Holiday Sore Throat: are Antibiotics required?

Author: Jonathan D Whittaker / Editor: Jonathan D Whittaker / Reviewer: Peter Kilgour, Tadgh Moriarty / Codes: O9 / Published: 06/08/2022

You take a history from a 16-year-old American boy and his parents who are on holiday in the UK for the next 2 weeks. He is complaining of a severe sore throat of 5 days duration. There is a history of fever but he has been taking regular antipyretics. He complains of difficulty swallowing but is still able to swallow fluids. He has not had a cough nor difficulty breathing. He reports that is neck is still to move.

When he was younger he had several episodes of tonsillitis but he has not had any problems for the past 5 years. He is normally fit and well, not on any regular medication and has no known allergies. The triage nurse has taken a set of routine observations:

  • Temperature 38.4 C
  • Pulse 110 / minute regular
  • Blood pressure 117/76
  • Respiratory rate 16 / minute O2
  • Saturation 98% on air
  • Pain score 8

The triage nurse has also administered 1g of paracetamol suspension as the patient is unable to swallow tablets due to the pain.

Leave a Reply