Having spent the last weekend in hospital with my 5 year old daughter I count ourselves very lucky to have such good healthcare facilities in the UK under the NHS. Having been up all night on Friday being sick and unable to keep down any fluids we called the NHS Direct phoneline on Saturday morning for advice. At this stage my daughter has been unable to eat or drink for more than 12 hours and was starting to bring up bright yellow liquid. The advice given on the phone was to immediately take her into A and E so we set off to the local hospital.
By the time we arrived nearly an hour later my daughter was still sick but was now bringing up green fluid, which I now know is a symptom of dehydration. The hospital staff were very quick to assess my daughter, she was given an x-ray as a precaution before being admitted to a ward. Shortly afterwards she was started on anti sickness meds and fluids to rehydrate her and we prepared for an overnight stay in the hospital.
She slept most of the evening and that night whilst the fluids did their work and the next morning work up almost back to normal and ready for breakfast. The breakfast trolley will forever remain the highlight of the trip as well as the hospital bear she was given to keep her company whilst on the ward, and which to her delight she was allowed to bring home with her.
Overall it was a fairly frightening experience for us as a family and an alarming wake up call as to how quickly a child can deteriorate when deprived of food and water. My lasting impression of the experience is how lucky we are to have access to such great treatment and such good doctors and nurses under our NHS.