Monday, February 21, 2011

Adrenal Crisis

When to give the injection

  • Repeated vomiting (more than once)

  • Repeated episodes of diarrhea (more than 3)

  • Unconsciousness (unable to arouse/wake up)

  • Surgery

If your child becomes unconscious or dazed and mentally foggy whether from a blow to the head or after a period of illness, THIS IS AN EMERGENCY. CALL 911. GET YOUR CHILD TO A HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY. This condition could be life threatening. Give the injection while you are waiting for help to arrive, then call the child's doctor.
Resource: Judith J. Henry, R.N., M.S.N. in conjunction with the Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society, 2004.


  1. This was our story this past week. Annie woke up on Thursday with severe vomiting and that dazed look. My husband called 911, and I fixed the emergency Solu-Cortef. I would reiterate that you need to give the shot before help arrives. The paramedics were unfamiliar with Addison's and were relying on me to educate them.

    At the ER, she tested positive for strep. She got a penicillin shot, and IV fluids, and we started her on triple dose hydrocortisone. After we got home, she seemed better on Friday, then on Saturday, she started going downhill again. Back to the ER. Then she was admitted. She tested positive for influenza B, and as of today, can't seem to turn the corner on maintaining fluid intake. So, she's on IV's for now.

    Moral of the story: YOU have to know HOW to give the injection, and WHEN to give it. Take printed material that explains Adrenal Crisis with you everywhere--and be prepared to educate medical people along the way. And, just to give you some encouragement--after you give the injection once, you won't hesitate again. If you think they need it--they need it!

  2. Thanks for sharing Annie! That is valuable information!

  3. Jean-thank you so much for this comment! I would have assumed the medics would know what to do, but clearly not all of them do. I will be adding the injection instructions and emergency care instructions to our file. I am sorry Annie is so sick right now. It sounds like you guys have had a terrible week. We are thinking about you! Give Annie a hug for us!