Childhood Diseases

Question
Posted by: Desperate Mom | 2008/06/30

Q.

Phlegm & chronic cough

Hi dr,
I'm writing to you out of pure desperation, so please excuse the long mail, but I need to explain the history.
My son (9 months, 9kg's) has had a cough since the end of April. The last couple of weeks he has produced alot of phlegm. Also, I've had him at the GP / Paed several times & he has already been on 2 courses of antibiotics. The last diagnosis was middle ear infection caused by the phlegm. The cough gets better for 3 - 4 days at a time, but then it gets worse again. When it gets worse, he vomits from all the phlegm, bringing up most of his meals (especially milk feeds, Purity fruits & yoghurt). He almost always vomits from his morning milk feed (I assume this is from the build up of phlegm during the night).
He doesn't otherwise appear ill, no fever & high energy levels, but currently not really a huge appetite.
Also, he appears to be cutting his front teeth. Stools have been dark / black in colour & this morning was green.
I really just don't know who to phone, where to go or what to do anymore. He is going for hypospadias repair surgery in 2 weeks' time & I need to get his chest right before then.
Over the weekend I decided to take all dairy products away, no more cheeses, yoghurt & I've changes his NAN to the lactose free tin - JUST in case he is temporarily lactose intolerant. There seems to be a little bit of an improvement. Less coughing & he has not vomited anything since yesterday morning - could this be coincidental? I only give him milk, tea & cereal.
Current medication: Bisolven in the mornings & afternoons & Tussitot in the evenings.
Please can you give me advise as to whether I'm on the right track, or what else I can do?
Thank you, it is much appreciated.

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician

Your son's cough has been going on for a long time now despite all of the medicines he has had. His regular vomiting is also a feature of his illness. He seems to have the symptoms of an illness which mimics whooping cough and is called parapertussis. Please ask your paediatrician if this could be the diagnosis and to treat your baby accordingly.

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