Eva & Parents First Experience With Infant Fever

Eva came down with a fever this week. It was a first time she has fallen sick. Wife has 2 hypothesis: (1) She caught a cold from the neighbour’s husband who was sneezing at the corridor continously while our home door was opened, (2) Due to the weather and her eating Eva had become too “heaty”. Either of which we have yet to prove.

Woke up in the middle of the night at around 3 am, and realized that Eva was hot-to-the-touch. Took her temperature and it was 38.8 C. Was it hot? Was it normal? I went to screen the health booklet to see the temperature that was recorded on her regular health check. 37.5, 37.1, 40, 38. Hmm … was curious why when her temperature was 40C the nurses had not alerted us. Was it normal?

So, I started to Google … baby fever when to see a doctor, and the 2nd resulted made me laugh.google-fever-search

Conclusion was anything above 38C was a fever and above 38.5C was a high fever. We helped Eva to cool her body down a little with a damp cool cloth, and she fell asleep later. We hoped that her fever would go away. At 5 am, she woke again and her temp, was 38.4C, still high but had gone down.

We decided to go to the hospital to have a check. Our usual ASOG was not opened till 9 am, so we decided to try the Shanghai Childrens’ Hospital (Beijing West Road) which was just round the corner of our house. The normal VIP clinic was not open till 8 am, so we had to see the Emergency, and there were loads of people waiting.


Here’s my impression of the place:

– It was filthy. There was rubbish all over the sides of the road, spit all over the place, because parents were simply throwing rubbish around the bin (not into the bin) and spitting right outside the door step of the clinic.

– It was overcrowded. Kids came with 2 parents and grandparents. Ridiculous amount of attention for 1 kid, and they talk too loudly in the clinic where it should be a place for rest and recuperation.

– It was hot & stuffy. The clinic was crowded and the air-con was set at 26C. Hospitals usually set their temperature lower to also cool the patient’s temperature, but not here … hence everyone seems to be edgy and irritable.

– The process was messy. You wait for over an hour to see the doctor. Queue numbers had no apparent sequence. Random patients continue to walk into the doctor’s room to ask questions and get follow up answers even when other patients were already in there.

– Doctor overdoes it with the treatment. You have a fever and they ask you to take a blood test immediately and/or go on a drip. Internationally, this only happens when there are certain indications doctors like to confirm. Here it has become a norm so much so that when we asked the doctor why Eva had to take a blood test, she just said because she had a fever.

Wife and I eventually decided that we will not want Eva to take a blood test unnecessarily when she was so young, hence, we told the doctor that we did not want to consult anymore and took our booklet and left.

We decided to go to ASOG when they opened at 9 am. Went to the familiar environment and thankfully the appointment schedule for Dr Song was not full and we saw her relatively quickly. Her check up was more thorough, including asking more questions about the symptoms and explaining clearly what the possibilities are and only in the event that it was a viral infection will they have to do a blood test to confirm. (Sounds more reassuring!)

Anyway, Eva is recovering at home. Her fever still comes on and off with the effects of the medication, but we shall monitor and see what to do next.