Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center When to Call Your Doctor

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When to call your doctor

Generally speaking there are three situations where you may need to call your doctor:

  • ROUTINE
  • URGENT
  • EMERGENCY  

Routine calls:

Any communication with your child's medical team that has to do with his or her overall treatment, like:

  • obtaining results of blood and laboratory tests
  • reporting a mild changes in symptoms


Urgent Calls:

Urgent calls occur when there are noticeable and/or unexpected changes in your child's health, like:

  • sudden appearance of new symptoms
  • a rash (may indicate an allergic reaction to medication)
  • new symptoms such as swelling of joints, persistent fevers, appearance of a small amount of blood in the stool

When you call, be prepared to be as specific as possible with the office staff. You have the right to ask when you can expect a call back.


Emergency Calls:

An emergency call is justified by an acute, dramatic change in the illness. These changes may include:

  • a sudden high fever which might be accompanied by shaking chills

  • a sudden weight loss of over five pounds in a few days

  • the onset of significant or new rectal bleeding

  • any severe abdominal pain that persists for longer than an hour

  • persistent vomiting accompanied by cessation of bowel movements

  • a drastic change in bowel movements without passing gas

It's very important that you let the person who answers the phone that this is an emergency. Your doctor should speak to you at once if he/she is there or by return phone call. 

Contact the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

  • 1-617-355-6058
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
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