Children's Hospital

Tuesday, 20 July 2010, 7:30PM – 8:00PM on ITV1

Episode Nine

At the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, ten month old Dolly has been brought in by her parents Emily and Mike, who are worried about her vomiting and agonising stomach cramps. Mum Emily explains: “I knew there was something behind her crying ��” it wasn’t normal and there was a look of terror on her face. She would throw herself about and I would struggle to keep hold of her”.

Consultant Paediatric Surgeon John Bowen, who has 15 years experience and specialises in gastroenterology, diagnoses Dolly with a hiatus hernia that has caused her stomach to be pushed into her chest. He says: “It is rare for someone so young to suffer from a hiatus hernia ��” you usually see it in adults and older children. It is very dangerous and could become life threatening for Dolly”.

Dolly will need surgery to repair a large hole in her diaphragm and to move her stomach back into place. As her parents take her to the operating theatre, they are full of nerves. “It makes you feel so guilty because she thinks she’s coming for a day out and it’s actually a major operation,” says Emily.

The operation goes well and Dolly’s diaphragm is re-stitched. Fortunately, she has no other internal damage ��” a relief to Mr Bowen who warns: “I always tell parents to expect the unexpected”. Now only time will tell if the operation has been a complete success ��” the Children’s Hospital will monitor Dolly closely over the coming weeks.

Elsewhere in the Children’s Hospital, Professor Simon Carley is leading the 60-strong team on shift today in the dedicated children’s A&E department. The hospital sees around 200 children a month with breathing difficulties. One year old Scott has been brought in by his mum after he started struggling to breathe. Scott was born with a long list of medical problems and spent the first six months of his life in intensive care. He also has an artificial windpipe and it is possible for it to tighten, making breathing difficult. After an X-ray is taken, the doctors can see that that is what has happened – Scott is given medicine to relieve his breathing. Meanwhile, 11 year old Alex is brought in with a cut lip and possible broken nose; and nine year old Callum has broken his wrist.

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