fbpx

Babies Don’t Read Medical Textbooks

David Epstein, MD, addresses how, in pediatrics, children don't always respond to medications as expected, or present with typical symptoms during illnesses.

When we see that a patient is responding appropriately to a medical intervention or presenting with typical symptoms of a disease or illness, we say that they “read the textbook”.

Unfortunately, kids (babies included) sometimes don’t “read the textbook” when it comes to pediatric illnesses and treatments.

They can present with atypical symptoms and respond to treatment plans in an atypical manner as well.

Unusual Symptoms

Sick kids can present with unusual symptoms sometimes.

In infants, an overwhelming infection in the body can present with a body temperature that is lower than normal (rather than having a fever).

Younger children can actually have abdominal pain when they have pneumonia, in addition to respiratory symptoms.

A young girl may have fever and vomiting as the presenting symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Sometimes, the actual symptoms don’t always match the expected symptoms of an illness or disease.

Sick kids can present with unusual symptoms sometimes. Click To Tweet

 

Variable Medication Response

For treatments with medications, kids may have a variety of responses.

It is definitely hit or miss with many of the over-the-counter “cold” medications. You never know whose symptoms will or won’t respond to these medications.

Also, some children respond better to acetaminophen than ibuprofen for fever reduction and vice versa.

A small number of kids will have a paradoxical reaction to diphenhydramine, as it is given for allergic reactions or nasal allergies, and become extremely active or agitated versus most kids who become sleepy.

Finally, some children sedate well with traditional sedatives in the intensive care unit while others aren’t sedated at all and become delirious.

Reassess and Adjust

The unusual ways in which children can present with symptoms of an illness or respond to medications is really a lesson in expecting the unexpected and trial and error of treatment.

One has to keep a high index of suspicion for particular disease presentations by knowing the broad array of symptoms and understanding that kids may not present with stereotypical symptoms.

Furthermore, a treatment that works for one child may not work for another and the same treatment that worked in a child may not work in that same child at a later date.

So, while we expect kids to act and respond in the ways that we anticipate in pediatrics, they don’t always “read the textbook” and we just have to reassess and adjust.

Tweet this out

EARN CME

This learning experience is powered by CMEfy - a platform that brings relevant CMEs to busy clinicians, at the right place and right time. Using short learning nudges, clinicians can reflect and unlock AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.

Ad from SoMeDocs.

SoMeDocs Front Page Header

Don’t Settle for Boring Health Resources

Our Venture Amplifies Healthcare Resources.

Ad from SoMeDocs.

SoMeDocs Front Page Header

Marketing physician voices uniquely!

Our Venture Amplifies Healthcare Voices.

SoMeDocs

SoMeDocs, short for Doctors on Social Media, is a physician-created & led health media company that aims to build a beautiful catalogue of verified online healthcare voices. Our goals are to teach educated professionals tools for personal success, and to showcase them to the world, and facilitate the connections needed to grow. Join us.

The True Art of Medicine

The True Art of Medicine

Susan J. Baumgaertel, MD shares special and unexpected personal story about the art of medicine, our human connections, and the art all around us in nature.

The Late Night Texts

The Late Night Texts

Holly MacKenna, MD shares a story of how an unwelcomed text reminds a female of physician of past traumas and leads to an unexpected opportunity for post traumatic growth.

The Late Night Texts

The Late Night Texts

Holly MacKenna, MD shares a story of how an unwelcomed text reminds a female of physician of past traumas and leads to an unexpected opportunity for post traumatic growth.

Negotiation series header: David Norris

Negotiate as a Physician and Win

Catch this 8-part series, hosted by physician & business consultant David Norris, MD, MBA & produced by Dana Corriel, MD. Learn to be a stronger negotiator with these important tactics.

Conversations with Shem: Season 2

Medical literature icon Samuel Shem, author of “The House of God” returns for season 2 of conversation, in order to discuss the broken healthcare system. This time, he’s brought the guests!

Doctors on Social Media Teach Podcasting Header Image

Doctors On Social Media Teach Podcasting

Today’s health experts are sharing their expertise in audio format using podcasts. Join us as we explore how we do this and bring on the innovators who are giving it their all.

Ban Al-Karaghouli, MD

Ban Al-Karaghouli, MD

Always do your best. My favorite Quote is “Shoot for the Moon. If you miss, you will land among the stars”.

somedocs logo without url

Stay in Touch

Be a part of the healthcare revolution. Don’t miss a thing SoMeDocs Does!

Disclaimer: SoMeDocs assumes no responsibility for the accuracy, claims, or content of the individual experts' profiles, contributions and courses. Details within posts cannot be verified. This site does not represent medical advice and you should always consult with your private physician before taking on anything you read online. See SoMeDocs' Terms of Use for more information.

Play Video
Our Founder Answers Your BURNING Question

SoMeDocs

“Why should I become a member of SoMeDocs if I already have my own space online?”