[caption id="attachment_76075" align="aligncenter" width="620"] Kaelyn Krawczyk, who has a rare medical condition called Mastocytosis, pets her medical alert dog JJ. They were at the Streets at Southpoint for training Wednesday, June 20, 2012.
[/caption]Service Dog Aids Doctors Before Surgery
On Wednesday, Duke University Medical Center made history by allowing a service dog inside a procedure room before a surgery designed to find the source of his owner's kidney infections.
Two-year-old mix terrier J.J. can detect when 7-year-old Kaelyn Krawczyk's rare medical condition, mast cell activation disorder, flares up. Kaelyn's body produces too many histamine releasing mast cells resulting in reactions ranging from blood pressure changes to anaphylaxis when she's exposed to certain triggers.
Anesthesiologist Dr. Brad Taicher requested the accommodation after seeing J.J. in action during Kaelyn's previous hospital visits.
Dogs are well-known for detecting human distress. J.J.'s ability though is believed to be the first recorded instance of a dog detecting minute body changes and alerting humans of medical problems before they're visibly noticeable. With J.J.'s help, Kaelyn's severe reactions have dropped from four a year to one. Kaelyn's parents are given enough forewarning to take preventative steps before reactions turn severe.
When Kaelyn went under sedation and came out, J.J. was more sensitive than Taicher's equipment. In both instances, he moved in circles to indicate a change in Kaelyn's status. Other than these alerts, prep, surgery and post-op went without a hitch.
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