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to think my local health centre is taking the piss

(20 Posts)
mummysgoingmad Wed 30-Sep-09 23:10:41

firstly apologies as this might be a long post with lots of swearing as i am really pissed off!

ok, about 3 weeks ago my ds developed an ear infection, i took him to the doc and was told to give him calpol, i was told "it might go away by himself" fair enough i thought and did as the doc said.
alas it didn't go away by itself and had to go back. i was then given ear drops ( ear drops for a 10 month old baby) how the fuck am i supposed to keep the fluid in his ears i thought, but hayho i thought i least i got something this time and it might work. As i thought it was very nearly impossible to keep the fluid in his ears, even when i pinned him down for 5 mins it still came back out, and the little amount that didnt come out was less than useless.
we're now 3 weeks down the line, on sat night we had to take him to hospital at 5 in the morning with a tempreture of 39.6. when we got to the hospital the out of hours doc told me he now has a ear and throat infection along with a virus! I'm so fucking angry as this could have been prevented at least 2 weeks ago, but was fobbed off with ear drops (out of hours docs words not mine) he then had a bad reaction to the antibiotics that he got that night and had to back to my doc.
I was ready to jump down the docs throat when she said he didnt need antibiotics. i refused to leave her office till i got some and told her that i wanted a second opinion, alas she gave me a very mild antibiotic probably to get rid of me. AIBU or am i being ignored? you wouldn't let an animal have an infection for 3 weeks so why do it with a baby!? SO FUCKING ANGRY!!!

piprabbit Wed 30-Sep-09 23:16:23

There, there dear, you are a mummy and probably over-reacting. It's just a little sniffle.

Unfortunately I can't say I'm surprised by your experience, it real is not acceptable to fail to treat a baby like this.

As a child, I had an untreated ear infection and the resulting damage led to years of hospital treatment and permanent hearing loss in that ear.

Goes without saying - YANBU

hambler Wed 30-Sep-09 23:23:50

YABU
Antibiotics have been shown NOT to be the treatment of choice in childhood ear infections.

why do you think you know better than the doc? Why would they withhold antibiotics if that was the correct treatment?Out of spite?

I have every sympathy as my daughter suffered from terrible from ear infections between the ages of about 4 and 6.

PrettyCandles Wed 30-Sep-09 23:24:51

Many doctors now feel that antibiotics aren't necessarily going to help with mild ear infections, and just treat the symptoms ie teh fever and pain. But when it's been ongoing for 3w then surely just treating the symptoms is inadequate? Especially in such a little baby.

In your place I'd also be unhappy at the treatment, and I think I'd go and see another doctor, explain the history, and see what s/he says. But try not to be angry and aggressive, especially if you go back to the same health centre, as th dr may then just become defensive, rather than suppportive.

mummysgoingmad Wed 30-Sep-09 23:29:26

fair enough hambler, but why would 1 doc give them and not another? surly 3 weeks is a long time to have an infection without it going away by itself, and now its spread to both ears and throat i thought the 1st thing they would have done was put him on antibiotics without question. i understand that he needs to build an immune system but 3 weeks is too long to leave a baby suffering.

bigstripeytiger Wed 30-Sep-09 23:43:05

YABU

Antibiotics wont help with a viral problem, and when you effectively threatened to hold her hostage in order to get antibiotics you are lucky that she didnt have you removed from the GPs list, as I imagine that to have made her do something that she had said she didnt want to do she probably felt quite threatened.

To describe an antibiotic as 'very mild' is incorrect. Antibiotic choice is determined by the sensitivity of the bacteria thought to be causing the infection, there is no such thing as strong or weak antibiotics.

hmc Wed 30-Sep-09 23:56:32

Don't be a tit stripeytiger - she has a 3 week old baby who has been suffering with an ear infection for 3 weeks. Less of the "your lucky not to have been removed from the list" crap hmm Clearly the doctor at the hospital thought that antibiotics were indicated

bigstripeytiger Thu 01-Oct-09 00:00:25

I understand that her baby has been ill for 3 weeks, but that doesnt mean that antibiotics are always the answer, and the fact that the doctor first said that antibiotics werent needed, and then only prescribed them after the OP had refused to leave until that happened is concerning.

I know perfectly well what it is like to have an ill child, but I dont think that justifies threatening the staff.

hmc Thu 01-Oct-09 00:01:55

oh look, antibiotics if it doesn't settle within "2 or 3 days"

hmc Thu 01-Oct-09 00:04:03

You did well not to shout back at me there stripey - i did rather go for the jugular.

But I do think the OP was justified in being assertive - her behaviour wasn't really threatening, more determined...and in the circumstances I would have been tempted to do the same - doctors sounds like a croc (of **) actually

Northernlurker Thu 01-Oct-09 00:04:35

MOst ear infections have a viral cause which won't be helped by antibiotics. Antibiotics have potentially serious effects - as the op knows because her child reacted to the first lot. It is a reasonable medical decision not to give them. My daughter had two ear infections at 10 months and 15 months. On both occasions we got antibiotics - I didn't ask for them, our doctors prescribed them Her pattern of illness indicated to me that in the first case she needed the antibiotics , in the second case she didn't. It's very hard to judge.

OP - your anger is utterly misplaced. Your GP and the hospital doc treated your child to the best of their judgement. To have taken up your GP's time with threats is totally out of order. I appreciate you're upset that your child is ill but kids get sick. It's scary and difficult and it will be happening quite a lot over the next 20 years so I suggest you take some deep breaths and resist the impulse to bully the health professionals you encounter.

hmc Thu 01-Oct-09 00:07:10

this as well

Here under 'what to think about' the guidance seems quite clear.

Agree that antibiotics are for bacterial infections rather than viral but perhaps this is a bacterial infection, OP said "doc told me he now has a ear and throat infection along with a virus" - so it sounds like the virus could be something additional and unrelated?

hmc Thu 01-Oct-09 00:09:24

another one that says wait 72 hours and if not better then prescribe

That appears to be the consensus in medical circles - who are we to argue?

bigstripeytiger Thu 01-Oct-09 00:16:18

As none of us was the doctor at the appointment (I presume) then we dont know what the doctor thought the problem was. We do know that the OP says that the doctor initially said that antibiotics werent indicated, and only prescribed them when the OP refused to leave the room.

Also, sorry to be picky, but the link that you have posted doesnt say to prescribe after 72 hours, it says

" Patients and parents alike are now advised only to seek medical advice with the possibility of using anti-biotic medication in the treatment of ear infections, if the infections is persistent and hasn’t improved by itself after 72 hours."

But that really is a side issue, because we dont actually know exactly what the diagnosis was.

hmc Thu 01-Oct-09 00:23:51

What is ambiguous about: patients are advised to seek medical treatment with a view to antibiotics if the condition hasn't improved within 72 hours?

The hospital doctor was present at the later consultation out of hours - and prescribed antibiotics, also hospital doctor suggested that the OP "had been fobbed off with ear drops". It's all there in the OP, if you would only just read it

I'm lucky with my GP practice. I cannot conceive of something like this happening. I can predict what they would have done (which is incontrovertibly good practice) - they would not have prescribed anti-biotics but they would have told me to make a review appointment at reception for 3-4 days hence - especially with such a young child. It's the appropriate management plan

OPs GP sounds like a dullard

bigstripeytiger Thu 01-Oct-09 00:29:56

The link does not say that patients are advised to seek medical treatment. It says seek medical advice.

the OP says "I was ready to jump down the docs throat when she said he didnt need antibiotics. i refused to leave her office till i got some and told her that i wanted a second opinion, alas she gave me a very mild antibiotic probably to get rid of me."

To me that says that the doctor didnt think antibiotics are needed, but prescribed them after the OP refused to leave. Thats the way that I am reading it anyway...

mummysgoingmad Thu 01-Oct-09 00:32:06

ok everyone i never said i threatened the doc i said i wasn't leaving untill i got something, rather than the usual calpol answer! and said i wanted a second opinion. on what planet is that threatening??? Doctors aren't always right folks, i know this because i suffered a lung collapsure at the age of 3 due to a doctors incompitence!

hmc Thu 01-Oct-09 00:36:28

It refers to the "possibility" of antibiotics - I think you are supposed to read it in the spirit that it is intended and some pragmatic interpretation is required. To me it suggests that antibiotics are probable at that stage - but obviously the advice has to be suitably couched in vaguer terms on the internet for obvious reasons (patient not be seen by the author, no medical history available etc)

What about the hospital doctors diagnosis which was clearly at variance with the dopey (imo) GP? You seem to be discounting that entirely

(I'm off to bed now - please feel free to answer and I'll check in tomorrow grin)

mummysgoingmad Thu 01-Oct-09 00:38:39

bigstripeytiger if you were in my position what would you do? walk out the health centre with nothing and no idea how to clear up the infection which had now spread to his throat. do we now live in a society where its ok to mask pain rather than deal with it? it is a bacterial infection, his virus is unrelated to the infections but didnt help at all!

vickiadele Thu 01-Oct-09 00:50:22

You did right waiting for the doc to give you something, my ds was really ill and the docs didnt believe me, at 3 weeks old he was having surgery, doc's are not always right YANBU smile

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