Misdiagnosis

Last week I posted about Maxton being sick. Twice.

Monday morning he had a fever, not too high, around 101 degrees farenheit. He was eating okay and playing so I thought it may be the beginning of a cold or maybe the flu. I also considered it to be teething related, but he has never had a fever while teething.

Tuesday it was around 103 degrees farenheit and his mood changed. He was more lethargic, not eating well but drinking normally. He wasn’t tugging on his ears, nor did he have difficulty swallowing. (When he had strep, he wouldn’t take a sip of water and I could hear him having difficulty swallowing.)

Around 1:30 am on Wednesday morning, his fever spiked to 105 degrees farenheit, and he looked like he had been slapped in the face (do you know where I’m going with this, now?), which I assumed was from the very high fever. So off to the ER we went, where he was diagnosed with an ear and throat infection. This surprised me, because as I mentioned he wasn’t tugging on either ear, nor was he having trouble swallowing. His fever dropped, we were given a prescription for Amoxicillin and sent home.

On Friday morning while changing him, I noticed a rash on his torso (stomach and back), up his neck and down his upper thigh. I was concerned it was a reaction to the antibiotics and called my family doctor – we were able to get in right away. His doctor checked his ears and throat and asked which ear the ER doctor said had an infection. At first I was surprised. Ummm, you’re asking me? What’s wrong with this picture? Maxton had no sign of fluid in either ear and no swelling, which meant NO EAR INFECTION. I was shocked. He then took a look at the rash, and here is how the rest of the check-up went:

Dr.: *shakes head*

Me: What is it? Is it a reaction?

Dr.: He doesn’t have an ear or throat infection. He has roseola.

Me: Pardon? Roseola…

Dr: Yes. It starts as a high unexplained fever, usually over 103 degrees farenheit. The fever disappears and then a rash begins, at the end of the virus. Loss of appetite is also a symptom, as well, their ears can appear red from the high fever. Did he have really red cheeks that looked like he was slapped in the face?

Me: YES!!!

Dr.: Mmmhhmm. Roseola, a virus. There is no treatment, therefore discontinue the antibiotics.

Me: So he was prescribed antibiotics for no reason?

Dr.: Yes.

Me: How could the ER doctor have misdiagnosed it like that?

Dr.: I don’t know where he said there was fluid, because there is none. His ears would have been inflamed from the fever, and his throat has spots on the lymph nodes from the roseola – not a throat infection.

Come to think of it, the doctor didn’t even look at Maxton. My doctor said he should have known while looking at how red his face was, combined with the very high fever, and lack of other symptoms. Ugh.

My son was prescribed antibiotics for no reason. I will be sending a letter to the hospital. They probably won’t care, but I do – it’s unacceptable.

They wanted us out of there. They didn’t ask any questions, they didn’t do any blood work, they barely paid attention to him. That scares me. I may even write to the Minister of Health, in our province. To me, it’s a big deal. A baby given antibiotics (unnecessarily) is a big deal.

I informed my family doctor I will be knocking on his door in the middle of the night, next time. I know I can trust him – he cares!

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