Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

NHS direct still haven't called me back after 5 hours, is there anyone around who can give me some advice?

(74 Posts)
HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 06:52:44

ds started throwing up last night at midnight. Initially I though Norovirus. Not nice, but he'll be over it in a couple of days. But he's had no diahorrea and no temperature. What made me call NHS Direct was that he has tenderness in his lower abdomen, specifically to the right hand side, which gets worse when I gently press it. He's been throwing up every 20 minutes since midnight. I'm relieved he's got no temperature, but the abdominal tenderness worrys me. What are the chances it's appendicitis?

He's 5 btw.

CabbageLeaves Mon 07-Jan-13 06:55:11

Take him to A&E or phone out of hours GP.

Isn't NHS Direct just a useless advice line?

Sirzy Mon 07-Jan-13 06:55:57

Can you not call OOH for advice?

TanteRose Mon 07-Jan-13 06:56:23

call them back - I would also be worried about dehydration if he is throwing up that much

is he keeping any liquids down?

give him tiny sips of water from a teaspoon, or ice chips

hope he's better soon

ScillyCow Mon 07-Jan-13 06:56:57

I would go straight to A and E.

When 3 yr old DS had one-sided abdo pain (no vomiting) I was seen straight away (though it was 3am!) by OOH doctor.

Hope he is feeling much better soon.

CabbageLeaves Mon 07-Jan-13 06:57:00

If he's thrown up that often since midnight you should take him to A&E. A 5 yr old dehydrates quickly. Regardless of noro issue the tum pain needs investigation

CabbageLeaves Mon 07-Jan-13 06:57:55

X post but same view smile

I'd contact NHSD later with a formal complaint as well

AloeSailor Mon 07-Jan-13 07:01:59

Take him to a & e

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 07:02:48

He can't keep water down, he had 6 tea spoonfuls and brought them back up 5 minutes later.

Unfortunately I had to come to work this morning, 0630 start so I couldn't call anyone to cover. As soon as people start coming in I'm going to try and get cover to get home again. Dh is with him now, but he has to go to work. OUr nanny will be there from 7.30 and I'm going to get my mum to go over as soon as she's awake. I hate being so helpless.

I didn't want to take him straight in to A&E unless there was something that might indicate appendicitis or something as if it's norovirus instead I don't want to pass it around. I will call dh in a bit (we've both been up all night, he was trying to get a little sleep before work - ds was also asleep when I left) and see if ds has managed to have a drink.

In the meantime, does anyone know what the likelihood of it being something more serious than norovirus if he doesn't have a temp? I assumed appendicitis would come with a high temperature.

Eve Mon 07-Jan-13 07:06:37

Appendicitis doesn't have a high temp.

My DS had his out about the same age, we were originally told he had constipation but on insisting it wasn't to the A&E doctor he did blood tests and later an appendix on point of erupting was removed.

Murtette Mon 07-Jan-13 07:14:51

When does your doctor's surgery open? As soon as it opens can you ring & make an emergency appt or at least speak to one of the GPs? Having said that, I would think that there is also some concern of it being appendicitis in which case, A&E would be your best bet...although is vomiting a sign of appendicitis?

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 07:25:12

I'm not at home Murtette, I'm at work, but doing my best to get back home to him. He's slept a couple of hours and dh says he's awake now. He still hasn't had any liquid, he's just trying to have a sip of water now and see if it stays down.

Vomiting is a sign of appendicitis, as is lower abdominal tenderness when pressed. He can bring his knees up to his chest so far, which I think is really painful if you have appendicitis.

I am an ex triage nurse and I have had appendicitis. I very rarely take my children to A and E or the GP.

But with these symptoms I would go to casualty TBH. Let the staff worry about infection control if it does turn out to be viral, honestly.

yellowsubmarine53 Mon 07-Jan-13 07:34:33

I agree with others.

Get yourself home asap or get dh to take him to A & E. Do you have other children that your nanny can look after?

A and E - I would be pretty convinced it's appendicitis.

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 07:37:42

Argh, it's going to take me an hour at least to get home, I'm in central London, on bloody Oxford street no less, completely congested hell hole.

Dh says he's tried a little bit of water again and been sick again. It's not really being sick it's dry heaving but whatever little fluid he's had comes back out again. I'm going to call my mum to go over there. We do have a nanny to look after dd so I'm not concerned about that, but I'm not entirely convinced my nanny's English is good enough to understand the complexities and ask the right questions if they do go to A&E.

TanteRose Mon 07-Jan-13 07:39:08

sorry, why can't your Dh take him?

ggirl Mon 07-Jan-13 07:40:24

can your dh not take him to a&e and you meet him there?

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 07:44:07

This is all so bloody frustrating, dh has a really really important work thing this morning. Missing it could possibly mean losing his job, so he has to go in for that. I've just called my mum who's 10 minutes away and she's going to go straight over. I do trust our nanny to let me know if she thinks he's in a bad way by the way. It's not that I don't trust her at all. But I'd just be so much more reassured if dh, myself or my mum was with him at least until he's drunk something.

TanteRose Mon 07-Jan-13 07:45:46

OK, your mum can take him in

good news that he has kept some liquids down

WeAreSix Mon 07-Jan-13 07:46:32

Another triage nurse here...

He needs to be seen. Can your DH phone in to work as absent then take him to A&E? Even if you get home in time for your own GP to open / phone in / get call back then you've still got a few hours wait.

Your OOH doctors will still be there until your GP opens. DH could phone them while you're getting home?

Also, get some diarolyte. Give DC 5mls every 10 minutes.

Good luck, hope its nothing serious and he's better soon.

WeAreSix Mon 07-Jan-13 07:47:37


Will your mum take him to be checked over?

PearlyWhites Mon 07-Jan-13 07:48:04

Why would your nanny take him and not your dh? Why did you feel you had to go to work? even if there was none to cover you, you are entitled to look after a sick child especially one who may need hospital treatment. The law gives 24 hours to find alternative child care for a sick child.

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 07:49:53

TanteRose, sadly still no fluids. He tried a bit of water at 7.30 and it came back up five mins later.

Dh absolutely can't phone in absent to work, he will be in serious risk of losing his job. There's no way I can get home in time for GP to open, it'll open in 15 mins and I'm at least 90 mins away. We don't have diarolyte at the moment, my mum will try him on a bit of Ribena.

NHS Direct still haven't called back. That's now 6 hours since my call shock

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 07:52:12

Pearlywhites Can't explain on here but I have the sort of job that I can't just not turn up at. My shift started at 06.30, I had to leave home at 5am. Obviously at that time I couldn't start ringing around for cover. I'm on it now, hoping people will pick up their phones.

Dh has now had to leave too.

WeAreSix my mum will try and get him in to GPs if he's still not taking fluids when she gets there in about ten mins.

doublecakeplease Mon 07-Jan-13 07:52:36

I would tell DH to have him wrapped up ready to get in the car with your mum, then leave work now and meet them at a&e. I have no medical knowledge at all but people on here are trained and have told you to go. Unless you have a life and death job just go - shut up the shop / office or whatever and deal with it once you know he's ok.

TanteRose Mon 07-Jan-13 07:53:40

well, your mum and nanny must take him in - now

that is too long with no proper fluids

doublecakeplease Mon 07-Jan-13 07:56:23

Seriously - will people die if you leave work or hadn't gone in? He's gone a long time with no fluids :-(

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 07:57:48

doublecakeplease can't shut up the shop... 24 hour 365 day operation. You would most definitely notice if I shut up shop with no cover.

TanteRose she's there now, she's no doctor but she's pretty sensible, plus my sister had appendicitis at 8 years old and my mum had it in her 50s so hopefully she'll have an idea what to look for.

dorapeppageorgenoddy Mon 07-Jan-13 07:57:52

Just ask your mum to take him to a and e, she can update you after triage and you can then come home if required - Granny doing it is fine, I think the nanny taking him in is the least desirable but if the only way - I would skip gp and just go - they will ask about bowel movement as that can cause pain and sickness if he has a blockage -
Hope he is ok -

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 07:58:34

doublecakeplease yes... and it's not like he's on his own. He is being cared for. Just not by me. I will rectify that as soon as possible.

Welovecouscous Mon 07-Jan-13 07:58:35

Head fairy I think this is one of those times when you HAVE to just get someone to take him to a & e.

Whoever is with him now should take him, get him into the queue to be seen, then someone else can follow and take over. If you tell your work he's at a & e I would have thought they will understand.

Fwiw that sounds a lot more being sick than we had with noro - my one year old was pretty ill and he was being sick every 45 mins initially then once an hour.

Appendicitis doesn't have to involve agonising pain - my dm had mild pain/tenderness and only just had her op in time.

Happypiglet Mon 07-Jan-13 08:00:15

Don't take him to GP. take him to A&E or get your mum to. Seriously. My DS had appendicitis in June it's not funny. It sounds like a classic case. He had dry heaving, no temperature, tummy ache which started in the middle and moved to the right hand side. It should feel awful when pressed but worse when the pressure is released. Please do not delay any more. Burst appendix is very very serious. just get him to hospital. Would your DHs work seriously sack him because he had to take his possibly seriously ill DS to a &e?

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 08:03:34

happypiglet if dh missed this meeting then yes, he'd probably be out. As soon as I can get someone to cover me I'm going home too, emergency ring round is being done now but obviously people have to get here as well. I'm hoping I can go by 10.

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 08:05:23

welovecouscous I didn't think Norovirus would involve so much vomiting too. Plus he's had no diarrhoea so I'm not convinced it is. It could be just some other horrible tummy virus, but whatever it is is making his stomach really sensitive. Between spasms of pain he's pretty comfortable. He's even managed to sleep a bit this morning. He's currently on the sofa watching cartoons.

Mytwobeautifulgirls Mon 07-Jan-13 08:06:37

the right sided pain could be just muscle tenderness from wrenching so much. appendicitis is accompanied with diarrhoea?
perhaps nhs have wrong contact details they usual are not that bad.gte sleep will do him good.
good luck keep us posted smile

landofsoapandglory Mon 07-Jan-13 08:07:49

Headfairy don't panic about the lack of fluids yet. Obviously he needs to be seen and sounds quite poorly, but my DS1 has gone a lot longer without fluids in his time as he has cyclical vomiting syndrome and can be sick 40 times a day, for a week. Before he was diagnosed and we were told it was just a tummy bug, we were often kept at home for 24 hours or more to see how he went.

It could be appendicitis, it often starts as tummy pain by the belly button and moves over to the right hand side. It is usually very painful though. I know when my brother and DS1 had it, they were both writhing around in pain.

I hope he gets better soon.

Happypiglet Mon 07-Jan-13 08:08:21

OK but can your mum go to A&E? My DS started feeling ill at 4pm completely randomly one Monday after school and by 11pm was under general anaesthetic. So it's good you are getting cover because if it is appendicitis they will prob want to operate asap. It's better to be wrong than to risk sceptasimia from a burst appendix. Sorry to sound alarmist but it was really vey serious with my DS despite it just seeming like a virus to me initially. Luckily I had had the same op as a teenager so recognised some of the symptoms. BTW boys of this sort of age are the most likely to get appendicitis apparently.

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 08:08:42

My mum said the same thing about muscle pain mybeautifulgirls, but the pain is below his tummy button. I thought the stomach was higher up. But I guess the muscles all have to work. I do hope that's the case.

LovesBeingAtHomeForChristmas Mon 07-Jan-13 08:09:26

Couldn't the nanny take him?

Happypiglet Mon 07-Jan-13 08:11:18

Nope no diarrhoea with my DS appendicitis. And the pain builds. It can be gradual or quick. Once DS and got rid of food in his tummy he was dry heaving every 20mins with not much being produced if that makes sense? Has your mum done the pressure test?

landofsoapandglory Mon 07-Jan-13 08:12:51

As the pain is that low down, HeadFairy, I wouldn't risk it. I would take him in now. Bear in mind if it is appendicitis he will need to be nil by mouth for a while too before they can operate, so the sooner he is seen the better IMO.

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 08:14:05

landofsoapandglory thanks for the reassurance... the initial contact at NHS Direct did say to keep going with the fluids because even if he brings it up, some of it may be absorbed. He's not really writhing except during the spasms he gets. They're about every 10 mins or so. I asked him during the night if it hurt when I pressed gently inbetween spasms and he said it did, though not as much.

My nanny has just texted to say she asked him if he wanted a drink and he got all panicky, because he now thinks it's going to make him sick. Poor love. She's going to give him a straw. My mum is there now too so hopefully that'll make him feel a bit more comforted. He loves our nanny but there's nothing like granny to make him feel better - I hope!

happypiglet yes, my mum has her car with her, can easily take him to A&E if she thinks it's the right thing to do.

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 08:14:36

happypiglet what's the pressure test?

Happypiglet Mon 07-Jan-13 08:15:35

Ok said my bit! Hope he feels better soon.

chocolateistheenemy Mon 07-Jan-13 08:17:21

My DS was hospitalised at 2.5 with ?Noro? (we never found out which nasty he'd had). Began throwing up every fifteen mins for around 12 hrs. Couldn't keep down water. No temp until 36hrs later and the diarrhoea didn't start until 48+ hrs later. We saw 4 docs (and I spoke to another 3 on the phone) before he was finally sent to A&E 48hrs after it all began. Needless to say, he was severely dehydrated and needed to be admitted and put on a drip overnight.
It was bloody scary.
Go to A&E and save yourselves the worry. It is probably Noro or similar, but you won't get much out of NHS Direct over the phone and you're better safe than sorry.
Hope he's soon on the mend.
Flat coke is great if you don't have Diorylite.

Happypiglet Mon 07-Jan-13 08:19:04

X pOsted! A classic test for appendicitis. Press down firmly on the right hand side where his appendix is above and just to left of hip bone. It should hurt. Hold the pressure on then let go. It should hurt even more when the pressure is released. If he feels any difference in the pain then it is possibly appendicitis. I would take him to a&e anyway personally though. BTW I am not a medically trained person but have had appendicitis and so has my son and this test worked on us and the dr in A& e did it too. I guess it doesn't rule out appendicitis either if it doesn't 'work'.

CabbageLeaves Mon 07-Jan-13 08:19:32

Aw headfairy you poor thing. I appreciate the job thing and you do have all sorts of cover arranged. It's a conspiracy of events meaning you and DH have work issues. I suspect you're hesitant to risk work for what might be tummy upset and I really understand that difficult decision. It does sound like he needs to go to A&E. Hope you can join him

3littlefrogs Mon 07-Jan-13 08:21:55

Your mum needs to take him to A&E now.

However, it is worth knowing that ice lollies are excellent for a sicky child, or one with tonsillitis. (for future reference)

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 08:24:12

Thanks cabbageLeaves

chocolate Your poor ds sad Interesting to know noro (or similar) presented itself like that. Not what I would expect at all.

happyPiglet thanks for that. I will ask my mum to try it.

Both me and ds1, who had an appendectomy when he was 4 had high temperatures.

If your mum is still at home with him, she could try let your ds lay on his back, and lift his right leg up so it stands at a 90 degree angle from his body. If this gives your ds a sharp pine in his right abdomen, you might be closer to an answer.

So scary and frustrating for you.

(My bet is on tummy bug)

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 08:40:30

Quint.. I did try raising his knees up to his chest at about 3am this morning and there was no increase in the pain which did reassure me.

I'm hoping it is just a tummy bug... not nice but doesn't need an op to fix it.

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 09:08:22

well just spoken to my mum and she says that she's not convinced it's appendicitis... she thinks it might be a urinary tract infection as she says the pain appears to her to be bladder pain. She's giving him one teaspoon of water at a time, waiting 5 mins and if he's ok, giving him another one. If he keeps it down for a bit then she'll make up some ribena with a tiny pinch of salt (we used to live in the tropics and that's what we used to do when we couldnt' get any drinks of those sports drinks with electrolytes)

Zoomania Mon 07-Jan-13 09:34:16

I would suggest seeing a doctor ASAP. Appendicitis could still be a possibility and even if it is a urine infection he needs a sample sending off and antibiotics.

Why not make an appointment with the GP for today and take in a urine sample to confirm?

They may want to give him antibiotics if it's a UTI.

Apologies for x-post!

werewolvesdidit Mon 07-Jan-13 09:41:10

I think you should take him to A and E. I nearly died from appendicitis when I was 5. It burst inside me and I was in hospital for a month.

PeazlyPops Mon 07-Jan-13 09:49:13

The advice everyone is giving is the same, OP. Why the reluctance to take him to A&E?

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 10:05:09

Ok, just spoken to my mum and ds... he hasn't been sick for nearly 2 hours now. Has drunk some water and some flat coke. He's even nibbled a cracker. He says there's barely any tummy pain left, just a bit now and then. My mum is happy he's definitely improving. He's just tired from being up all night. I'm still going to try and leave as soon as I can to go home and give him a cuddle, but he seems much better. I'm hopeful it was norovirus albeit without the diahorrea.

Thanks to everyone who offered advice.

boxoftricks Mon 07-Jan-13 10:15:13

<Dons flame proof suit>
WHY has this child not been seen by a health care professional?!
OP- you come on here looking for advice. Lots and lots of people, with experience, TELL YOU TO SEE A DOCTOR. But yet you ignore them. Ok, we can't physically see your son, but surely it's common sense that your YOUNG child cannot keep down fluid, has abdo pain and spasms, for a long time, you'd at least get an ooh appt?
I hope to god your ds gets better soon, but please, better be safe than sorry!

yellowsubmarine53 Mon 07-Jan-13 10:23:06

Hope that you're able to get home soon and good to hear that your ds seems a little less acute.

yellowsubmarine53 Mon 07-Jan-13 10:25:19

Give OP a break, fgs. She's been up all night with an ill child, had to go into work and wanted people to 'talk' to whilst she was assessing situation and making arrangements.

Laying into her for 'ignoring' people isn't helpful.

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 10:27:33

boxoftricks he is keeping fluids down now, and eating. And his pain is subsiding. And NHS Direct have called back (after 8 hours!) and said take him to docs if there's any worsening or if there's a sudden worsening to take him to A&E. There really is no need to take a child who is now taking in fluids and eating and hasn't slept all night to A&E to sit there for God knows how long to be assessed.

DameSaggarmakersbottomknocker Mon 07-Jan-13 10:36:47

Sounds like he's over the worst HeadFairy. Sympathy; it's horrible when they're sick and you have to be elsewhere and relying on other people's judgement.

werewolvesdidit Mon 07-Jan-13 10:46:20

Don't forget that appendix pain can come and go.

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Mon 07-Jan-13 10:50:35

werewolves we'll keep a close eye on him. My mum reckons she had appendix pain for several months before it suddenly got excruciating. Apprently it's writhing on the floor unable to speak sort of pain.

Welovecouscous Mon 07-Jan-13 11:17:49

Head my mother NEVER had that much pain and her appendix almost burst. Better to have it checked.

If it was appendix pain and the pain has reduced it can mean it has perforated. Mine perforated and it was a very worrying time for my parents - IVABS and treated for peritonitis.

Of course, it may be a bug. But given the fact that you cannot effectively rule it out yourself, I think it is very unwise to leave this unchecked. At least take him to the GP.

It is quite difficult for a GP/Dr examining someone to know if it's an appendix or not, when they have the patient right in front of them. Don't try to guess yourself.

GobblersSparklyExplodingKnob Mon 07-Jan-13 12:32:15

As Santas said, a friends ds had a perforated appendix which was originally ignored as the pain had started to ease, he ended up very poorly, though is fine now.

That said when both of mine had noro in November they were sick every 20 minutes for about 12 hours, and it was every 20 minutes, you could set your watch by them. They both also had very tender tummies, dd has a temperature but ds didn't, neither of them had diarrhea.

Whatever it is hope he gets well soon.

glad he seems to be over the worst and your mum is looking after him.
what a worry.

"Apprently it's writhing on the floor unable to speak sort of pain."

It is the only pain that has actually made me faint....

Marne Tue 08-Jan-13 10:15:03

Glad he's feeling a bit better. My dd has had noro a couple times, 2 years ago she had all the symptoms you describe (no high temp and no D), she was sick for 3 days (not even keeping water down), on day 3 i took her to hospital as she was showing signs of dehydration, luckily she was not dehydrated (but was getting close), we were given dioralite (sp) and told to spoon in into her (little and often), after 12 hours of spooning it in she stoped being sick and was able to keep something down.

Stomach bugs and noro effect people in different ways, one person might just have D and a dull tummy ache whilst another person may be sick for days. Some children tend to be very very sick and others may just be sick once (my dd2 is always sick non-stop for 2+ days when she has a bug, dd1 will be sick a couple times).

I alway phone NHSD or out of hours if dd is sick for more than 24 hours but often theres not much they can do, we often end up stuck in A&E only to be told (give flat coke), but its always worth getting it checked out if you are very worried.

HeadFairywithacapitalHandF Tue 08-Jan-13 10:55:16

Blimey Marne, that's hardcore puking! Ds is much better now. Last night he said his bottom was hurting and was desperate for a poo but said it hurt too much so I gave him a warm bath and it was like magic - he had one episode of diahorrea and he was like a different person. No pain, suddenly happy and relaxed again. He even had a slice of toast and a banana and some more Ribena.

He was too scared to sleep in his own bed last night though, he was convinced he was going to be sick again so he slept with us and is completely back to normal today. He still hasn't eaten anything else and he's so skinny, but he's drinking and full of energy so I'm not worried.

Marne Wed 09-Jan-13 12:36:50

Dd2's puking was scary, she's done this a few times but i try not to panic as much (as i know with her it often lasts 3 days).

So glad your ds is feeling much beter, hopfully by the end of the day he will be eating again.

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