A recent research revealed that some doctors are misjudging the seriousness of a simple fever when children are brought in to their hospital.
The study, which involves almost 16,000 children, found out that doctors had difficulties of immediately detecting up to one-third of their patients who were suffering from life-threatening illnesses.
Professor Jonathan Craig, study author from the University of Sydney and Westmead Children's Hospital, said that there is still a room for improvement in how doctors diagnose their children patients.
Fever is now very common amongst children, which we knew. In every year, there are about 50,000 kids present with fever, he admitted.
As expected, children who have serious bacterial illness such as bacteria in blood or pneumonia or urinary tract infection don't receive antibiotics at once at the time they are present.
Professor Craig says this does not mean that doctors are a failure.
I believe it represents what happens in the day to day clinical practice for every clinical condition, which is that diagnosing someone as soon as they are present is indeed difficult, he said.
The first step in evaluating a patient is to take a comprehensive history and clinical examination and synthesize what is between 40 and 60 items and finally come up with the most likely diagnosis.
When doctors start to combine them, they tend to underestimate the seriousness of bacterial illness, which is leading to some under-treatment.
Professor Craig also said that underestimating an illness could prove fatal, but that is not common.
That is true and in our studies no fatalities occurred, he said.
As part of the research, we have followed-up all kids to make sure that either the fever or infection had been resolved or they got an acute care.
So we have got a very good data and also ensured the safety of the kids in our study.