When should you call a doctor?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,891
    Dr. Ronald Turner, Professor of Pediatrics, UVA, Virginia School of Medicine discusses when should you call a doctor.

    Dr. Ronald Turner

    Ronald Turner, MD, is Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Dean for Clinical Research at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Dr. Turner earned his MD degree from Southern Illinois University and did his training in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Columbus Children’s Hospital (Ohio State University) and the University of Virginia. He subsequently served in faculty positions at the University of Utah and the Medical University of South Carolina. In addition to his administrative role at the University of Virginia, Dr. Turner has clinical care and teaching responsibilities in General Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases. His research interests are directed at the pathogenesis and treatment of viral respiratory infections.

    Host: When should you call a doctor?

    Ronald Turner: Well, you should call a doctor any time that the cold symptoms fall outside the ordinary symptoms that we have described. So, if you are having an upper respiratory infection and all of the sudden, begin to have fever as a part of that, that is unusual and that may suggest that something else is going on. If you are having common cold symptoms that all of a sudden a pain becomes unusual symptom or a more prominent symptom, that is not typical and that should prompt a visit or a consultation with the physician.

    The other thing I guess, is that if a cold persists for more than 10 days to two weeks, then that might suggest that there are other things going on and suggest that you might need physician care. I would say that many people have cold symptoms that are getting better and persist for a long period of time. That would not be too worrisome. Symptoms that are severe and stay severe for a long time would be of concern.