. We got to the hospital, checked in, and explained what was happening. They had a nurse come out, to listen to him while they finished checking him in. Laying in my arms unresponsive the nurse asked what he was allergic to. I told her he had CU, which of course she had never heard of, and went through the explanation. This nurse looked at me like I was stupid and told me "There are a lot of people here that are really sick, so take a seat and we will be with you later." After an hour of waiting, the ER taking back girls who had hurt their finger, and completely ignoring us, our son started coming out of the reaction so we left. This is a true medical emergency but we were dismissed because no one had heard of it. Do you see why I say prepare for your trips to the ER?
After numerous more anaphylactic reactions where the ER was no help, and a switch in CU Dr.'s I went to the hospital and talked with someone in Administration. I explained the condition, what happens with it, and how we were treated in the ER. She promised it would never happen again, called the new allergist who came in and discussed the condition with all members of the staff at the hospital. They now have his cell phone number and we all have a game plan. The ER has the kids marked in there system regarding CU and are never to wait for treatment, they are high priority. When we arrive at the hospital if the allergist has not been notified by me, then the nurse will call him and the ER Dr. will describe what is happening and the allergist will walk the ER Dr. through treatment. This will ensure they do not do anything to make the situation worse, like giving cold IV fluids.
The biggest mistake that I made, was assuming that just because I new of the condition the ER Dr. and staff would as well. If they didn't I expected that they would listen to me instead of thinking I was a raving lunatic. I really believe it is of benefit to talk to the Administration of the hospital you will be using in an emergency and discussing with the allergist how to handle the situation. Does the allergist want a call so they can talk with the ER during an emergency? Do they want to be kept updated while you are in the ER? Does the administration want your allergist to come in, discuss the condition and give some training? Set up a plan with the hospital for when you need them. Let them prepare months in advance for an emergency, instead of throwing them into a situation that they have no idea how to treat. It's not to be nice to them, it is to protect you or your child.