Author: Naomi Zilkha, MD (Telemedicine, Allied Physicians Group)
It’s time for #TelemedicineTuesday
Today I’d like to talk about after-hours fevers.
Most importantly, if you are a parent to a baby that is 6 weeks old or less, if the baby has a rectal temperature of 100.5 or higher, this is not a Telemedicine visit. You need to call your Allied office, and speak to the doctor on call, no matter what time of day or night it is.
If you are a parent of a newborn and don’t have a digital rectal thermometer, I highly recommend getting one. I know some parents are hesitant to use them, but put a little Vaseline or K-Y on the tip, and your baby will probably be more annoyed to have the diaper opened than having the temperature taken.
Aside from newborn fevers, nearly all other fevers can be handled after-hours by a Telemedicine visit. Usually what I will do is take a look at your child and make sure that they don’t look sick enough for me (as a pediatrician) to be worried. (This is totally different than mom-worry, which I have in spades) And then I will give you advice to help make the night easier.
Even though temps as high as 105 can be scary, they can normally be managed at home overnight with the correct doses of Tylenol (Acetaminophen)and/or Motrin(Advil/Ibuprofen)
One tip: if your child weighs over 100 pounds, they get the adult dose of medication for fever. If they can swallow pills, then you’re good to go.
Another tip: Write down the times and dosages of medication you are giving. In the middle of the night, it might not be so easy to remember if it has been at least 4 hours since the last Tylenol dose, or at least 6 hours since the last Motrin dose .
Depending on other symptoms, I may have other recommendations, I almost always recommend following up with your Allied office the next day.
And, as always, my note from the visit will be right there for every doctor at your Allied office to see as soon as they log in for the day.
So, remember, when it comes to after-hours care, #ThinkTelemedicine first!