NWCH emergency room calm, but at the ready

 
 
  • Dr. George Paul checks out little Kylie Kelly Hagan. Her mom, Dana, left, brought her in when the little girl got sick after being exposed to someone recently in Mexico.

    Dr. George Paul checks out little Kylie Kelly Hagan. Her mom, Dana, left, brought her in when the little girl got sick after being exposed to someone recently in Mexico.

  • Dr. George Paul discusses Kylie Kelly's symptoms with her mom, Dana Hagen of Buffalo Grove.

    Dr. George Paul discusses Kylie Kelly's symptoms with her mom, Dana Hagen of Buffalo Grove.

  • The Rapid Influenza Swap Test is used by the medical staff to test patients in the ER.

    The Rapid Influenza Swap Test is used by the medical staff to test patients in the ER.

  • Barb Weintraub, director of the NWCH Emergency Department discusses how they are treating patients who come in with flu-like symptoms.

    Barb Weintraub, director of the NWCH Emergency Department discusses how they are treating patients who come in with flu-like symptoms.

  • Kylie Kelly is a little peaky but she doesn't have swine flu.

    Kylie Kelly is a little peaky but she doesn't have swine flu.

Published: 5/1/2009 12:02 AM

Dana Hagen,18, rushed her 11-month-old daughter, Kylie Kelly, into the emergency room at Northwest Community Hospital Thursday morning, worried that the baby had the classic signs of swine flu: cough, runny nose and diarrhea. A friend of her stepfather had just come back from Mexico, and Hagen feared Kylie had picked it up from him.

After a couple hours having tests and waiting for results, the Buffalo Grove mom and baby were back home, having been declared swine flu-free.

By Thursday morning, no swine flu cases had been identified in the Northwest suburbs. The emergency room staff at Northwest Community reflected the heightened concern, but no panic: Nurses had masks at the ready whenever a potential flu case came in, but otherwise didn't wear them. The isolation room they had prepared remained empty.

By early afternoon seven people had come in fearing they had swine flu (also called 2009 H1N1 flu), and all were found negative.

Dr. George Paul, pediatric emergency medicine doctor, said so far he's treated two patients for influenza-like symptoms.

He uses the Rapid Influenza Swab Test -- a swab through the nose to the back if the throat where it collects a sample. Not pleasant, Paul acknowledged, but necessary and informative.