Question :

Pneumonia with high fever and cough

Dear Ask The Doctor:
12yr old daughter has pneumonia with fevers of up to 103. She was in the hospital on Wednesday of this week. Sent home on antibiotics. She still has 101-102 fevers,and coughing really bad. Do I need to give the antibiotic more time to work? Or should I take her back to the hospital? She does NOT have a family physician that I can call.


Answer :

Dear Patient: 
Pneumonia in children will present with fever and cough and the longer the duration of these symptoms, the more likely it is due to pneumonia. I do understand that you are concerned regarding your daughter's health.
Most cases of bacterial pneumonia in children is caused by streptococcus pneumoniae. Since your daughter has been started on antibiotics, it would be anywhere from 48 to 72 hours before any visible signs of improvement. I would advise you to monitor her symptoms and consult her doctor if the symptoms do not improve even after 72 hours on antibiotics, her temperature increases, her respiration is >50 breaths/min, or she develops bluish discoloration in the lips and fingers. I wish your daughter well.


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