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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.

Antibiotics in treating a cough? Need sensible advice!

(10 Posts)
cosmicdancer89 Wed 27-Apr-16 21:43:26

For the record, I'm going to call my duty doctor first thing tomorrow, but for now I need some insight to help me sleep at night..

My almost 1 year old and I are currently home (travelled to see family) for 2 weeks. He's developed a runny nose and a cough, and as of this morning has had a fever of 38,5. Called the doctor, they listened to his chest but were not too concerned. They took a blood sample (which is routine for diagnosis over here) and called me back to say "it looks like a bacterial infection" and prescribed antibiotics for 5 days...?

Q ! - aren't antibiotics only prescribed in case of confirmed pneumonia? Or are they also taken as a preventative measure?

I just really want to know what the NHS / UK doctor would do in this case, as I am very wary of the health system over here.. ahhh..

Imnotaslimjim Wed 27-Apr-16 21:49:33

Anti-biotics are used to treat bacterial infections, it doesn't matter what it is. They aren't usually given as a preventative except in extreme cases

TBH if he is ill and the Dr has tested I would give him the medication

MrSlant Wed 27-Apr-16 21:51:08

What amazing country are you in that gets your blood test results phoned back by the doctor on the same day? I'd rate that system!

If there are blood test results that suggest bacterial infection (disclaimer, I have no idea how this works) then anti-biotics are a good idea. What leads you to not trust the situation (does it cost more to have them for example?)

RatherBeRiding Wed 27-Apr-16 21:51:39

Antibiotics in the UK are routinely prescribed for bacterial infection but not for viruses.

And, no, they most definitely are not reserved for confirmed pneumonia. I've actually never heard that suggestion! This year alone I've had a course of antibiotics for cystitis (bacterial infection) and a tooth abcess (ditto) They are prescribed for ear infection, chest infection, really any bacterial infection.

If they have prescribed for your baby's chest infection I really think you should take the medical advice and use them.

cosmicdancer89 Wed 27-Apr-16 21:57:54

Of course I know antibiotics are not reserved for confirmed pneumonia. I'm talking about coughs here. There are coughs caused by viruses, and coughs caused by bacterial infections like pneumonia. Giving antibiotics to a child that does not have a bacterial infection is not only not going to fix anything, it can also be damaging.

I am skeptical about the system in Ukraine because a) we are not a first world country and our healthcare is notoriously bad b) they have misdiagnosed me with PCOS c) they gave my mum a cancer scare when in fact it was an ovarian cyst.

Hope this clears up the reasons for why I don't really 'rate' or 'trust' our healthcare.

Lifeisontheup2 Wed 27-Apr-16 22:05:45

But the doctor said it looked like a bacterial Infection after the blood tests so antibiotics may well be appropriate.

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Wed 27-Apr-16 22:06:28

Hmm, you are much more likely to pick up signs of a bacterial chest infection requiring antibiotics by examining the child and hearing about their symptoms, not from a blood test.

You are right that some countries are very gung ho at throwing antibiotics around.

Online info is much less valid than a doctor who has seen and examined your child though, so if you don't trust their judgment I would seek a second opinion in person.

cosmicdancer89 Wed 27-Apr-16 22:14:33

Hopelessly, indeed. I decided to get a second opinion from another doctor early tomorrow morning. It seems a bit strange that in the physical examination they had no suspicion of it being bacterial.

It's difficult to explain to people how messed up health care can get over here if you haven't experienced it, but I can tell you that even blood tests have been 'misdiagnosed' here before. I would not have this skepticism and would most certainly do as the doctor ordered if we were in the UK.

GreenMarkerPen Wed 27-Apr-16 22:19:58

if dc is not massively unwell, I wouldn't give ab's. most infections are self limiting (they go away on their own).
if dc get's really unwell, yes by all means, but ab's have lots of side effects and long term effects on health.

cosmicdancer89 Wed 27-Apr-16 22:24:59

GreenMarkerPen, DS seems OK aside from random spikes in temperature. I don't even think his cough is that bad; if it wasn't accompanied by a temp I wouldn't even have called the doctor. He's still eating/drinking/active when the temp is down.

I have a feeling if we were in the UK, our GP wouldn't have prescribed us antibiotics and would've instead suggested some TLC. Will call him tomorrow and see what he thinks.

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