Would you do Prevnar to avoid ear tubes? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 34 Old 01-23-2009, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son has had constant ear infections since November. It starts as a sinus infection, then his lymph nodes swell up, then the ear infection sets in. He's had one or two a month since last November. He'll go on a round or two of antibiotics, everything will clear up, then 3 days after the course is over it all starts over again.

We are not anti-vax, but is disagree that every child needs every vaccine created, so I oppose the CDC schedule. I chose to discontinue the bacterial vaccines since Meningitis cases haven't been reduced.

I suppose my question is, would you give your child Prevnar in an attempt to avoid them having tubes put in their ears? I know there are risks with each vaccine, but surgery really scares me. His constantly being on antibiotics isn't healthy either.

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#2 of 34 Old 01-23-2009, 04:42 PM
 
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No. Especially since the manufacturers of Prevnar have explicitly said it is NOT to be marked as an ear infection vaccine.

How much dairy does your child eat/drink? There's strong evidence linking ear infections to dairy consumption. Might be worth a shot.

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#3 of 34 Old 01-23-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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If this has only been going on since November, it sounds like the ear infection is never completely clearing up. Have you tried taking him to a chiropractor? They have a good track record in helping reduce the number of ear infections in children. I'd try something non-invasive like that first, then re-evaluate if necessary. I hope your lo gets better soon!

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#4 of 34 Old 01-23-2009, 06:15 PM
 
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I agree about the prevnar. I actually read (I will try and find it again and repost) that for ear infection prevention, Prevnar was -7% effective!
I also agree about Chiropractic care...very effective at helping ear infection issues

If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#5 of 34 Old 01-23-2009, 10:26 PM
 
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just wanted to chime in about chiropractic, and to second dairy - my children got chronic ear infections when given pasteurized dairy as young toddlers. as in, i start them on regular milk at age 1 (i don't do this anymore), and the ear infections start and keep on coming. take child off milk = no more ear infections. worth a try.
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#6 of 34 Old 01-26-2009, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't take him off dairy. I hardly make any milk (maybe a quarter ounce on a good day), and he was FTT until he was allowed to drink milk at 18 months old. He eats like a bird and full fat dairy is the only think that makes him gain weight. If I had a good supply, I wouldn't give him dairy. He doesn't eat avocados, an only eats olives sparingly. It's hard to find other sources of healthy fats that he will eat.

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#7 of 34 Old 01-27-2009, 12:53 AM
 
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In the Allergies forum, we find that a lot of us, adults and kids, really crave the thing that's causing us problems. I did, definitely (gluten and dairy). Thing is--if dairy _is_ the problem, then Prevnar isn't going to help (though the data is not strong that it helps in more general situations anyway) because your LO will be more susceptible than the typical kid, and if it's not one of the 7 strains of pneumococcal that Prevnar covers (assuming good protection from the vaccine) then another opportunistic bacteria is just going to jump in.

Finding a food, or foods, that he'll eat is, of course, a real hurdle, cause not eating and wasting away is clearly not the better option. But the folks in Allergies could maybe help with this too--not sure what you've already tried, maybe smoothies with coconut milk, meatballs, some folks have yummy coconut oil-chopped nuts-cocoa powder type treats (think truffles, but homemade and without scary ingredients). It's even possible that something like a raw goat's milk wouldn't cause problems even if pasteurized cow's milk does, though the likelihood of success is lower.
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#8 of 34 Old 01-27-2009, 01:21 AM
 
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My daughter is unvaccinated and was breastfed until 2.5. However, she has gigantic tonsils/adenoids. We had about 8-9 ear infections in a year. Colds and other b.s. in between. I gave her antibiotics for most of the ear infections (as they were all severe/bulging and I thought that's when they were indicated). The one mild one she had, I didn't treat with abx. I have since learned this is NOT GOOD.

A naturopath did a stool test on her that tested way high for yeast. My kid seemed to be sick all the time with colds, ear infections, etc. We started a 6 month elimination diet without dairy, soy, and gluten. Sounds hard, but its really quite manageable. She also takes a variety of supplements, a probiotic, and an herbal yeast remedy called Biocidin.

The results have been INCREDIBLE. First of all, she stopped snoring the day after we took her off dairy. I certainly think she has a dairy allergy. In fact, the more I read, the more I think MOST of us do not benefit from dairy. Its not all that healthy for you.

Secondly, she has not been sick AT ALL for the last two months through the dead of winter with people dropping from the flu and colds all around us. Her teachers BOTH got the flu, and she had kids hacking coughing and running snot all around her. Not even a sniffle. I am pinching myself.

Her belly is getting flatter (used to be pooched out with yeast overgrowth) and she has never been healthier. I am in shock honestly. I can't think of even ONE of our friends who didn't get a gnarly cold this winter. Milena was almost bulletproof to it.

So my advice is NO ANTIBIOTICS FOR EAR INFECTIONS and be wary of dairy. I read some statistic that said something like 70% of us have some issue with dairy. There are 50+ proteins in it that you can be allergic to....so its a decent bet. My friend is a doctor at Kaiser and he said they NEVER EVER GIVE ANTIBIOTICS for ear infections. They give pain drops to relieve any pain in the ear and they heal on their own. He said if there is any other symptom (runny nose, cough, etc.) it is almost always viral and the antibiotics do nothing to resolve them.

Anyhow, I'm fairly certain that my daughter's health/allergy issues were related to her gut problems (as mentioned on that thread) and I don't think dairy benefits her at all. The jury is still out on soy and gluten. In theory, she can have them all in small amounts after the 6 months. I guess we'll get instructions from the naturopath when we cross that bridge.

FWIW, DD was a cheese freak and loved dairy. Definetly a case of being addicted to what you are allergic too. She is 2.5 now, and her own policewoman. At a mexican restaurant the other day, they put cheese on her beans. She immediately said "uh oh! look at my beans. I can't have cheese!" She has been amazing about everything.

It sounds impossible but it can be done. And it is WORTH IT. Perhaps, your son will eat better when he is feeling better and his belly isn't ripped up from antibiotics???

I just wrote out a whole list of things DD CAN eat for another mama. If you are interested, I'd be happy to share.

Also, I'm anti ear tubes for the simple reason that research shows general anaesthetic before the age of 3 is correlated to learning and memory problems throughout life I thought I only had the surgery/recovery to worry about. But long term cognitive ramifications on top of that? yikes.

Is there a naturopath you could at least meet with? Once your LO gets his system back in balance, you might be surprised at how healthy it gets. It took us about 2 months to see results with Milena, but now she's almost bulletproof

XOXO
B

mama to Milena Anjali (4/26/06) and Vincent Asher (4/13/09) ~ married to the love of my life since 2002.
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#9 of 34 Old 01-28-2009, 03:51 AM
 
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Briefly, my wonderful pediatrician admitted to me that, even with tubes, ear infections don't necessarily go away. The tubes may not work. As long as the ear infections aren't interfering with the baby's HEARING, they're not inherently bad.

~ Robyn

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#10 of 34 Old 01-28-2009, 11:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rredhead View Post
Briefly, my wonderful pediatrician admitted to me that, even with tubes, ear infections don't necessarily go away. The tubes may not work. As long as the ear infections aren't interfering with the baby's HEARING, they're not inherently bad.
One mom I know got the tubes for her DS. They immediately fell out because of another infection. They changed his diet, and he never had another infection.

to the OP. I don't know what its like to deal with FTT and all that. I know dietary changes are overwhelming to most moms, let alone with that complication added to the mix. But I really hope you at least consider taking him off dairy. There is surely some tricky way to get him enough fat in another way..... I really was a skeptical person reading on MDC about dietary changes, but it has been a miracle for us.

XOXO
B

mama to Milena Anjali (4/26/06) and Vincent Asher (4/13/09) ~ married to the love of my life since 2002.
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#11 of 34 Old 01-28-2009, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everyone. I'm taking note of all the replies and will discuss all our options with DH tonight.

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#12 of 34 Old 02-02-2009, 05:56 PM
 
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I disagree that antibiotics for ear infections are ALWAYS bad, but yes, if you are on continuous abx cycles, there is something else that needs to be addressed.

Our situation is different for a number of reasons, but my son has recurrent ear infections, had Prevnar, still got them, had hearing loss, we did tubes. (He has been under general anesthesia at least six times already, and will be under many more, as he has a ton of medical probems). Anyway, he still gets infections now, but they are easier to ride out or treat because of the tubes. He wouldn't take a bottle at all before tubes if he had an ear infection; now it's no problem (he's still on a bottle due to oral motor issues, etc etc).

Of all the procedures he's had, the ear tube surgery was the easiest. He will continue to get ear infections because he has an immune deficiency, but we felt we had to address it due to the hearing loss. It's MUCH easier to deal with them now, so I would do the tubes again.

If I could go back in time, I would probably not have done Prevnar because it didn't help.
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#13 of 34 Old 02-06-2009, 03:48 PM
 
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All 3 of my kids have had ear issues, chiro and dietary changes corrected the issues with my older two. My youngest nothing would work, we did round after round of Abx for ear infections that started at 3 weeks old. Finaly at 12 months it was determined that she had a structural abnormality that ment the eustation tubes didn't function. She had ear tubes placed at 18 months, the only worked for a few months and we had a new set put in at 24 months - she has had them almost a year now and they are working FANTASTIC. She has had 2 minoer ear infections that have been easily cured with ear drops - so no systemic Abx.
The constant Abx would be my fear - we are now dealing with C-Diff in my DD because of all the Abx that she recived as an infant to "cure" the ear infections. This is going to be a lifelong issue for her now, because there is risk of it flaring if she ever NEEDS abx again.
I would try Chiro for a month or two, but aslo I would ask for a hearing test and to see and ENT for evaluation. If he wants to put tubes in right away, you can always say that you want to try the chiro for a little longer then if that dosn't work go for the tubes.
I just wish we had gotten DD's in sooner. She did not have the Prevnar but it would not have prevented her issues.
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#14 of 34 Old 02-16-2009, 11:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BethSLP View Post
My daughter is unvaccinated and was breastfed until 2.5. However, she has gigantic tonsils/adenoids. We had about 8-9 ear infections in a year. Colds and other b.s. in between. I gave her antibiotics for most of the ear infections (as they were all severe/bulging and I thought that's when they were indicated). The one mild one she had, I didn't treat with abx. I have since learned this is NOT GOOD.

A naturopath did a stool test on her that tested way high for yeast. My kid seemed to be sick all the time with colds, ear infections, etc. We started a 6 month elimination diet without dairy, soy, and gluten. Sounds hard, but its really quite manageable. She also takes a variety of supplements, a probiotic, and an herbal yeast remedy called Biocidin.

The results have been INCREDIBLE. First of all, she stopped snoring the day after we took her off dairy. I certainly think she has a dairy allergy. In fact, the more I read, the more I think MOST of us do not benefit from dairy. Its not all that healthy for you.

Secondly, she has not been sick AT ALL for the last two months through the dead of winter with people dropping from the flu and colds all around us. Her teachers BOTH got the flu, and she had kids hacking coughing and running snot all around her. Not even a sniffle. I am pinching myself.

Her belly is getting flatter (used to be pooched out with yeast overgrowth) and she has never been healthier. I am in shock honestly. I can't think of even ONE of our friends who didn't get a gnarly cold this winter. Milena was almost bulletproof to it.

So my advice is NO ANTIBIOTICS FOR EAR INFECTIONS and be wary of dairy. I read some statistic that said something like 70% of us have some issue with dairy. There are 50+ proteins in it that you can be allergic to....so its a decent bet. My friend is a doctor at Kaiser and he said they NEVER EVER GIVE ANTIBIOTICS for ear infections. They give pain drops to relieve any pain in the ear and they heal on their own. He said if there is any other symptom (runny nose, cough, etc.) it is almost always viral and the antibiotics do nothing to resolve them.

Anyhow, I'm fairly certain that my daughter's health/allergy issues were related to her gut problems (as mentioned on that thread) and I don't think dairy benefits her at all. The jury is still out on soy and gluten. In theory, she can have them all in small amounts after the 6 months. I guess we'll get instructions from the naturopath when we cross that bridge.

FWIW, DD was a cheese freak and loved dairy. Definetly a case of being addicted to what you are allergic too. She is 2.5 now, and her own policewoman. At a mexican restaurant the other day, they put cheese on her beans. She immediately said "uh oh! look at my beans. I can't have cheese!" She has been amazing about everything.

It sounds impossible but it can be done. And it is WORTH IT. Perhaps, your son will eat better when he is feeling better and his belly isn't ripped up from antibiotics???

I just wrote out a whole list of things DD CAN eat for another mama. If you are interested, I'd be happy to share.

Also, I'm anti ear tubes for the simple reason that research shows general anaesthetic before the age of 3 is correlated to learning and memory problems throughout life I thought I only had the surgery/recovery to worry about. But long term cognitive ramifications on top of that? yikes.

Is there a naturopath you could at least meet with? Once your LO gets his system back in balance, you might be surprised at how healthy it gets. It took us about 2 months to see results with Milena, but now she's almost bulletproof

XOXO
B
Do you have a link or references for this? My ds had open heart surgery at 3 months old and I was never informed of this as a risk for him being under general anesthesia. Another thing to worry about...

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#15 of 34 Old 02-16-2009, 11:15 PM
 
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I also wanted to add, for the op, my ds never had a single ear infection until the day after he got the prevnar shot. Then he had two more within a few weeks. We discontinued the shot after that (so he only had one dose). I really do not rec. the prevnar shot at all.

oh and ds was 12 months when he got it

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#16 of 34 Old 02-16-2009, 11:19 PM
 
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switch to full fat goats milk.

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#17 of 34 Old 02-16-2009, 11:23 PM
 
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no way would i do prevnar.

"New research is suggesting that 80% of uncomplicated ear infections will resolve within 4 to 7 days without antibiotics. Parents who choose not to use antibiotics can treat the pain and fever with Auralgan anesthetic ear drops and ibuprofen or acetominophen." Dr Sears

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#18 of 34 Old 02-17-2009, 04:54 AM
 
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Has he been evaluated for an immunodeficiency? There might be an underlying reason for the recurrent ear infections.
Also, if he's in daycare, I'd look into finding a different childcare situation where he's around fewer kids...maybe a in-home childcare provider with very few children there. If you're a SAHM, then obviously there's nowhere to go from there wrt limiting pathogen exposure.
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#19 of 34 Old 02-17-2009, 05:08 AM
 
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No. I wouldn't do it. It doesn't prevent ear infections (7% of a few strains is NOT effective AT ALL).

Please do a little more research before you make a decision.

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#20 of 34 Old 02-17-2009, 11:00 AM
 
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You could also try milk share on yahoo and find someone to donate breastmilk to you.

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#21 of 34 Old 02-20-2009, 06:02 PM
 
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Hi, from a mom of a kiddo with severe, repeated, extremely complicated ear infections, a primary immune deficiency, dairy AND soy allergy, and now has ear tubes. Oh, and not vaccinated. (that's a mouthful description, isn't it!)

My first son had several ear infections, and the drs were pushing tubes, and I said no, did some research, realized that his was starting from fluid build up from ALLERGIES, and did a round of allergy medication and decongestants while adjusting his diet and environmental exposures. It helped, but what finally kicked them for good was us moving (it was a planned move, we didn't move just because of ear infections) A different environment meant no more ear infections. Definitely allergy based!

My second son is extremely complicated, as he has a genetic syndrome (missing part of a chromosome). His ears are malformed externally and internally, and actually we didn't know about any of his infections for his first 11 months because he has canal atresia (you can't see in his ear canals because they're blocked by tissue and cartilage) He had a CAT scan done because of congenital hearing loss and we discovered rampant severe infection permeating his entire middle and inner ear, including his mastoid bone. The radiologist reading the cat scan actually called it "soft tissue or profound infection" it was so thick.

He immediately went into surgery where they opened his ear canals just enough to get to his ear drums, put in tubes, sucked out the worst of the infection, then put him on strong antibiotics to kill off the rest. His ears drained bloody puss for weeks as the rest of the infection cleared out. Unfortunately, because of other structural defects he has (cleft palate, eustacian tubes, airway) he had repeated severe infections, and it was frequent that green or bloody puss would drain from his ear tubes. We cultured every infection, and if it was bacterial, we treated it with antibiotics (after a susceptibility analysis was done to ensure it was the right antibiotic) We also discovered his immune deficiency during this time, further complicating each infection. He eventually ended up with a PICC line inserted and on a pump at home, infusing the strongest antibiotic possible directly to a large vein near his heart. It was months of stress!

Obviously, your child isn't nearly as severe as mine!! The good news for us is that once we finally kicked the infection once and for all, he's only had two since (and both were staph).

Ear Tubes do not specifically prevent infection...what they do is allow any fluid buildup to drain, hopefully before any infection can set in, but not always. Particularly in your son's case where it begins as a sinus infection, the infection is already present when it gets to his ears. So the tubes would not prevent it, it would jsut allow the fluid/infection to drain out. That would mean less pain, certainly, because the pressure on the ear drum is relieved.

There are many ways to treat/prevent ear infections, and if you have the time (we didn't) then you should try them before resorting to surgery. Some have already been suggested...food allergies, environmental allergies, chiropractic care. With my first son we did a course of allergy meds and decongestants to get the fluid build up drained while were trying to discover what had caused it in the first place.

Have any of your son's infections been cultured? If there is no ear drainage (i.e. his ear drum has not ruptured), they could try culturing his sinus drainage to see what the bacteria/virus is. Then you know what you're dealing with and can make a more educated decision. if it's not pneumoccocal, then a vaccine won't help. My second son's initial infections were all haemophilus influenza, but non-typeable (type B is what is covered by the HiB vaccine) So we knew that no vaccine was going to help him any. His last two infections were staph, again no vaccine will help. If your son is having viral infections, then all the antibiotics are useless, in fact possibly harmful. Often kids get ear infections only seasonally, so this may be something you just need to ride out over the winter months, then will not be a problem the rest of the year.

Other things to check, again if you have the time (my son's infection had spread and was so severe that we didn't have the time and had to do surgery immediately): Immune function, palate composition (some palate abnormalities are actually very hard to discover, not all clefts are obvious), allergies, general cranio-sacral formation. You may need to see several specialists, including an ENT, a chiropractor, an immunologist, etc. But it's well worth it...tubes do not "solve" a problem, just treat a symptom.

Now, if you decide to do the tubes, it's not a big scary thing. The procedure is very fast, you show up in the morning, he'll be sedated (it doesn't always require general anesthesia), putting the tubes in takes maybe 10 minutes, you'll get to take him home a few hours later. He'll be sleepy from sedation, and there may be some local ear pain (but our ENT put a local anesthetic in his ear drum so he'd be comfortable the first day). There's no reason for you to not continue breastfeeding, and he'll be back to normal activities the next day. The thought of any "surgery" is of course scary, but we've been through 4, so we've unfortunately grown accustomed to it.

Oh...you probably should get his hearing tested, too. If he's had several infections in a short period of time, you should get him to an audiologist for a formal hearing test. A pediatric audiologist can get a good hearing test done on any aged kiddo, and if there is any hearing loss, you can be proactive about treating it (speech therapy, hearing aids, sign language, etc).

GOod luck!!!

Mommy to BigBoy Ian (3-17-05) ; LittleBoy Connor (3-3-07) (DiGeorge/VCFS):; BabyBoy Gavin (10-3-09) x3 AngelBaby (1-7-06)
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#22 of 34 Old 02-20-2009, 09:19 PM
 
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No, I wouldn't. Prevnar along with HiB vaccines are obviously the culprit behind ear infections (otitis media) in babies and young children. Like any other vaccines they are not designed to protect or prevent the body from diseases but instead they induce these diseases via infiltration of causative microorganisms let alone promoting unnatural and abnormal immune response. A Prevnar-free baby will not contract any ear infections (I should know) thus avoiding repetitious antibiotic therapy and the likelihood of PE tubes. It disheartening to see a baby born healthy, normal and non-diseased getting inoculated with disease-causing microorganisms only to lose their gift of hearing later.
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#23 of 34 Old 02-20-2009, 09:43 PM
 
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Ear infections existed way before Prevnar...

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#24 of 34 Old 02-20-2009, 09:54 PM
 
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Ear infections existed way before Prevnar...
Even before the Hib vaccine?
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#25 of 34 Old 02-20-2009, 10:06 PM
 
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are you asking me if ear infections existed before 1985?

"Parents are simply trustees; they do not own the bodies of their children"-Norm Cohen  Martial arts instructor intactlact.gifhomebirth.jpgnak.gif and mom to 4: DD1 (1/05) DS (7/06) DD2 (5/08) DD3 (2/11)
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#26 of 34 Old 02-20-2009, 10:15 PM
 
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http://www.otohns.net/default.asp?id=14040

maybe that will help?

"Parents are simply trustees; they do not own the bodies of their children"-Norm Cohen  Martial arts instructor intactlact.gifhomebirth.jpgnak.gif and mom to 4: DD1 (1/05) DS (7/06) DD2 (5/08) DD3 (2/11)
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#27 of 34 Old 02-20-2009, 10:33 PM
 
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are you asking me if ear infections existed before 1985?
Yes.

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What about that? It only proves that the pathogenic microorganisms of OM are in the vaccines and they are causing OM to non-diseased babies.
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#28 of 34 Old 02-20-2009, 10:37 PM
 
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Huh.

On an anecdotal note, my husband was having ear infections in the late 70's as a toddler.

Is that good enough?
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#29 of 34 Old 02-20-2009, 10:40 PM
 
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#30 of 34 Old 02-21-2009, 12:45 AM
 
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Yes.



What about that? It only proves that the pathogenic microorganisms of OM are in the vaccines and they are causing OM to non-diseased babies.
huh?

I was simply demonstrating to you that ear infections (ie, OM) existed far before the vaccine...

"Parents are simply trustees; they do not own the bodies of their children"-Norm Cohen  Martial arts instructor intactlact.gifhomebirth.jpgnak.gif and mom to 4: DD1 (1/05) DS (7/06) DD2 (5/08) DD3 (2/11)
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