Saturday, October 29, 2011

Review Your Child's Medical Records

When I was preparing to start this blog, I was trying to piece together the timeline of events, over these past 3 years.  I contacted the pediatrician's office and requested her complete medical record.  (I'm still waiting on her records from the allergist's office and I also need to get her dermatology records.)

The pediatrician's office information was provided on a CD.  I was sifting through the various PDF files, and I noticed that there was no record of the fact that my daughter had 2 bad reactions to her flu shots.  They did have a document for my phone call to the office after one of her reactions, but it didn't have any details and just basically noted that I called.  I also noticed that her food allergies are listed as "notes" and aren't shown in, what I would consider, a prominent location on her record.  I believe this is why they didn't immediately remember that she should probably not get the flu shot, or at least have it done under the care of an allergist.

I think it also helps to review your child's records, not only to find mistakes/omissions, but to see if you notice any patterns.  Sometimes, things are only obvious in retrospect.  When I stumbled upon the Wikipedia article for atopy, while Googling, as I'm prone to do, it was like I was reading an article all about my daughter.  When I went back over her records for her many doctor's office visit, it was all there in black-and-white, if I had known what I was looking for.  They list my husband's family history of eczema and asthma.  She had several visits for rash, reflux, trouble sleeping, etc.  I wish I had read that Wikipedia article sooner, and gone over my daughter's records, sooner.  We could have begun the process of allergy testing and diet modification well before she was 18 months old.  I'm also surprised that the pediatrician's office was so skeptical about the possibility that she had food allergies, with my husband's family history.  Even though they didn't have food allergies, he had eczema and asthma, which are risk factors for developing food allergies.  Oh well, if you've read this post, you know how I fell about that.

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