Another Day At Hospital Del Niño

Today we were back on the Infectious Disease floor. There were 14 patients. On my previous blog, I talked about a 13 year old boy who may have Well’s Syndrome. Today, the doctors were concerned that it could be a possible tumor. They discussed at length why his condition would cause such swelling from the neck up and no other place on his body. There seemed to be two main areas of swelling near his jaw on both sides and his lips were about 3X the normal size. They felt the areas underneath his jaw and on his neck to get a better idea of any obstruction. The patient is still able to drink and communicate so at least it is opened for now. The plan they came up with was to start him on steroids to help with inflammation and get imaging on Monday, since Friday is a holiday (Good Friday) and imaging will not be available till then.

Another patient I saw was a boy about 3 years old. He has an abscess on the right side of his jaw (which seems to be a pretty common ailment here) and he was getting it drained by the maxillofacial doctor. There is a separate room in the Infectious Disease unit that is used for simple procedures such as draining abscesses. He always has a huge smile on his face whenever I see him. But today, when it came time to remove his bandages and lance the abscess, he cried and cried. He was calling out for his mom, and I couldn’t stand there and watch anymore for fear I’d be reduced to a puddle of tears. I left the room and visited another patient, a little girl who went through quite a lot herself as Erica and I found out by reading her chart. Her history includes septic shock, thrombocytopenia (low platelets), and now a distended belly. She was in bed with her mom by her side feeding her an apple. She was so happy when I handed her a small, sparkly pink purse, a tiny token to brighten her mood.

We also saw a 10 year old girl who has Ascaris, a type of parasitic infection; a little girl with status epilepticus (a severe seizure disorder); a boy with complicated appendicitis that lead to peritonitis; and a little girl with glomerulonephritis (a condition that causes the kidneys to leak out important things it’s not supposed to such as protein). Many different interesting cases today.

When we got back home, our host mom prepared a delicious soup for us and the three of us chatted about our day and upcoming weekend plans.


A typical lunch consists of soup and bread. This particular soup is quinoa soup with ‘queso fresco’ (fresh cheese)

Highlights: seeing the little girl happy with her purse; taking a nice walk with Erica; having the day off tomorrow 🙂


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