Girl nearly dies after influenza diagnosis

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MIAMI (AP) - A 6-year-old girl who nearly died after testing positive for influenza and strep was expected to make a full recovery, her doctors said Tuesday from the Miami hospital where she was being treated.

Victoria Bermudez was diagnosed in February. After being rushed to the emergency room, she went into cardiac arrest three times and her body went into septic shock, impacting her organs.

She was then taken to Holtz Children’s Hospital at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center. There she received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, in which a machine takes over the work of the lungs and the heart to allow those organs time to rest and recover.

“This was a particularly virulent and aggressive form of strep,” said Dr. Barry Gelman, a pediatric critical care physician. “She was as close to dying as a little girl can be.”

Bermudez also required the help of a ventilator and feeding tube during her treatment as well as daily physical, speech and occupational therapy.

Her doctors said Tuesday at a news conference that she was expected to be released this week, but will need to continue outpatient physical and occupational therapy at Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital.

Bermudez, who wore a crown to the news conference and a sparkly dress with stars on it, said she was most looking forward to going home and being able to play with her younger sister.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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