Toddler slowly recovers from E. coli at Children's
Hospital in Denver
By Jan Goff
Source of Article: http://www.granttribune.com/c29661.html
Jackson Wykert, 21
months, is recovering at Children's Hospital in Denver after being stricken with E. coli
during the first part of August.
According to his parents, Jessica and Kraig Wykert, the toddler
began having diarrhea on Aug. 10 and was taken to the Perkins County
The boy was becoming dehydrated, and because
medical personnel at Perkins County Community
Hospital were unable to get an IV
started in the small child, he was taken to Great
Plains Regional Medical Center
in North Platte.
While en route, the parents were informed their
son had E. coli. He spent one night in North Platte
before pediatricians made the decision to life flight him to Children's
Hospital in Denver
on Aug. 14.
While in Children's Hospital, the little boy has
received several blood transfusions, surgical placement of a catheter in
his abdomen, attempted kidney dialysis, and many tests checking his blood
and urine output, because the type of E. coli he has been afflicted with
can cause acute renal failure.
Until the child's kidneys are back in full working
order, his parents aren't being informed of any estimated full recovery
Other Cases in County
In the past four years, there have been five cases
of E. coli in Perkins
County, according to
Dr. Clifford Colglazier.
Three of the cases were in children who suffered
Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), the same type Jackson is diagnosed with.
E. coli in adults was foodborne
or traced to feedlots, and the origination of one 13-year-old child's
symptoms were never determined.
In 2002, Troy Haenfler,
who had graduated that spring from Grant High School,
suffered from E. coli.
It was determined by the Nebraska Public health
Department at that time that the bacteria causing Haenfler's
illness came from ground beef produced at a ConAgra Beef plant in Greeley,
Colo.-part of a recall by the U.S. Agriculture Department of 19 million
pounds of ground beef, which at that time was the second largest ground
beef recall in history.
Sending Get Well Wishes
Messages of cheer to the patient and his family
can be delivered via a cheer card directly to Children's Hospital.
The website is thechildrenshopsital.org. Click on
"Gifts and Greetings for Patients." Then click on "Send a
Cheer Card to Patient."
Get well wishes can be sent by mail to 13123 East 16th Avenue, Aurora, CO 80045.
What is E. coli?
E. coli is short for the medical term Escherichia
coli. It is a common type of bacteria that can get into food, like beef and
E. coli lives inside human intestines where it
helps the body break down and digest the food eaten. Unfortunately, certain
strains of E. coli can get from the intestines into the blood.
Beef can contain E. coli because the bacteria
often infect cattle. It can be in meat that comes from cattle and it can be
in manure used for fertilizing crops.
Where does E. coli infection come from?
â€¢ Eating undercooked
â€¢ Swallowing contaminated water-lake water, pool
â€¢ Contaminated foods-fruits or vegetables.
â€¢ Drinking unpasteurized milk or fruit juice
â€¢ Working with cattle
â€¢ Petting zoos and county fairs-organisms can
survive and multiply for several weeks
The most common way to get E. coli infection is by
eating contaminated food. Healthy beef and dairy cattle may carry the E.
coli germ in their intestines. The meat can get contaminated during the
slaughtering process. When beef is ground up, the E. coli germs get mixed
E. coli can also be passed from person to person in
nursing homes and day care centers. People infected with E. coli are very
How to avoid E. coli
â€¢ Wash hands carefully with soap before starting
â€¢ Cook ground beef until no pink is seen
â€¢ Do not put cooked hamburgers on a plate where
raw meat had been
â€¢ Defrost meat in the refrigerator or
microwave-don't let sit on counter
â€¢ Keep raw meat and poultry separate from other
foods. Use hot water and soap to wash cutting boards and dishes
â€¢ Keep food refrigerated or frozen-keep hot food
hot and cold food cold; refrigerate leftovers right away
â€¢ People with diarrhea should wash their hands
often with hot water and soap for at least 30 seconds
â€¢ Always order restaurant hamburgers that are
cooked so no pink shows
Symptoms of E. coli
â€¢ Symptoms begin about seven days after being
â€¢ The first sign is severe abdominal cramps
â€¢ Watery diarrhea begins, causing loss of fluids
and electrolytes, leading to dehydration
â€¢ Watery diarrhea changes to bloody diarrhea
because the infection makes sores in the intestines so the stools become
â€¢ There may be a mild fever, or no fever
Complications from E. coli infection
â€¢ The most common complication is hemolytic
uremic syndrome. People with this problem get anemia, which is low red
blood cell count; thrombocytopenia, which is low platelet count; and renal
failure, which is kidney damage.
â€¢ Hemolytic uremic syndrome
is more common in children and can cause acute renal failure. It starts
about five to 10 days after the diarrhea starts.
Diagnosis and Treatment
â€¢ A stool culture has to be taken in the first
48 hours after the bloody diarrhea starts.
â€¢ There is no special
treatment. Drink a lot of water and watch for complications. Don't take
medicine to stop diarrhea. It would keep the intestines from getting rid of
the E. coli germ.