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The Informed Parent

What’s Up Doc

by John H. Samson, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Published on Mar. 22, 2010
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Continuing with our review of medical literature for the informed parent,

III.  WHOOPING COUGH (PERTUSSIS): PCR DIAGNOSIS OF PERTUSSIS
by J. Waters, et.al.: Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal; 2009; 28 (7); pg. 582-587

The investigators show a simple nasal secretion test (PCR) can diagnose Pertussis in a child with a prolonged cough syndrome.

COMMENT:  This test is easy enough to collect in a regular pediatric office and send to a laboratory to do the PCR test for Pertussis.

We know even immunized children and adolescents can acquire Pertussis. The authors point out that a patient without typical Pertussis and a positive PCR could be a carrier.

Yes, whooping cough is still around. If we do not look for it, we will miss cases. If your pediatrician suggests a PCR for Pertussis is indicated in your coughing child, accept the recommendation and thank him or her for being astute and thinking about the diagnosis.

 

IV.  POTENTIAL INTERACTIONS OF VITAMINS WITH MEDICATIONS
by R..D. Goldman, et.al.; Pediatric Drugs; 2009; 11 (4); pg. 251-257
 
This is a good article alerting us to the fact that vitamins in routine use are harmless. But when given in conjunction with medications, they can cause pharmacologic interactions which may increase or decrease the levels of the medications, and thus reduce the effectiveness or increase the toxicity.

The most interactions are:

  • Ascorbic acid and acetamenophen
  • Vitamin D, B6, B12 or folic acid with cortesone.

COMMENT:  Before you give your child a nutritional supplement of any kind, be sure you know it’s effect on the child and any medications he or she is taking.

If your pediatrician queries you about vitamin intake, it’s not because your doctor is suspicious of poor parenting or challenging your nutritional concepts. He or she is simply being complete and looking for therapeutic hazards.




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