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Emerging infectious diseases : Mike Starr at DFTB18


Mike Starr is not, despite what he tells you, the bassist for Alice in Chains. He is a general paediatrician and paediatric infectious diseases specialist at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. He also happens to be a consultant in paediatric emergency medicine and plays a key role in the group that creates and collates the RCH clinical guidelines.

With a waiting room full of snotty nosed children that all seem to have exactly the same note at triage “Runny nose, coryzal symptoms, cough, fever” A/Prof Starr challenges us to figure out which ones we need to hunt out and treat urgently and which ones we can take out time with. It’s a subject that we have been trying to codify for some time. According to Arora and Mahajan up to 30% of children presenting to the emergency room have a fever but only a very small percentage have anything more than a self-limiting viral infection.



This talk was recorded live at DFTB18 in Melbourne, Australia. With the theme of ‘Science and Story‘ we pushed our speakers to step out of their comfort zones and consider why we do what we do. Caring for children is not just about acquiring the scientific knowhow but also about taking a look beyond a diagnosis or clinical conundrum at the patient and their families.

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Selected References

Arora R, Mahajan P. Evaluation of child with fever without source: review of literature and update. Pediatric Clinics. 2013 Oct 1;60(5):1049-62.

Greenhow TL, Hung YY, Herz AM. Changing epidemiology of bacteremia in infants aged 1 week to 3 months. Pediatrics. 2012 Mar 1;129(3):e590-6.

Stolper E, Van de Wiel M, Van Royen P, Van Bokhoven M, Van der Weijden T, Dinant GJ. Gut feelings as a third track in general practitioners’ diagnostic reasoning. Journal of general internal medicine. 2011 Feb 1;26(2):197-203.


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