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Safety of PCR test on resistant child

(15 Posts)
Hargao Mon 26-Oct-20 11:20:12

Before I start: I don't live in the UK so what schools are/aren't allowed to do in the UK isn't relevant here. Also, I am looking at options and if there is any way to argue testing isn't needed I will. I'm trying to understand the medical risks.

DD has a cough and so I kept her off school today and planned to for two weeks for safety. No fever or other illness. The school has told me she cannot return without a negative PCR test. There is an option for distance learning but this will be a significant hit to her education (year 6 so starting to matter). She has SEN which make distance learning harder than 'normal' and both DP and I work full time so can't support her that much (but DP from home so not a childcare issue). I don't know how long we would have to wait it out - it could be the rest of term.

The issue is DD is severely vaccine phobic and this extends to all medical testing. She has had one PCR test already and so we have used up our 'it really doesn't hurt much' card. Even the thought of a throat swab had her curled up on the floor screaming earlier (and I don't know if the throat swab us an option). We made her have the flu vaccination last month and it took three adults to hold her down plus the nurse to administer. Talking doesn't work - she's not in control of her reactions.

How safe is it for a PCR test to be done on a child that is very resistant / flailing around? Even with multiple adults I would be worried about her jerking her head wildly. With a vaccination pretty much the worst that could happen is the needle snap or there be a wound in the arm.

With a PCR test is there a risk of permanent damage to something (not sure what but those swabs go pretty high!)?

Has anyone ever heard of a PCR test being administered under sedation or general anesthesia?

Any options I might be missing? Obviously I am not negating the possible psychological impact of forcing it on her (and this may mean we opt for distance learning) but I'm trying to understand if there are any physical risks to take into account as well.

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Sockwomble Mon 26-Oct-20 12:39:49

The advce here for a resistant child is not to test and (I've been told by a nurse) nurses will not test a child that resists. Sedation would only be used in the case of essential hospital treatment.

The school are being ridiculous and under UK law would be forced to back down.

Forgetmenot157 Mon 26-Oct-20 12:52:27

It's impossible, the throat swab is not allowed to touch anything but the tonsils. It will cause to to be inconclusive... There is no way you will only get tonsils if she is moving and resisting... I even touched my tounge and I was doing it myself in a mirror... The nose one goes very high too, a sudden movement could cause some damage!

IloveJKRowling Mon 26-Oct-20 12:57:01

I would have thought just waiting for 10 days to be the easier option in this situation.

Off topic a little but - I don't have tonsils, having had them removed at the age of 8 and yet had a throat swab prior to an operation back in June (nose too). So it can't be just tonsils, surely?

Forgetmenot157 Mon 26-Oct-20 12:58:58

It says tonsils or where tonsils would have been.

IloveJKRowling Mon 26-Oct-20 13:05:22

Ah, ok, that makes more sense!

UpperLowercaseSymbolNumber Mon 26-Oct-20 13:05:34

Are the school suggesting she can NEVER return without a negative test? That feels strange. Surely there must be some cut off? I would escalate the matter if they won’t budge at all.

FWIW I ended up putting my 9yo into a headlock to properly do the nostril after limited success at getting at the tonsils and cooperation had Fully ceased. They didn’t enjoy it but needs must in that case. No SEN though and they were resentful but understanding later.

Are there any blood test options that can be considered locally if that would be easier?

@IloveJKRowling I don’t have tonsils either (well about 95% removed) but you swap the bit of throat they grow out of.

AllBellyandBoobs Mon 26-Oct-20 13:10:47

The test instructions say you can perform a nasal swab only on children. They also don't have to go as high up as you think, it still isn't pleasant, very tickly and ever so slightly uncomfortable, but might be easier for your child?

lakesidewinter Mon 26-Oct-20 13:20:50

We have a needle phobic dc who ended up being held down last year for compulsory school vaccinations so I empathize.
( we have started desensitization therapy this year to try and sort this out)

I would ask what the alternative is if your dc is unable to take the test. They won't be the only dc in the area.

Our dc managed a swab test but not the pin prick when they needed a c19 test earlier in the year.

Is sedation possible? Our dentist uses laughing gas with dc without any issues.

Hargao Mon 26-Oct-20 13:23:46

Thanks everyone. I've spoken to doctor who says no physical risk with the nose swab as the swab is too soft, he's also said that his hospital would be willing to administer a sedative. (just in case anyone else wants to know). We will probably go down this route - she effectively lost a term of education last year as distance learning was a washout and I'm worried about it extending longer.

It's not the school causing the issue, it's the equivalent of the Department of Education. The school's hands are tied. Yes I agree it is rediculous but that's the law the school is having to comply with. By law the school has to provide a distance learning option so the government will just point to that as the option of I try to argue. She has to either have a PCR negative or have a government health center sign her off as not needing one. They won't sign her off without a test (or at least not until she's been symptom free for a long time) - this country has one of the highest testing rates in the world (if not the highest).

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WrongKindOfFace Mon 26-Oct-20 13:31:14

Is there anywhere locally that will do a saliva test? Appreciate that you would have to pay for this.

Hargao Mon 26-Oct-20 13:37:15

@lakesidewinter what's desensitization therapy? She's getting worse if anything rather than better.

Cross posts but thanks everyone else. It's a nose swab we're looking at and having already had one she isn't going to buy any arguments it's 'slightly uncomfortable' - she knows it hurts! It's not about the pain anyway - she equally thinks the flu jab was torture and I had it at the same time and it was really not bad (and nothing compared to a nose swab, of which I have now had 7!). It's a psychologic issue for her.

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Hargao Mon 26-Oct-20 13:38:22

Saliva won't cut it. I'm not sure if it's even available here. I think sedative plus nasal swab is the way to go.

This world is crazy!

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lakesidewinter Mon 26-Oct-20 13:49:23

Yes, our dc is getting worse. Last year was the worst ever.

Basically our pediatric center has a clinical social worker who is working to address the phobia with us.

We have started by looking at pictures of needles for five minutes a couple of times a week. It is very difficult.
We will build up from there with frequency and move to videos and then real life situations I understand.

Our dc knows intellectually that it doesn't hurt that much but as with most phobias their rational brain gets totally overwhelmed by fear in the moment (she was kicking and screaming last year)

After treatment when the SW thinks they are ready we are to drop her at the clinic and leave her until she gets it done, even if it takes all day. (But they don't have any SN and are middle school aged)

I phoned up her clinic and said that dc was really needle phobic and we needed help and this is what they suggested.

Hargao Mon 26-Oct-20 16:55:59

Thanks. I might see if I can find something similar here.

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