Amarillo Mother Reflects on a 9-1-1 Call That Saved her Son’s Life

January 31, 2019
In late summer of 2018, Lindsey Kinard was asleep when she was woken up by her five-year-old son, Laken whose nose was bleeding profusely. Laken’s nosebleeds are usually nothing out of the ordinary for the Kinard family, but this time it was different.
To stop the bleeding, the Kinards were instructed to use Afrin, a nasal decongestant spray.
“Laken has a history of chronic nosebleeds and with bloody noses happening daily, we would run out to where he was, hold pressure and use Afrin,” Lindsey said. “Laken would be back running around again 15 minutes later.”
Lindsey said Laken’s bloody nose on this particular night was unusually bad.
“I remember getting up, reaching for toilet paper and quickly realizing this was way beyond a bloody nose,” she said. “It was gushing and there was blood everywhere. I immediately picked him up and carried him to the living room. I had on a white tank top and when I looked down, I was covered in blood and I could feel it running down my back.”
Trying to calm her distressed son, Lindsey reached for the Afrin to stop the bleed.
“I was trying to lay him down and use the Afrin but it was profusely bleeding so every time I would spray Afrin, it would just come right back out.”
Lindsey, a Clinical Risk Manager at BSA Health System, knew Laken’s nosebleed required immediate medical attention. Clutching her son’s nose with a kitchen wash cloth, the two were taken by ambulance to the Emergency Room at BSA where Lindsey’s husband met them.
“They immediately rolled us in by stretcher and the nurses were fantastic,” she said. “Someone was getting our information, while another person was taking Laken’s vital signs and starting an IV. There was another nurse just talking to Laken, trying to distract him.”
A familiar face in the BSA Emergency Room was unknowingly exactly what Lindsey needed in a time of panic and worry.
“I recognized one of the nurses, Haley Crow, because I know her sister-in-law,” Lindsey said. “In a moment when I needed it most, she comforted me by saying, ‘It’s going to be okay. We are going to figure out what is wrong and we are going to take care of him.’”
The leading physician assured her that her instinct to call 911 was the right decision.
“The physician sat down next to the stretcher and reassured me that I did the right thing by calling 911 because people can die from bloody noses,” Lindsey said.
The Kinards learned that Laken’s nosebleed was due to a nasal arterial hemorrhage, which is blood loss from an artery in the nose.
The Kinards stayed in the BSA Emergency department for several hours. Once the bleeding stopped, staff put antibiotic ointment gently on the base of Laken’s nose to keep it moist until Laken’s appointment at BSA Panhandle Ear, Nose & Throat later that morning.
A few hours later, Lindsey was on her way to meet her husband and son at BSA Panhandle Ear, Nose & Throat when she received a call from her husband informing her that Laken’s nose began bleeding again.
“By the time I got there, it was gushing as bad as the night before,” she said. “Laken’s nose was pulsating like a heart and wouldn’t stop.”
It was quickly decided that Laken needed emergency nasal cauterization. Laken’s nose had been cauterized at Quail Creek Surgical Hospital two years prior. A nasal cautery or cauterization is when a specialist uses a chemical swab or an electric current to cauterize the inside of the nose, sealing the blood vessels and building scar tissue to help prevent more bleeding.
Once the Kinards arrived at Quail Creek Surgical Hospital, the staff quickly prepared Laken for surgery. The team let Laken wear his pajamas in surgery and gave him a stuffed bulldog to comfort him.
“Laken was in surgery within 20 minutes,” Lindsey said. “The whole thing was so fast.”
After administering general anesthesia, the emergency staff was able to insert a scope camera into Laken’s nose and perform nasal cauterization in both nostrils to stop the hemorrhage.
The Kinards were pleased with the care and compassion received at Quail Creek Surgical Hospital.
“Everybody at Quail Creek Surgical Hospital was so nice,” Lindsey explained. “The anesthesiologist was Dr. Martin and he kept saying, ‘We’ll take care of him, we have him and we can do this.’”
After Laken’s surgery, one of the nurses got Laken peanut butter cups from the vending machine to help him feel better.
“The fact the nurse knew that might make him feel better and went to the vending machine and brought candy back for Laken was so incredible,” she said. “The little things, like taking the time to make you feel like you’re important, that your kid is important, is really special.”
Fully recovered and only one nosebleed since, Lindsey Kinard is thankful for BSA.
“I absolutely recommend BSA,” she said. “I work here, but also feel very passionate about this facility. Here at BSA, we talk about purpose and what is important to us. My kids are. My kids are my everything.”
You can't predict when a medical emergency will happen, but you can be prepared. In the event of a medical emergency, choose BSA. For more information about the BSA Emergency department, please click here.