He Hospitalized With 20-Day Fever Turns Out Thermometer Is Wrong

A three-year-old boy has been warded at Zhejiang Mingzhou Rehabilitation Hospital with a persistent fever since Dec 8. His father, identified only as Jiang, finally discovered that the hospitals thermometer was inaccurate on Dec 27.

The childs ordeal began in August, when he was diagnosed with a bacterial infection in his lungs.

After shuttling between different hospitals for months, he finally appeared to be in stable condition when he was transferred to the hospital in Zhejiang on Dec 5 or so his family thought.

Just three days later, they were told that the boy was suffering from a fever.

This was particularly alarming as doctors had previously told them that a fever could prove fatal in the boys condition.

But Jiang grew suspicious when it became apparent that something was not adding up.

For one, the childs temperature readings remained high over 20 days but CT scans and blood tests indicated that everything else was normal.

His son also appeared to be lively and in good spirits.

He also noticed that the high temperatures seemed to be recorded only on his sons mercury thermometer.

The nurse would occasionally use a digital thermometer on his forehead or ear when she was checking on him. The readings would be normal slightly higher than 37 degrees Celsius, he said.

However, according to Jiang, the nurses did not appear concerned by the inconsistency and continued to report that the boy had a fever based on his rectal temperature readings from the mercury thermometer.

On Dec 27, Jiang asked the nurse for a new thermometer.

The thermometer that his son had been using for the past 20 days gave a reading of 39.3 degrees Celsius while the new thermometer read 37.8 degrees Celsius.

A fever is defined as a body temperature above 38 degrees Celsius, according to MedicineNet.

Measuring his sons temperature again this time in the presence of the hospitals department head the faulty thermometer gave a reading that was 1.1 degrees Celsius higher than the new one, Jiang said.

Not only had he been worried over nothing, his son had also run up a hospital bill of about 50,000, and had been given injections and various medications that he did not need.

The hospital initially denied Jiangs accusations of a misdiagnosis, chalking up the inconsistencies in the boys temperature to the readings being taken from different parts of the body.

The head nurse also claimed that she had personally taken the boys rectal temperature and stood by the diagnosis of a fever.

When Jiang asked for the records of his sons temperature readings to verify if this was true, the hospital refused to comply.

The local health department has since stepped in to investigate the matter.

Initial investigations refuted the hospital's claims and show that the thermometer in question was indeed inaccurate, a spokesperson for the health department.

The hospital is discussing compensation with the boys family, they added.

Source: asiaone

Editor: Crystal H

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