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Author Topic: A Brave Little Boy
DeathofBees
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We met this incredible little boy at the park yesterday. My friend and I chatted with his grandparents while our kids all played together. Brendon is adjusting well to blindness, and had no problem climbing and playing on the slide. I was amazed at his positive attitude and sensitivity toward our kids (who didnít understand that he canít see and accidentally bumped him a few times). Iím thinking about volunteering with their organization to help families who have children in need.

Brendonís grandparents told us that the Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Syndrome he developed was caused by an allergic reaction to common medications, and that itís not a hereditary disease. He was on Singulair for asthma and was taking Motrin, which his ophthamologist, Dr. Tseng of Miami, determined caused the TEN reaction. In fact, they said thereís a big sign in Dr. Tsengís office warning patients about the dangers of taking many over-the-counter meds that most people consider to be completely safe. Basically, he only recommends very sparing doses of aceteminophen. Iím not one of those people that totally shuns modern medicine, but I do like to be careful what I give my family. This doctorís recommendation seems kind of extreme, but it would have helped Brendon. The problem is that anybody could have a TEN reaction, and nobody knows what will trigger it.

quote:
There is no prevention for TEN. No reliable test can indicate that a specific drug may cause TEN in a specific patient.
I kept looking at Brendon and at my two boys and feeling my heart flip at the thought of such an ordeal. Iím praying for him and his family.
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ClaudiaTherese
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How very sad.

Yes, it is very rare (about 2 cases per 10 million for penicillins, even much fewer for over-the-counter medications, IIRC), but it does happen. It's always a matter of balancing benefits and risks.

How lovely that he has such a strong and kind spirit.

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Mick from Mars
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That's very sad.
Also, ClaudiaTherese, are you a pharmacist? You seem to know a lot about this kind of thing.

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Noemon
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She's a pediatrician.
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ClaudiaTherese
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I am a pediatric physician trained in the US and trying desperately to work in Canada. Currently I can only teach medical students, not see patients, as Canadian training programs are more intensive than in the US -- 4 yrs for pediatrics as opposed to 3 yrs in the States. I'll be doing an additional year of residency next year in order to be fully qualified.

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For context, in the US, more than 1500 people per 10 million citizens die in vehicular accidents (not even counting the much greater morbidity that results from such accidents).

Of course, that does not mitigate this family's pain! I just didn't want people to overestimate the risk of their own child getting this. It does happen, but exceedingly rarely, and it is much more risky (orders of magnitude more) to allow your child to be transported in a car than to take a properly prescribed penicillin. And, as noted, even safer in this aspect to give over-the-counter medications.

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DeathofBees, do you have any plans to see Brendon again? Did your kids make friends?

That's a great website.

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Edited to add: hey, thanks, Noemon. [Smile]

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Mick from Mars
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quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
I am a pediatric physician trained in the US and trying desperately to work in Canada. Currently I can only teach medical students, not see patients, as Canadian training programs are more intensive than in the US -- 4 yrs for pediatrics as opposed to 3 yrs in the States. I'll be doing an additional year of residency next year in order to be fully qualified.

Hmm, I didn't know that. Cool. Best of luck with that.
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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
Edited to add: hey, thanks, Noemon. [Smile]

[Smile] Sure. It's possible that your answer may have been somewhat more complete than my own.
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DeathofBees
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quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:

DeathofBees, do you have any plans to see Brendon again? Did your kids make friends?

We frequent that park, so we may see them again soon there, and I told them I was going to check out the website and look into volunteering. We hope to see Brendon again when he comes back from his eye treatment in Miami. He has to be so careful of germs when he's playing, though, like burn victims do. I'll have to make sure my kids don't make him sick!
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