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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

When my mother underwent chemotherapy, we spent a lot of time visiting the phlebotomy lab for blood testing. I was always impressed by how easily the phlebotomist was able to find and puncture a vein to draw blood on the first try. I knew there had to be a method to it, and was astounded by how effortless and painless they made the process. It led me to research a lot about blood tests, from drawing to the actual screening. I've created this site to share what I've learned in the hopes of teaching others. The more you understand, the more control you can have over your own health care.



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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

When To Bring A Child With A Fever To An Urgent Care Clinic

by Francisco Arnold

It can be scary for a parent when their child has a fever. Not only can parents feel helpless to make their child feel better, but they might also engage in an internal debate over whether their child should see a doctor or if he or she just needs to ride out a fever. A medical professional is the best person to make this call, but here are some tips to help you decide whether you should take your child to an urgent care clinic or to the emergency room. 

Many urgent care clinics are open after business hours, which is ideal for working parents. If your child has a fever on the weekend or at night, or if it's difficult to get an appointment with his or her regular pediatrician, an urgent care clinic is a fantastic option. Keep in mind that an urgent care clinic operates on a first-come-first-served basis, so you might wait for a while to be seen. A medical professional at an urgent care clinic also works with people of all ages rather than specializing in working with children, and they won't have a history with your child to help inform a diagnosis. 

Generally, a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit in a child can be treated at home with comfort measures, like rest and plenty of fluids, or over-the-counter medications. An infant younger than three months, however, is a different story. If an infant has a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, it is important to call a doctor right away. Your doctor will help you decide whether to go to an urgent care clinic or emergency room if he or she can't fit your child into the office schedule. 

A better indication of your child's health than a fever is behavior. If your child has a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit but is eating and drinking, playing, and engaging with you, you should still talk to your doctor, but don't worry as much. If, however, your child looks blue, is lethargic, has no interest in eating or drinking, or has trouble breathing, or if your infant is crying inconsolably or has a bulging soft spot, head to the emergency room immediately. 

A febrile seizure can sometimes occur in a neurologically normal child. They occur after a sudden spike in body temperature. A child with a 100 degree Fahrenheit fever might react with a febrile seizure. Febrile seizures are often exhibited by a potential loss of consciousness and/or shaking or jerking arms or legs, with severe seizures lasting more than five minutes and/or resulting in vomiting, a stiff neck, breathing problems, and extreme sleepiness. If your child has a febrile seizure, it is important to take them to a doctor or clinic, or directly to the emergency room for immediate care if the seizure is of the more severe kind. 

Contact an urgent care clinic like West Ocean City Injury & Illness Center if you need to find out more about what kinds of services an urgent care can provide.