Common Pediatric Illnesses

Common pediatric illnesses are a group of the diseases and syndromes usually caused by various bacteria and viruses. Diarrhea, vomiting, urinary tract infections are frequent within the symptomatic lists of many pediatric diseases. The purpose of the essay is to highlight the main causes and manifestations of the definite medical disorders connected with diarrhea, vomiting, and urinary tract infections as well as discuss the diagnostic studies of various health disorders taking into account the age factor of the pediatric patients’ population.

To begin with, bloody diarrhea is “a common presenting complaint in pediatric practice” that is why properly-formulated questions are crucial for revealing “the cause of diarrhea” (“Easy Pediatrics”, 2016). The questions have to relate to the patient’s age, the nature, frequency, and duration of the bloody diarrhea considering that such disorder may lead to dehydration. The questions regarding the volume of stool, the severity of its bleeding, other troubling symptoms, some specific risk provocative factors, and the experience of any previous attacks should be addressed. These questions are primarily typical for the pediatric patients of all ages; thus, they will not vary depending upon the child’s age.

Vomiting is also a symptom of various medical pediatric disorders that can result in dehydration if not to take necessary actions. There are different causes of vomiting depending on the child’s age factor. Consolini (2015) indicates the existing difference between vomiting and eructing in infants. Gastroenteritis, gastro-esophageal reflux, food allergy, accidentally swallowing something poisonous, or lactose intolerance are the main causes of vomiting in infancy and later childhood. Air swallowing, congenital pyloric stenosis, a strangulated hernia, and intussusception are specific causes of vomiting in infants (Consolini, 2015). The adolescents may suffer not only from the same causes of vomiting as infants and elder children, but also from other intestinal viruses, serious bacterial infections, acute appendicitis, brain tumor or heavy head injury that can provke vomiting. Furthermore, in adolescence there are other triggers of vomiting such as “peptic ulcer disease, cycle vomiting, gastroparesis, pregnancy, eating disorders and ingestion of the toxic substance” (Consolini, 2015).

Thorough physical examination of the pediatric patient along with the analysis of the suspected causes and symptoms specify the choice of further diagnostic studies. The testing can be required “if abnormalities in the abdomen or any hereditary metabolic disorder are suspected” (Consolini, 2015). Presence of blood, yellow bile in vomiting, vomit of green color, persistent vomiting represent worrisome signs and indicate the need for immediate diagnostic studies. Such diagnostic researches are required for establishing the right diagnosis and preventing a life-threatening condition.

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Test priority depends on the suspected condition and age of the pediatric patient. In case of vomiting, the initial diagnostic studies should involve complete blood count, urinalysis, and feces analysis in order to check the functioning of the vitals. The preliminary diagnostic tests may involve x-rays of the upper or lower digestive tract, ultrasonography of the stomach or the abdomen, computed tomography of the abdomen that check if there is any the blockage or narrowing of the stomach, inflammation or other pathological changes in the abdomen. They can also include CT of the brain if brain concussion is suspected. The diagnosis and further treatment may vary considering the tests’ results.

The urinary tract infections (UTIs) vary “with the patients’ age and the specific diagnosis” as the history and clinical course show (Fisher & Steele, 2016). Most UTIs damage the bladder and the kidneys. Urinary tract infectious diseases in infants and children can manifest in poor nutrition, fever accompanied with listlessness and fatigue, vomiting, abdominal or low back pain, irritability. Boys-infants are more vulnerable to UTIs in comparison with the girls in the first months of living. Painful, frequent, urgent urination, strong-smelling, sometimes cloudy urine can also signalize the urinary tract improper ffunctioning in any pediatric patient.  Preschool, school-aged children, and adolescents may suffer from similar symptoms as infants, but simultaneously “from poor urine control (enuresis)” or other voiding dysfunctions (Simon, 2013).

Urinary tract infections basically belong to bacteria-caused illnesses, “which are treated with bacteria-fighting medications” in order to prevent contamination of the kidneys and further deterioration in the condition (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2011).  UTIs are managed either through intravenous injections or by mouth if there are some problems in taking the pills or liquids. Young infants can be hospitalized if medical supervision is required. Considering age peculiarities, the practitioners prescribe the adequate antibiotics for curing UTIs.

In case of UNIs such tests as urinalysis, screening test for checking leukocyte esterase or nitrite can be recommended for revealing the cause of infection for all age groups of the pediatric patients; however, the urine collection from the infants can be problematic. The ultrasound of the abdomen allows checking the condition of the internals and excluding pathology. It can be recommended to infants, elder children, and adolescences if required. The indicated diagnostic studies affect the choice of therapy of UNIs for the children of different age.

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Due to the probability of the UTIs recurrence, the doctors recommend prophylactic antibiotics. They do it also because the relapse of the disease can lead “to long-term damage to the kidneys” and ultimately, to their failure (Kaneshiro, 2015). Moreover, such infections can result in pyelonephritis, cystitis, and other chronic conditions even in the pediatric patients.

In conclusion, the highlighted disorders should be treated properly with the purpose to avoid any further health deterioration. Therefore, the diagnostic studies are crucial at any stage and age. Medical knowledge regarding the symptoms of such disorders as bloody diarrhea, vomiting and urinary tract infections in children allows taking adequate measures.

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