"Getting baby's test results"

About: Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Yorkhill) / Accident & Emergency

(as a parent/guardian),

My 8 month old son was listless and sleepy with a high temperature - fairly generic symptoms. Our first port of call last Thursday was out of hours at Victoria Infirmary where, after a dose of Calpol, as often happens his temperature and behaviour was normal.

However as this continued and he stopped eating I went to our GP on Tuesday 10 June who referred us to Yorkhill to check for a uti.

At Yorkhill we were seen very quickly and I can't fault the care and attention we received from our GP and at the emergency department- everyone was friendly and helpful and as a first time Mum you are always conscious of being dismissed as over-anxious. We spent the afternoon waiting for my soon to pee which he eventually did. One comment regarding cleanliness - the trolley has something caked around the wheels and underneath - I still don't want to think about what it was.

Anyway finally having obtained the required sample we were advised there was some evidence of infection but not enough to warrant antibiotics at this stage. They would send the sample away for testing and we would be contacted if my baby did require antibiotics - probably within 24 hours and certainly within two days.

And the fateful line - you'll only hear from us if there's something wrong - was uttered. Along with the standard - its probably a virus.

This is always a double edged sword - do I trust the system enough to be confident if I don't hear that nothing is wrong.

In short no. By Friday 13 June, my son was still pretty poorly and still running a temperature. I know I have no medical training whatsoever but I was beginning to think was unusual for a virus. In the mix was a flight to the USA on Saturday 14 for a family wedding and the big question of whether or not we could undertake the journey with our son who was slowly improving but was still way below par.

As a result and still concerned about my son I went back to the GP - apologised for wasting his time - but said I was still a bit worried about taking a sick baby on a trans-atlantic flight. I told him that Yorkhill had said they would be in touch if they had found a uti and I hadn't received a call so I assumed that wasn't the root of the problem. As it happens it was and my GP has now prescribed antibiotics.

I am still waiting for the call from the hospital.

If I hadn't been due to travel tomorrow I'm not sure when I would have gone back to the GP and my poor wee boy would have spent more than a week trying to fight off an infection himself. It's not the most serious illness in the world and it's not the worst patient story that's ever been told but it does make you wonder how many calls should have been made that haven't been? Is it really saving time to not make the call to give the result one way or another? I would have been more than happy to call my GP for the results and had my boy on antibiotics at least 24 hours earlier.

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Responses

Response from Greater Glasgow & Clyde NHS

Dear

Thank you for bringing your concern to our attention, and we will be in touch to discuss more fully. In the meantime it might be helpful to explain that the Emergency Department developed a system with Microbiology where we receive a daily Monday to Friday email to our secretarial team listing any positive urine culture results.

We have a number of patients who are discharged with a urine culture result pending. The above arrangement with Microbiology was developed to ensure that we are informed about any positive urine culture results as quickly as possible and do not have to wait for the printed result to come through, which can often take a number of days.

It has been our experience that the system was working well and I apologise that it appears not to have done so in the case of your baby son. We will of course look into how this occurred to avoid the situation arising in the future.

Thank you once again for bringing this to our attention.

Regards

Elaine Love

Head of Nursing

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