Monday, January 18, 2010

Feral Child

I have experienced many things in the emergency room, yet everyday something amazes me and I learn something new. We had a feral child in our department and when the doctor told me that I should take over care because the child was feral and the newer nurse was not handling it well, my response was that it was that all children are feral at times. I did not know she was dead serious!

What is a feral child????
A feral child (feral, wild, or undomesticated) is a human child who has lived isolated from human contact from a very young age, and has no (or little) experience of human care, loving or social behavior, and, crucially, of human language.

This child that I was taking care of had been found in a dog cage at her others home. When she was found she was a little over 4 years old. When I encountered her, she was 9 years old. Now there are many sources out there that can explain the importance of human contact, care, love and human language that the child do not experience and the outward causes.

This child had not experience much in her first four years of life, and did not have any lauguage skills, was impulsive, and a true wild child. Any simulation she was bouncing off the walls, just because she still was curious about everything. I watch her in a blink of an eye jump on the bed then onto the overhead pelvic light and swing across the room before any of us could stop her. The foster mother, who must have a heart of gold, caught her. The doctor and I just attempted to distract her with the drawers full of supplies. This gave us time to get her discharged!!!

Exam room after discharge:

Over head light broken and sharps container ripped from wall: called maintenance
every single package of gauze wrap, ace wrap, bandages, and everything else that was in the drawers completely opened and around the room. ky jelly and saline flushes all of the floor. Basically the room was trashed.

What caused her to go completely nits was that the foster mom grabbed the wrong bottle of meds, not her fault, so the child's med level went low. Child needed up draft, we all know what updrafts do to children.

Why did we give the child everything in the draws???
We can't blame the child for her actions, we did not want to physically restrain her and put her through more mental anguish, so we distracted her knowing it would leave on hell of a mess.

Now the techs did not quite understand our laughter at the room and refused to help us clean it up. I just think that they did not understand. I did not want to force them to help, I could have. So the doctor and I cleaned the jelly up, washed the walls, had maintenance come and help with the ceiling. It was quite a learning experience for me.

I have to say, this doc an I seem to get into many a interesting cases. I have learned a lot from her and it is nice that when things come up like this, she stays at my side through the crazy parts and the clean up. She has no problem helping me clean fecal matter off a person or being my medication bitch (her words, not mine).

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