A two-year-old arrived at the Swartz Center for Emergency Medicine at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem, driven there by his local doctor because she realized that the toddler’s medical condition was urgent. The toddler was lethargic and had a purple rash characteristic of a dangerous strain of bacteria.
Dr. Naama Schwartz, an emergency medicine specialist at Hadassah, relates, “Our initial diagnosis of meningococcemia proved correct. The infection had already reached the toddler’s brain and bloodstream. Our medical team succeeded in saving the toddler minutes before all was lost.”
Time is a critical factor in such a situation, explains Dr. Saar Hashavia, director of Hadassah Ein Kerem’s Pediatric Emergency Room. “The colored marks on a child that don’t disappear when you press them,” she says, “are often a sign of an aggressive and dangerous bacterial infection. It can prove fatal within hours. Babies and toddlers are more at risk, and parents need to be vigilant and seek help immediately. Thankfully, this child is going to be fine.”