Around 11pm on a Friday night, I was on call covering our clinic so the late night call wasn’t at all surprising. Hello, I said it is kindly voices I could muster at Friday on a late night rolling out of bed. I’ve been trying to catch a little sleep in case I had to admit a patient to the hospital overnight, but I anticipated it might be a worried patient on the other end of the line and a kind voice can go a long way toward reassurance. Sure enough, an anxious mom responded Hello Dr. Rom. I could hear a toddler’s slight coughing in the bathroom.
Dr. Rom I’m so sorry to bother you at night my daughter Janie’s almost two. She’s had a temperature of about 100.2 since this afternoon, and she’s been fussy and pulling on her right ear since just after dinner. Before that she was playing with her older brother but by dinner, she was cranky and didn’t eat much. She’s also really clingy. She’s taking juice and water which have been giving her to keep her hydrated and I gave her Tylenol about an hour ago, just to see if it would help her sleep. Her fever has been down to 99 six since then, and she settled down some my son’s had ear infections before and both kids have had a cold for a few days. I’m a bit worried and I don’t know if I should bring her to the emergency department or whether she needs an antibiotic right away. My son has always gotten antibiotics from our paediatrician every time he’s had an ear infection so I just don’t know what to do.