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.
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