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Help with my 7 year old -- chronic UTI's which include Staphylococcus epidermidi

  I have a 7 year old daughter who has been on almost continuous
  antibiotics since she was age 4 when she was hospitalized for
  a possible kidney infection (psedemonus (sp?) was the bacteria
  present).  She has since "broken through" several times the
  antiobiotic "daily" doses at bedtime.  From Feb-May of 1998 she
  had 5 infections, practically one after the other, the last one
  (in May) was staphylococcus epidermidis.  She has alergies to
  Suprax, Nitrofuradatin (sp?) and amoxicillin.  Bactrim and Keflex
  she is tending to develop resistence to.  In the last four weeks,
  she has had another staph infection, followed by e-coli and now
  has ANOTHER staph infection which they are treating with Bactrim
  pending an additional culture.  She has been in Ciproflaxin twice
  in the last year for a 7-day course.  She has had all the tests
  such as VCUG, DMSA, cystoscopy, etc. and everything seems normal
  and the kidneys are not damaged.  The cystoscopy showed an in-
  flamed bladder and engorged veins.  The specialist said the infections
  could be caused by the condition of the bladder, or the condition of
  the bladder is causing the infections.  This procedure was done 1 and 1/2
  years ago.  Her infections are constant now and she bedwets every night.
  We keep being told she will grow out of it, but she is developing
  new mutated bacteria which are becoming resistant to most antibiotics
  she is able to take.  We wonder if there isn't some other angle
  doctor's are missing here as they say as long as they remain UTI's
  and not kidney infections, they are a nuisance, but not a significant
  health problem.  Personally, I feel when she is building up resistance
  to important antibiotics and she is having staph infections at her young
  age, it has become a health problem, and not a nuisance any longer.  Any ideas
  as to what we can do? P.S. a little medical background--she was born with
  vocal cord paralysis, trached at 13 days until decannulated at age 18 months.
  had ear infections which required 6 months daily anbiotic use until age 3.
  Also treated for alergies with steriods, etc.  Had a respiratory failure
  (inside and outside of lungs filled with fluid, also stomach -- had to take
  24 oz. of fluid out of her lungs to get the ventilator to work)
  Feb., 1997 where she was hospitalized and put on a ventilator at Johns Hopkins
  Medical Center.  She had developed joint pain (reduce use of left leg), low
  grade fever of 100 degrees or more at least once a day for 6 weeks, chronic
  abdominal pain for 4 months, became borderline for blood transfusion, high
  blood pressure.  Docs thought it was systemic rheumotoid arthritis, but ruled
  it out with much testing.  She is still undiagnosed at this point (possible
  antibiotic reaction?  She was on Suprax and Nitrofuradantin with the four months
  prior to her "crash")  She still experiences occasional abdominal pain for which
  she describes in levels of "low, medium, high".  She complains of UTI symptoms
  about a week prior to urine tests being able pick up the infection.  Your opinion
  would be greatly appreciated.
Dear Pam,
Urinary tract infections in children are a common problem. Bladder infections alone are not dangerous . However, reflux of urine into the kidney in combination with urinary tract infections can lead to kidney damage. Diagnosis of reflux in childhood must be made to prevent this damage. The evaluation of a child with recurrent UTI
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