My son Simon was born in April 2011 at an area hospital. Soon after delivery I started to notice some “red flags,” like his breathing was a little fast, and at times his color did not look quite right. These red flags continued when we were discharged from the hospital, and Simon began feeding poorly and looking blue. Trying not to overreact, I took him to the pediatrician’s office where he received a pulse oximetry screening, which measures the amount of oxygen in the blood, and found he had low oxygen levels.
We were transported by ambulance to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin where Simon was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. He was immediately taken to the operating room for a life-saving surgery. Simon now is a thriving 18-month-old. He is a miracle, a blessing, a joy and the light of our lives.
I have the honor of not only being Simon’s mom but also a nurse in the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital for the past nine years. I am so lucky to know so many talented people, and I confidently placed my son’s life in their hands. The team of doctors and nurses showered us with love, hope, strength and courage when we were at our lowest point.
Pulse oximetry screening is a life saving tool. It is a non-invasive test that takes only a few minutes. I urge any parent or family member to speak to their pediatrician or OB/GYN about pulse oximetry screening — it just might save a life. Learn more about pulse oximetry screening.
- Hope Patchak, BSN, RN, Simon’s mother