ruling out illness based on vaccine status - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 07-05-2012, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've read about this before either here or on the I'm not vaccinating forum. It's happend twice now to me with my 5 month old. The ED was going to release him, then found out he was unvaxed and wanted to do more testing. It doesn't bother me, but his issues were not vpd related, so it makes me wonder, if he was up to date (which at his age wouldn't make him fully protected), how much worse would he have gotten before they did the tests to find out what was going on with him. What is your experience with this, and what do you all think of ruling out or doing extra tests based on vax status?

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#2 of 16 Old 07-05-2012, 09:54 PM
 
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My DD never had extra tests, but when she was sick once the on call ped (NOT our ped) insisted that we go to the ER immediately because our child likely had a life threatening illness. We did, and of course she was fine.  She had cocksackie NOT HIB.  We knew going into delayed vaxxing that we might get some of that, and so we are ok with it. 


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#3 of 16 Old 07-06-2012, 05:11 AM
 
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I think it's good they're extra vigilant with non vaccinated kids. I want my doctor to use my child's medical history and think about what is more or less likely. If you're unvaccinated you are far more likely to have a vpd than if you're vaccinated. Some of these vpds are incredibly unlikely in vaccinated people. Why would I want my doctor to assume the least likely thing was true?
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#4 of 16 Old 07-06-2012, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I see what you are saying, Rachel. However, my son was 4 months and a few days old. We were at the ED with 102 fever and fussiness. They looked him over, said it appeared to be a virus and were ready to discharge us. Then, when the attending physician found out we had not vaccinated him, they suddenly wanted to do bloodwork, urine, and a chest xray. They said he was at risk for illnesses, specifically pneumonia. Does that mean a child, who, if vaccinated on schedule, would've only had one* set of vaccines, is at less risk of pneumonia? Less enough of a risk to not even get and xray? And how does the urine sample come into play? Turns out, he had a UTI, a very bad one at that. If he had been up to date on his vaccines, we would've been sent home. If that is common practice, vaccinated kids could be overlooked for things that are not vaccine preventable. Is a vaccinated child at less risk of viral pneumonia?

 

Further, doesn't your statement kind of fly in the face of "we all know vaccines aren't 100%, that's why we rely on herd immunity"? If vaccines are that effective that you feel it is safe to rule out specific diseased simply because of vaccine history, wouldn't that make vaccines effective enough that those who do not vaccinate a non issue? Or at the very least, negate the whole, "you're putting my child at risk". I can see the argument still working for those who can't vaccinate for whatever reason (obviously, this is off topic, but it does make me wonder).

 

I do agree with you that they should take medical history into account, but to say child x is partially vaccinated, therefore cannot have any VPDs so we won't test him for anything is somewhat frightening, no?

 

*he technically could have had two sets of vaccines, being that he was just over 4 months. However, that would've meant he had been vaccinated less than a week before the ED visit, which at that point the second set would not have had time to take effect.


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#5 of 16 Old 07-06-2012, 07:47 AM
 
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Yeah, that situation is strange. The vaccine status of a 4 month old is fairly irrelevant, I think, because they haven't had enough vaccines yet. Maybe hib only takes one dose to start working, I'm not sure.

Vaccines aren't 100%, but I don't want my doctor to start looking for the rare exception when my child is sick, I want them to start looking for more likely causes and then circle around to that. When you hear hoof beats think horses, and all that.

Ruling out pneumonia based on vaccine status is extra weird, since not all causes of pneumonia are vaccine preventable.
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#6 of 16 Old 07-06-2012, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you. That's what I meant, I should've explained the whole story in the OP. It may be that its just here. I would just worry about the vaccinated infants if this is routine. Sadly, he's sick again, and they don't know what the problem is this time...not a vpd, since the did the whole work up. This kid is definitely not the poster child for stay at home, breastfed kids being healthier. wink1.gif

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#7 of 16 Old 07-06-2012, 05:03 PM
 
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Ugh, I hear that! My daughter was in daycare starting at six months, but despite being ebf it seemed like she caught everything, so frustrating!!

It's worth remembering, too, the ed care is never the best. The best way to get your kid diagnosed is to have an ongoing relationship with a pcd who knows your child, and whatever is normal for them, well. A situation like an urgent care or Ed always requires a good deal of parent advocacy to get good care, regardless of vaccine status! I don't mean that as a lecture, but just to say vaccinated kids are probably better off than this experience might make you think smile.gif
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#8 of 16 Old 07-06-2012, 06:55 PM
 
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Sorry Littlec, not fun to deal with that on top of having a sick infant. 

 

Likewise, there are kids who are vaccinated and if you really think about it, get the shaft care-wise because of their status. Some doctors won't even entertain the notion of a child having something when they have received a shot against it. For example, even on MDC, there have been fully vaccinated children with all the signs of pertussis. The parents push and push for a P test but are blown off by their doctors simply because the child has been given their shots. And low and behold, after the doctor finally relents and swabs the child, turns out it is pertussis. These parents have had to endure days and weeks of denial by doctors due to their own blind faith ignorance. Unfortunately all these stories are too common.

 

I hope your LO gets better ASAP. : (

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#9 of 16 Old 07-14-2012, 07:00 AM
 
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Hi! I have just joined and I am so glad to have found a bunch of mothers who think along the same lines as I do!!! I am thoroughly enjoying reading people's posts. I am preganant with my first child and we are not going to vaccinate. I saw that there was a mother who posted a research paper for her grad class on the issue back in 2010. I am desperately looking to read it for my own information and for friends too who have lots of questions. I saw that you had read it back then and replied to the mom. I guess I was wondering if you by chance had saved the paper??!! I am dying to see what it says!

Thanks!!

rrhonda

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#10 of 16 Old 07-14-2012, 12:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

I think it's good they're extra vigilant with non vaccinated kids. I want my doctor to use my child's medical history and think about what is more or less likely. If you're unvaccinated you are far more likely to have a vpd than if you're vaccinated. Some of these vpds are incredibly unlikely in vaccinated people. Why would I want my doctor to assume the least likely thing was true?

 

Actually, a big part of the reason we have chosen selective and delayed vaccination is that my child really doesn't have an incredibly high risk of contracting the VPD.  Moreover, most vaccines aren't close to 100% effective anyway, which is another factor in our decision.  I don't think that vaccinated kids need to be treated differently, they are all entitled to top notch care that starts with the most likely solution and working through the possibilities.  I would hate to have my child have a VPD when she was vaccinated for it and no doctor ever figures it out.  If tons of tests are necessary for an unvaccinated child, those same tests ought to be necessary for the vaccinated child also. 

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#11 of 16 Old 07-14-2012, 12:41 PM
 
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Except the vaccinated child is far less likely to have the vpd, so it might be further down the list for a vaccinated kid than an unvaccinated one.

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#12 of 16 Old 07-14-2012, 06:33 PM
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I see what you are saying, Rachel. However, my son was 4 months and a few days old. We were at the ED with 102 fever and fussiness. They looked him over, said it appeared to be a virus and were ready to discharge us. Then, when the attending physician found out we had not vaccinated him, they suddenly wanted to do bloodwork, urine, and a chest xray. They said he was at risk for illnesses, specifically pneumonia. Does that mean a child, who, if vaccinated on schedule, would've only had one* set of vaccines, is at less risk of pneumonia? Less enough of a risk to not even get and xray? And how does the urine sample come into play? Turns out, he had a UTI, a very bad one at that. If he had been up to date on his vaccines, we would've been sent home. If that is common practice, vaccinated kids could be overlooked for things that are not vaccine preventable. Is a vaccinated child at less risk of viral pneumonia?

 

Maybe the attending was unsatisfied with the conclusions of the residents who rendered treatment and was looking for any excuse to hold your ds for more testing?  It's pretty weird that they would confuse a UTI with pneumonia in a 4 month old, since pneumonia would be evident (or at least highly suspected) on listening to the kid's chest, and has very few symptoms (I'm thinking fever and maybe lethargy) in common with pneumonia.  I'm glad they caught it.  I agree that whether a child is vaxed or not should make little difference in their treatment in the ER.  It might put some concerns higher on the list of possible diagnoses, but it shouldn't rule anything in or out. 

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#13 of 16 Old 07-15-2012, 06:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

I think it's good they're extra vigilant with non vaccinated kids. I want my doctor to use my child's medical history and think about what is more or less likely. If you're unvaccinated you are far more likely to have a vpd than if you're vaccinated. Some of these vpds are incredibly unlikely in vaccinated people. Why would I want my doctor to assume the least likely thing was true?

But on the flip side here, vaccines are not 100% (no where near) so what about a child that is coming in with signs of a "VPD" who does not get looked at with the possibility of it being the actual disease, because they were vaccinated. To me, it's not the over-reaction of doctors to unvaccinated children that's the issue here, it's the trust in vaccines allowing doctors to be less vigilant with vaccinated children. 

 

And you know, a vaccinated kid with all those toxins in their bodies may be less likely to get a certain disease, but if they do are they better equipped to fight it off that a child with an intact immune system. I would be as vigilant with the vaccinated child. 


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#14 of 16 Old 07-19-2012, 11:25 AM
 
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Uh, no, I don't know that, and I don't agree with it. A vaccinated child's immune system is just as "intact" as an unvaccinated one. And yes, vaccinated children generally have more mild cases do vpds when they do contract them.

I don't want a doctor to rule out a vpd based n vaccination status alone, but it does make contracting a vpd much much less likely, so I wouldn't expect them to move as quickly to that conclusion with a vaccinated child as an unvaccinated one.
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#15 of 16 Old 07-19-2012, 03:15 PM
 
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I don't want a doctor to rule out a vpd based n vaccination status alone, but it does make contracting a vpd much much less likely, so I wouldn't expect them to move as quickly to that conclusion with a vaccinated child as an unvaccinated one.

That is really VPD dependant.  Consider this -  let's assume 200 people a year get measles in the USA (very high estimate) and 199 are unvaxxed (very unlikely).  The USA has a population of around 300 million.   It is not only  if a non-vaxxed person is more likely to get a disease that is important, it is the prevalence of the disease that is important.  Let's face it:  299 999 800/300 000 000 in the USA do not get mealses. 99.99993 % of the population do not get mealses.

 

The scenario the Op paints is lose/lose for everyone.

 

I do not want my kids subjected to unecessary pokes and prods because someone thinks their unvaxxed status actually means they are likely to have a rare VPD. 

 

OTOH, I would not want a vaxxed child to have a VPD overlooked if they had symptoms of said VPD, simply because they were vaxxed. 

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#16 of 16 Old 07-19-2012, 05:19 PM
 
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I think I've already said I think the op situation is whack. I still think its not unreasonable for a doctor to treat a vaccinated person and an unvaccinated person differently.
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