Others can be harmed when patients lie

The other day, the mother of a nine-week-old baby girl called my office in a panic. Her daughter was having terrible breathing trouble, with coughing and wheezing. She asked to been seen that day, and of course I said yes. I asked mom how the baby had been doing overall, and she said that she’d had some noisy breathing as a newborn, but all was well until the past few nights, when her breathing became labored, noisy, and she just didn’t seem “right.” On first examining the baby, she seemed well-nourished and was sleeping comfortably. There was no wheeze, noise, or cough. However, while I looked with a small flexible telescope at her voice box, she began to have a horrible-sounding cough.

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