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to think you shouldn't seek or take medical advice from strangers on here...

(42 Posts)
pinkr Sun 30-Nov-14 20:14:22

Several times recently I have seen people on here requesting medical advice and wwyd type questions for pretty serious complaints. Surely any adult with any sense wouldn't ask people on here to diagnose breathing difficulties in a young child etc.
It is worrying how people come on here for advice from people with non medical qualification. 'Oh yes I'm sure...half an onion on the chest and he'll be fine' etc.
Am I the only one who thinks that the only response to potentially serious conditions is seek medical advice be it an appointment,OOH,a & e.
People please think carefully before offering advice.

YouAreMyRain Sun 30-Nov-14 20:16:58

Is this a TAAT?

Surely the main point of this site is to gauge opinions or seek advice?

I agree, a child with breathing difficulties = why the fuck are you on MN instead of on the phone to the dr? Unbelievable!

pinkr Sun 30-Nov-14 20:19:03

Not specifically at taat. Just a gentle reminder that advice shouldn't always be given even if it's well meaning.

Yarp Sun 30-Nov-14 20:20:08

People get really sensible advice on here, i think. Sometimes the advice is to get to a doctor asap. I don't really see a problem.

Someone came on a while back with something she didn't realise was serious as it was and turned out to have an ectopic, "diagnosed" by several non medics on the thread. So it can work out the other way.

HedgehogsDontBite Sun 30-Nov-14 20:20:46

I spent 13 years seeking proper medical/professional advice for my daughter. They didn't know their arses from their elbows. Then I asked on a parents forum and someone suggested autism. I went back to the drs and sought confirmation. A year later she was formally diagnosed.

Don't knock the experience and knowledge of other parents.

Babiecakes11 Sun 30-Nov-14 20:20:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

grumpyoldgitagain Sun 30-Nov-14 20:21:02

I think if it is something you think isn't serious then asking and being told get your child to the doctors must only be a good thing

But for something that you think is serious it should be straight to doctors, a&e or similar and leave the internet diagnosis well alone

Pico2 Sun 30-Nov-14 20:22:08

Most of the responses to urgent type medical queries in MN get "call 111 now" or "go to A&E now". I find that quite reassuring.

Quiero Sun 30-Nov-14 20:24:01

Surely the advice you receive or give on here is 'advice' not 'medical advice'.

I think people should advise and ask for advice as long as they are not complete idiots and believe MN is an A&E dept.

I know some people on here who's lives have probably been saved by the advice they got on here...that advice is usually go to A&E not put an onion on the chest confused.

Stripylikeatiger Sun 30-Nov-14 20:24:21

Yabu. I am very very anxious about health and if I sought medical advice every time it was worried about one of my dc's health we would be in a+e every week! Sometimes you need another person to say don't worry a temperature of 39 is ok.

I made a terrible mistake and I under reacted when my newborn had breathing difficulties, I had no experience of a child with breathing difficulties and as a new mum I just thought he had a cold, he ended up seriously ill and in hospital for a week, when he arrived in a+e he was grey and really struggling to breath. I didn't know about mumsnet at the time but if I had posted for advice and people had said go to a+e it would have been very valuable advice.

I had never been to a+e before and I had never been around people with asthma or breathing problems so I just thought that's what a newborn with a cold looked like.

I think all new parents should be given information about the symptoms of rs virus when they leave hospital.

Nicknacky Sun 30-Nov-14 20:25:07

I was on a forum where a poster was asking what to do as her daughter was choking and was turning blue......and worryingly, she definitely wasn't a troll.

pinkr Sun 30-Nov-14 20:25:20

Fair enough. One of the ones today was a small child unable to catch breath etc to use inhaler. To me it sounded serious and i just can't understand people who ask such questions on here.

StickEm Sun 30-Nov-14 20:25:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hassled Sun 30-Nov-14 20:27:31

I think people are pretty good at adding disclaimers - so they might say yes, I had similar symptoms and it was X, but you should go and see your GP. Just about every health thread will have people on it saying "get medical advice".

YouAreMyRain Sun 30-Nov-14 20:27:32

I think the advice on that thread was good. Mine was "get off mn and get to A&E" or something, there were lots of similar posts.

I people respond differently in crises.

I know what you mean though about people using forums instead of trusting their own judgement. The OP from earlier, what would she have done 20 yrs ago? Over or under respond?

freedom2011 Sun 30-Nov-14 20:30:33

It depends. For my kid , I'm super cautious and straight onto Dr. For myself, I find asking about back pain sciatica post birth healing pregnancy related discomfort etc pretty helpful as it usually gives me an idea if what questions to ask my Dr.

TheRealAmandaClarke Sun 30-Nov-14 20:38:59

Hmmmm. The important thing (thinking of a thread I saw very recently) is to not give shit advice grin
Sometimes seeking advice can work out well but some people will advise poorly, but confidently, and that needs to be remembered.

mumofthemonsters808 Sun 30-Nov-14 20:39:51

I understand what you are saying, but in my circumstances I was just desperate for someone else to confirm that my son was still not well. HE had been discharged from hospital with a severe case of gastroenteritis but a new symptom of white liquid kept leaking from his bottom, even when he was asleep. I'd never heard of this and whilst I waited for my GP appointment, I just wanted to talk to someone. The DIstrict NUrses who visited us weren't concerned and the hospital discharged him in a similar state that he went in, so I did not have much faith in them. Only one person replied for which I was grateful. My GP sorted him out and finally I got some medication for him, but it was an ordeal that dragged on and a very slow recovery. It had got to the stage where he could not walk he was that weak.So in my situation MN was my last resort, I had tried the official channels and got no joy.

crumblebumblebee Sun 30-Nov-14 20:55:19

I agree with you. In the serious cases, the majority of the advice is good because it's "seek immediate medical attention". It's the other cases that worry me because when people are post about certain symptoms and the advice received is very hit or miss. I've seen a few posters who repeatedly request medical advice, ignore it, just continue to utilise Dr Google and then are surprised that their GP won't bow to their every demand. I have a lot of respect for GPs who have to deal with this type of thing.

wanttosqueezeyou Sun 30-Nov-14 20:56:02

I've seen some really good advice given here.

More often than not its an overreaction with posters urging the OP to seek proper advice.

Some people are so brainwashed with 'don't bother the GP' that they're afraid to go for legitimate things.

Sometimes the collective knowledge (esp unusual/odd things) of a forum like this is better than the 'medical' advice people have received.


bellybuttonfairy Sun 30-Nov-14 20:57:23

I work in a medical field and am usually pretty impressed with the medical advice given out here......

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 30-Nov-14 21:01:32

I'm always stunned by how intelligent and informed MNers are. Of course in the case of breathing issues, someone should just seek RL help but I'm sure they were told to do just that.

skylark2 Sun 30-Nov-14 21:09:43

It's my impression that most of the "don't worry" posts tend to be in reply to posters who are clearly very upset about symptoms which might or might not be something serious but are not an emergency, and who are waiting for test results or an appointment.

In that sort of case, I don't think "it might all be fine" posts are a bad thing.

(At least I hope not, since I've posted a few myself, normally connected with babies with very large heads).

pinkr Sun 30-Nov-14 21:13:19

Ok IABU in general. I stand by the dafties posting when the should be phoning a doctor though smile

TooMuchCantBreathe Sun 30-Nov-14 21:17:49

I get what you are saying but is it really any different than ringing your mum or asking the ndn when you're feeling a bit unsure? The bonus of asking here is you are likely to get a good spread of responses quite quickly so you get a good feel without wasting any time particularly. Being a parent doesn't mean you have all the answers and something that is obvious to one person won't be obvious to another. Knowing when to worry is a skill learned from experience not handed to you with your newborn.

Imo it's far better to post a quick thread and get 30 people saying go to a&e/g.p./watch and wait (and there is usually a consensus erring on the side of caution on these threads) than sit and dither for 30 minutes/1 hour/until it gets worse because you don't want to waste someone's time.

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