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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