Posted by: BMJ | 2012/09/12


5 year old sick child

Dear Doc.

I wrote to you on the 18 August about my 5 year old son who had a high fever and tummy ache. I wrote again on the 10th. (below is a copy of the original posts.)

I did take my son back again and the dr said it is not meningitis. Today he had a very high fever again - 40.2. The doctor was really concerned that he is still so ill and had some chest xrays as well as blood test and urine test done. He phoned me now to say the blood test did not show any acute infection at present, but it did show low lymphocyte count. He did not yet have the xray report. He made an appointment for us with the peadiatrician tomorrow at 10am.

It is clear that my son is ill. He has not really eaten much since the 23rd and lost 1.3kgs. (He has gone from 18kgs to 16.7) He is sleepy and feverish all the time. Everything - even his favourite drinks and eats taste funny so he is not eating and drinking only a little at a time, and he definately has abdominal tenderness. I need to know what exactly to ask my peadiatrician.

Here is a copy of my last post :
10 Sept
Doc, my 5 year old has had a fever of 38.5-39.2 since Friday. He originally complained of a headache, but no other symptoms at all. His temp has not gone down once. He does not take any medication orally or rectally, so apart from just wiping him down, we just sit out fevers. This morning he is saying his tummy is paining. He is not eating and drinking only a few sips every now and again. He is of course feeling weak and miserable. Actually, as I am writing this, I realise it is time to take him to the doctor.

18 Aug
My 5 year old boy woke up with a fever of 39 yesterday. He spent the whole day sleeping. He was awake for only a minute or two between sleeping. He complained of a headache and said his legs were paining a lot. He also complained of earache and that the sun hurts his eyes. At dinner time he tried two mouth fulls of food but almost immediately stopped and said his tummy is also sore. Drinking also hurts his tummy. Then he said his shoulder is paining. During the night he was very restless crying his legs are sore. This morning his temp is much lower - only 37.8, but his legs and tummy is still very sore. The illness came on suddenly. He has no external symptoms such as a rash or vomitting or loose stools or cold symptoms. His ears and head feels fine this morning, just the fatigue an leg and stomach pain.

It seems to me that he has typical flu symptoms and I just wanted to check that with you.

I have not given him any medication as he promptly vomits it out. He has a very strong gag refleks and cannot tolerate the taste of medication, we have tried every brand known to mankind. He finds suppositories ''''burn'''' him, so at this point my paed said that if he is sick enough to get medication, it will have to be a drip or injection. Luckily he has only once before been sick. I explained to him that panado will help him feel better, but he just gets hysterical at the suggestion.

Expert's Reply



Your son definitely requires admission to hospital so that his illness can be diagnosed.Please let me know about the outcome.

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