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Help! Treatment of Bronchitis with Antibiotics in 10mth old

18 replies

AussieSim · 12/12/2003 20:07

My DS came into contact with a friend's baby who had supposedly recovered from a bout of severe Bronchitis. A few days later he had a cough. I didn't immediately think of my friend's baby, as everyone seems to have a cold at the moment and I thought he might have picked up something while we were standing in line at the chemist. I took him to his doctor as we are going to Australia on holidays in a few days and I was concerned about him flying. She listened to him and said it wasn't bronchitis and gave me some homeopathic treatment for his cough and some nasal spray and said he should be fine to fly.

Then tonight I hear that my friend's baby has had a relapse and has been in hospital having difficulty breathing, so I get my doctor on the phone and she prescribes antibiotics specifically Erythromycin ethyl succinat. So I do my homework in my books and on the net and everything I read says that Bronchitis is normally caused by virus and not bacteria and so antibiotics are useless.

Of course now I have doubts about whether to follow the doctors instructions and give the antibiotics. He hasn't had a temperature with it. He does sound chesty and does cough a bit in the mornings and evenings but is otherwise OK.

I called my friend to see how her babies illness had developed and she said that he had a cough on and off for weeks and weeks before it got serious and caused him breathing problems.

I guess I'm just going on a bit really, but what do you guys think I should do?

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Lou33 · 12/12/2003 20:19

Ds1 developed bronchitis after having croup. They gave him anti biotics , and it helped enormously.

Tissy · 12/12/2003 20:22

Why not hang on to the antibiotics and give them if he gets worse, i.e. more cough, temperature?

Jimjams · 12/12/2003 20:41

aussie- most chest problems start as viral - they can then become infected with a bacteria and become bacterial. I do think your dr was barking really- as it is more likely at this stage your son's is viral (bacterial chest infections aren't usually passed- unless its something like hib- they develop following an initial viral infection).

In your case I would keep the antibiotics as a standby.

My son has a revolting cough atm. A few weeks ago I took him to the dr who said it was viral. it went away but a new one has appeared. I'm assuming its viral unless it gets much worse.

You do need to be careful with a baby- but I think if possible it would be better to get a dr to listen to the chest first- I was convinced ds2's had moved to his chest but dr said not.

Erythromyocin is broad spectrum, so if you do give it might be worth giving probiotics as well.

Jimjams · 12/12/2003 20:43

BTW my eldest son had a chest infection at about 8 months. he was noticeably ill with it- high temp, all floppy, not hungry. He was prescribed erythromyosin then- but he was clearly ill.

LIZS · 12/12/2003 20:50

Could you ask the dr at what point to administer the antibiotics. Seems a good idea to have them on standby in case it turns bacterial while you are travelling but a guide as to what symptoms to act upon (ie. fever, poor feeding, wheezing...) might be useful. Just because your friend's baby's has developed into a bacterial infection doesn't necessarily mean your ds's will too.

If your ds is fit to fly he hasn't yet developed any related problems in ears or throat. Presumably you could visit a dr in Australia should he seem any worse.

mieow · 12/12/2003 20:54

When DD1 was 4 month old she delevoped Bronchitis, she was admitted into hospital where she stayed in a O2 tent for a week. She was given antibiotics at the hospital. After about 2 days DS went down with a bad cough, I ran overthe hospital with him and was told he had croup. Appartently Croup and Bronchitis are the same virus but Bronchitis travels further down into the small sacs of the lungs (or something similiar) causing more problems. Please give the antibiotics, but there is lots of coughs going about atm anyway, so it maybe that he just has a cough.

BTW how old is your son? Bronchitis usually affects premature babies under the age of 1 (i think) and happens between oct-jan. DD1 was the hospital first Bronchitis baby in 2000, but in the week she was there 3 others came in.

mieow · 12/12/2003 20:57

whoops sorry DD1 had bronchiolitis (is this what you meant)

mieow · 12/12/2003 21:00

just found this, hope it will put you mind at rest.

Bronchiolitis is usually spread from the secretions from another person that has RSV, either another infant with bronchiolitis or an adult who may just have a cold

AussieSim · 13/12/2003 11:47

I don't think here in Germany they make a distinction between Bronchiolitis and Bronchitis.

I'm following advice of Tissy and JimJams and still holding off the antibiotics, but think I will take ds to the doctor on Monday before we fly. He still occasionally wheezes and coughs, but nothing more.

Mieow, my ds is about 10.5mths old and he was 5 weeks premature, do you think that makes a difference. I had injections in about week 25 to advance the development of the lungs just in case he was premmie, but I've no idea if they helped or whatever, although the doctors have never had any concerns about his lungs since he was born.

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Slinky · 13/12/2003 13:34

I usually suffer from bronchitus around twice a year - my last dose was from July through to end of September.

Every time, I'm always given anti-biotics - even if I see different doctors and as I was ill in France this summer, had to see a doctor over there - who again prescribed anti-biotics.

Having said this, I'm not sure whether this is standard procedure or the fact that I am asthmatic as well.

LIZS · 13/12/2003 15:15


I'd be surprised if they don't make the disitinction in Germany as they do in Switzerland. dd had bronchiolitis and it was different to ds' bronchitis. His was a cough and breathlessness rather than a wheeze and gasp, if that makes sense. With bronchiolitis in a baby there is a high chance of hospitalisation (I was subsequently told that with dd she had avoided an 80% chance) as it is really important to keep the fluids going in and blood oxygen levels up. I'm sure if your dr suspected this she would be far more concerned than she seems. No harm in making sure on Monday though.

AussieSim · 13/12/2003 15:59

Thanks LIZS, maybe they just call Bronchiolitis something different here. I can find Bronchitis in my Deutsch Baby Lexicon (Encyclapedia sp?) but not Bronchiolitis. I guess it is not Bronchiolitis as besides an occasional cough and wheeze he has no other symptoms, although my friends baby who is 13mths old was hospitalised, so I think maybe he does have bronchiolitis and know they are concerned that if it comes back for a third time he is likely to be asmthmatic (his dad has heaps of allergies).

Anyway, I am hoping the nice 30 degree temperatures in Australia help both ds's cough and his eczema.

Thanks everyone for your advice.

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AussieSim · 13/12/2003 16:01

Slinky, I don't know much about Asmthma and anti-biotics, but I do think sometimes Drs give Antibiotics as otherwise they would just tell people to rest and drink heaps of fluids.

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Evita · 13/12/2003 20:17

AussieSim, my daughter had croup at 8 months, then again at 13 months. Both times it started as a dry cough at night or when lying down and didn't really bother her enormously - no fever or anything. But both times it turned into a chest infection and she had to spend a couple of nights in hospital. The doctors there told me that they never give antibiotics for either bronchitis or croup and would only give them if there was an infection (i.e. bacterial rather than viral). There was a huge difference between her with just the croup and when it became a bacterial infection. The croup was just a cough, the chest infection made her really ill, struggling to breathe, v. high fever, refusing food and liquid and flopping round everywhere. We couldn't even get her to keep her head upright long enough to give her calpol. If your son's not really ill like that I wouldn't give antibiotics. But like someone suggested, why not take them with you in case he develops a fever and seems much worse.

pop · 14/12/2003 07:58

Aussiesim - I had twins - 8 weeks early - had injections at 30 weeks to mature their lungs and they had bronchiolitis last year when they were4 months. they were both in hospital but I think that was more to do with feeding them 'cos they were not on solids and wouldn't take milk. The doctors told me that they were no more likely to have br. because they were prem bacuse they hadn't been on a ventilator - apparently if they have been on one they are slightly more prone to chesty thing is the first year - good luck!

robinw · 14/12/2003 09:17

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robinw · 14/12/2003 09:19

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AussieSim · 14/12/2003 11:25

Thanks guys, I'm feeling better and better about my ds. I am giving him the nasal spray and will definitely take it and the antibotics on the plane for just in case. I will keep an eye on him that nothing further develops while we are back home. Thanks again to everyone for chipping in!

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