Kim Kardashian has revealed her son Saint was hospitalized with pneumonia last week – but he is now ‘all better’.
Praising her ‘resilient’ two-year-old boy on Tuesday, the reality star revealed he rode an ambulance to a hospital in Los Angeles, where he was hooked up to an oxygen machine and multiple IV drips.
‘My precious baby boy is so strong! After spending three nights in the hospital & seeing my baby get multiple IV’s and hooked up to oxygen machines, our end of year was challenging,’ the 37-year-old TV star said on Instagram.
‘Pneumonia is so scary. I just want to thanks every nurse & doctor out there who works so hard around the clock. We are so grateful for you all! He’s home and all better. He’s so resilient I’m sure he will still say the ambulance ride was cool! My strong Saint.’
According to TMZ, Kim and her husband Kanye West took turns in staying by their son’s bedside, sharing overnight duties until he was released from the hospital on Saturday.
Within minutes of Kim posting her news on Instagram, Google searches for ‘pneumonia’ had sky-rocketed.
Here, we explain how pneumonia affects children, why it can be so hard to spot, and how it can be treated.
‘My precious baby boy’: Kim Kardashian has provided an update on her son Saint after he was rushed to hospital with pneumonia last week
Google searches for ‘pneumonia’ spiked after Kim posted about Saint’s ordeal on Tuesday
WHY IS PNEUMONIA HARD TO SPOT IN KIDS?
It is common for a child’s pneumonia infection to be severe by the time it is spotted.
Pneumonia, an infection that causes inflamed and fluid-filled lungs, can be is life-threatening for children, since their immune systems are not yet fully developed.
However, while children have a higher risk of pneumonia, their symptoms tend to be more subtle.
Adults tend to display clear symptoms of a dry cough and high fever.
Children, meanwhile, may experience a headache, fatigue, and a low-grade fever.
Once it progresses past the ‘mild’ stage to ‘moderate’, symptoms include a sore throat, a blocked nose, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and lack of energy.
Severe pneumonia, the far more serious stage, is typified by wheezing, sweating or chills and blue lips, and this requires hospitalization.
The risk is higher for kids who have asthma or haven’t received all their vaccinations, but all children are susceptible since their immune systems are underdeveloped.
HOW IS IT TREATED?
A doctor’s course of action depends on the type of pneumonia – whether it was contracted from a virus or bacteria. The doctor will perform a test to determine which one it is.
If it is bacterial pneumonia, it can be treated with antibiotics in hospital, sometimes delivered intravenously.
In the case of viral pneumonia, the patient will often be sent home, ordered to take Tamiflu, rest up, and drink lots of water.
Other types of pneumonia include fungal pneumonia, which is treated with antifungal medication, and aspiration pneumonia, when stomach contents are inhaled into the lungs. This may require a surgical procedure.
Saint West was also treated with an oxygen machine, since the infection can impair the lungs and make independent breathing strained or difficult.
PARENTS URGED TO BE ON THE LOOK-OUT THIS DEADLY FLU SEASON
This year, the US is battling one of the most severe flu strains in years.
Forty-nine states reported either regional or widespread flu activity last week, excluding Delaware. There have been 70 deaths across the US, according to the CDC.
H3N2 has been responsible for some of the worst flu seasons in the US in recent years, including the 2006-2007, 2012-2013, and 2014-2015 bouts.
The CDC said it expects the vaccine to be just 32 percent effective against the H3N2 virus.
Doctors warn the symptoms of this life-threatening flu – and those for pneumonia – may not be immediately obvious to parents, who are used to sniffling kids in the cold.
‘Pneumonia is so scary’: Kim and Kanye took it in turns to stay with Saint (left)
Hospital: According to TMZ, Saint (right) was admitted to a Los Angeles-area hospital, from which he was released on Saturday following a three-day stay