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Child having severe cough, diarrhea. Symptoms persist after taking antibiotics and ambrodil cough syrup. Chances of pneumonia?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
My 4 year old baby is running through sever cough since past 3 weeks. Now after treating her with Swich 50 antibiotic and ambrodil cough syrup she seems to be healing but still the frequent cough is there and can't sleep more than 1 hour or so and wakes up(cries) because of some unknown reason (may be having some breathing problem). she is having loose motion or diarrhea like condition which i guess is because of medicines not sure though, lost interest in breast feeding. Is there any chances of pneumonia ? What are the symptoms? Is the medication proper? I am much worried
Wed, 27 Jun 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 6 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
The chances of pneumonia in children are more common in untreated respiratory infections or in children who have been affected by viruses which cannot be killed with antibiotics. Though your baby is appropriately treated with Swich (cefpodoxime) which is an antibiotic; a worsening cough and inability to feed and sleep may be suggestive of an underlying unresolved pneumonia and needs further investigation.

After having symptoms of a mild runny nose and mild cough, children who develop pneumonia may have a sudden worsening and develop other symptoms, including:
1. Worsening cough
2. Increased respiratory rate (tachypnea) or fast breathing and nasal flaring
3. Chest retractions (labored breathing)
4. Wheezing (usually a sign of viral pneumonia)
5. Decreased breath sounds, crackles, chest pain
6. Fever, vomiting, poor feeding and inability to sleep.
The signs can be picked up by your childs’ paediatrician on physical examination and chest auscultation, and if suspected, he might order a chest X XXXXXXX to confirm the diagnosis of pneumonia.

Please do not worry as sometimes even a viral respiratory infection can cause prolonged cough and show little response to antibiotics, but it should resolve on its own in a couple of weeks especially if the cough is decreasing with time. Sometimes, the doctor may prescribe a stronger antibiotic to control a bacterial infection.

However, it's always better to be on the safer side and rule out pneumonia in cases of prolonged
cough lasting more than 3 weeks.

So please consult your paediatrician for confirmation and further management.

Meanwhile, I would suggest the following:
a.     Keep your baby well hydrated
b.     Give plenty of fluids
c.     Give him a nutritious diet. It is better to give him small quantities at a time but it needs to be given more frequently.
d.     Warm saline gargles and steam inhalations thrice daily may be soothing provided, if your child is able to take it.
e.     Keep the room humid

I hope I have answered your query. I will be available for follow up queries.


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