Monday, December 10, 2007

While we were in Sadler...

We got a phone call from the Department of Health. Allyssa needs to take INH which is a tuberculosis medicine for two months. I looked into the medicine and found that it has several terrible side effects. I called the doctor who is in charge of all of the "tuberculosis babies" (as I've termed all the preemies that were exposed in the hospital) to discuss the side effects of the medicine. He said that 100% of the people (babies and adults) who were tested came back negative. The medicine needs to be taken because the skin tests don't work well in babies under 6 months old. That means that Allyssa could have the germ, but not yet be infected so her x-ray would show up fine, and it still wouldn't show up on the skin test. That means that 3 weeks after the first skin test, it is possible that she could have full blown TB. That's why they are giving the babies the medicine; just as a precaution. As for the side effects, though horrible, they happen in less than 1% of all people who take it AND if you look at just babies the percentage is even lower than if you include adults. For some reason, the side effects aren't as bad for babies, in fact, almost non-exsitant. However, it is very dangerous to take anyways. If there are ANY changes in the childern taking the medicine, it should be stopped immediately and that they should be tested at once. This is true even if the parent is "certain" that it was just the new food that the baby tried or because they went on vacation or whatever reason the parent has. They are so serious about it that they gave us several phone numbers to call should anything happen. Allyssa has been on the meds for about 2 weeks now. So far, so good.

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