Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

Rheumatic Fever Diagnosis in 3 year old

Posted In: Medical Errors 2 Replies
  • Posted By: Jennifer316
  • January 11, 2009
  • 07:47 PM

Our 3 year old had a sore throat, fever and cold symptoms (for one day) about 4 weeks ago which dissapeared within 24 hours, so we did not bring him to the Doctor. The fever and sore throat went away within a day, but he had a stuffy nose for about the next week. Then about one week after the initial infection, his stuffy nose came back along with a fever, and he complained of pain in his knees. Regarding the joint pain, he had been going to preschool, all his activities (hockey, gymnastics, swimming, and soccer) that week, so we just thought it from one of his activities.
Also, the knee pain only lasted about 4 hours. He had no recurrent sore throat, just a stuffy nose for about another week.

About 2 weeks later (a few days ago), I heard there was strep throat going around at his school, so as a precaution I decided to take him to the doctor to get him tested for strep throat, even though he hadn't had a sore throat for about 4 weeks at that point. Surprisingly, he tested positive for strep, and we started him on antibiotics that day.

I told the pediatrician that he also had joint pain a couple weeks before, but that it was just the one time and we thought it was from the sports.

She wanted blood tests to see if he had any inflammation in his blood (to see whether he had rheumatoid problems). So, we took our 3 year old for blood tests, and there was no inflammation. But our pediatrician still wants to put him on antibiotic therapy for a long term duration (just as if he had rheumatic fever) even though we really don't see how she could think he has a rheumatoid problem just because he had some joint pain. He never had a fever that lasted more than 24 hours and his joint pain only lasted 4 hours a couple weeks before. Also, his heart is fine.

Are we out of line to refuse this long term antibiotic treatment for our 3 year old? We just think there's not enough proof to warrant a treatment like that. Plus, our 3 year old has been totally fine, no symptoms, no migratory joint pain, and even his one fever and sore throat really wasn't that bad 4 weeks ago.

This is an EXTREMELY active 3 year old. He never stops moving, and we have to put him in every kind of sport just to tire him out. In fact, he went skiing today and yesterday, and he played hockey the day before that.

Thanks for your help,

A Worried Mom.

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2 Replies:

  • I would get a second opinion, just to be sure, but I would assume with strep throat, that would be the cause of the fever, especially if there was no inflammation. So, no I don't think you are at all out of line.
    qwertyuiop123 453 Replies
    • January 11, 2009
    • 08:51 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi ya I agree that you should get a second opinion -this is excellent advice as you dont want your child to take drugs unless it is necessary. However you have a doctor whom is prescribing your child with antibiotics as a precaution - this maybe because the strep virus could have (if you hadn't had the antibiotics) developed into rheumatic fever and rheumatic fever can strick twice. My son had to have life saving surgury at the age of 4 to replace his mitre valve. The valve had been attacked by rheumatic fever, infact destroyed and now John is going to be on antibiotics for the rest of his life not to mention the warfarin and the 7 different other drugs that he will be on until he gets his valve replacement when he has stopped growing - more open heart surgery. The penicillin however I am very pleased about as I dont want to consider what might happen with a reoccurance. I understand your concern but I promise if your second opinion agrees with the first go with it, please!!!! Low dose penicillin is a fab alternative to rheumatic fever, I promise you!If it is decided that your child does need antibotics then please smile when you are giving it because they are preventing what I would deem to be a slient killer and a real ***l on earth!All the bestMum who is so so happy her son is alive
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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