Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No more antibiotics from pediatrician?

I really like it when my kids get antibiotics after days of being crabby. It makes me think, "Finally they can start getting better." Now new research shows antibiotics-when given for ear infections-may not do any good. That is a big bummer. I think it's a good thing when doctors don't over prescribe antibiotics, but I also hate leaving the doctor's office empty handed.

Here's the story from NBC:

Any parent who's ever had a child with painful ear infections knows -- it's hard to see them suffer. You want to help them -- fast -- and that help often comes in the form of a prescription from the doctor. But new research suggests antibiotics may do nothing to help after all. Dr. Amina Ahmed sees her share of kids with ear infections -- Getting a good look inside squirmy and sick kids' ears can be an art form -- and crucial to an accurate diagnosis.

Once confirmed -- pediatricians often get out their prescription pad. Dr. Amina Ahmed/Pediatrician "If it was truly an ear infection, the general pediatrician would prescribe antibiotics which would actually target a bacterial cause for the ear infection."
But now a large review of research from the past decade finds a majority of kids' ear infections clear up on their own -- without antibiotics.

Dr. Tumaini Coker - Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA "Healthy children who get acute ear infections are sometimes able to fight the infection on their own without any antibiotics."
Dr. Tumaini Coker of Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA led the new review. She says that out of every 100 kids with an ear infection -- about 80 will recover without a prescription. However -- antibiotics did help some children.

Dr. Tumaini cCoker - Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA"Now if you were to go back and treat that 100 children with antibiotics, you could expect that number 80 to go to 92."
Do why wouldn't parents want their kids to have an antibiotic -- just in case? Dr. Coker says a few children develop rashes or diarrhea from the medicine. Others suggest possible long-term effects of repeated antibiotic use -- superbugs.

Dr. Amina Ahmed - pediatrician "If we limit antibiotics to those children that truly have ear infections, I think we're going to decrease resistance overall."
Regardless of the final course of treatment ... doctors say kids should be seen by a doctor for a professional diagnosis even if you leave the office empty-handed. Doctors say there's no reason kids should suffer from their pain -- even if they don't have an antibiotic -- over-the-counter pain relievers can help them feel better, sooner.

This is an email I got today about chiropractic adjustments and ear infections. I thought you might want this info as well!
My now 3 year old, Travis, had about 11 ear infections in his first year of life. We put tubes in his ears right before he turned 1. He ended up getting 3 more ear infections in the four months following that even with the tubes. The ear, nose, and throat doctor wanted to do another surgery to replace the plastic tubes in Travis's ears with titanium tubes. I was not about to put my little baby through another surgery. I know it only lasts about 15 minutes, but it's the anesthesia that scared me. So, someone told me to try getting him adjusted. I will admit that I was pretty skeptical at first. We went to see Dr. Jay Benningfield, and he was amazing! He made us feel so comfortable about the whole thing, and explained what he was going to do. Anyway, we ended up seeing Dr.Jay about 5 times over about a month and a half. Travis hasn't had one single ear infection since our first visit to Jay. He hasn't been on any antibiotics since April of last year. I am not sure how big this practice has gotten, but thought our story may help you out somehow. I am definitely spreading the word to anyone who will listen.
-NewsAnchorMom Jen
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