Parents bring their 3-month-old infant to the urgent care you work at complaining that he has had constipation for 5 days that was preceded by weakness for several weeks. Upon physical exam, you note hypotonia, hyperreflexia, and respiratory distress. You advise the parents you believe the child needs to be admitted to hospital and taken immediately to the local pediatric emergency room.
In your initial post answer the following questions:
- The parents ask you why you are so concerned and tell you they would prefer you to give him something for the constipation. They would rather just take him home. How would you respond?
- The parents persist that they do not think their son needs to be admitted to the hospital. As a clinician, you believe they are making the wrong decision and are concerned for the infant’s health. What alternatives might you consider to ensure the parents understand the gravity of their decision?