Reye syndrome

Ray syndrome is a rare but serious condition that most often affects children between the ages of 6 and 12. The clinical condition can lead to brain edema and liver damage.

The disease Rey syndrome is usually associated with the use of aspirin to treat viral infections. If it is detected early and treated, most children recover from it within a few weeks and no permanent damage occurs.

What are the symptoms?

The illness often begins when a child is recovering from a viral infection such as the flu or chicken pox. Symptoms usually appear 3 to 7 days after the onset of viral illness. They can develop in a few hours to 1-2 days.

The first possible symptoms are:

  • Sudden nausea or vomiting;
  • Lack of energy and interest in the usual things the child shows such;
  • Strange behavior such as irritability, slurred speech, and uncharacteristic personality changes;
  • Drowsiness;

When the syndrome progresses and liver and brain damage begins, other symptoms may develop such as:

  • Confusion – the child may not know where they are, may not recognize family or friends, or be unable to ask simple questions;
  • Rapid and deep breathing – hyperventilation;
  • Aggressive behavior – the child may hit someone for no reason;
  • Seizures and coma;

If an illness is not treated promptly, it is possible to until death.

If your child has symptoms of Reye’s syndrome, get medical help right away, even if they haven’t had a recent viral infection or haven’t taken aspirin. Timely treatment makes full recovery possible.

Treatment of Reye Syndrome

Hospitalization, often intensive care, is always necessary for this disease. The goal is to stop brain and liver damage and other related health problems. During the hospital stay, the child is given medication to reduce brain swelling and supportive therapy.

Illness can be scary for you and your child, so remember that most children make a full recovery without any sequelae. To reassure yourself and help your child:

  • Talk to your doctor and hospital staff about any concerns you have and feel free to ask them any questions about your child’s care after they leave the hospital;
  • Stay until your child or visit them often if they do not allow you to stay with them in the intensive care unit;
  • Keep your child’s favorite toys and belongings with them in the hospital, so they will feel more secure;

Can we protect our child from this insidious disease?

The most important thing you can do to prevent Reye Syndrome is to not give aspirin or any products containing aspirin to your child , until he is 20 years old, unless prescribed by a doctor.

Always read the package insert or label before giving any medicine or product to your child. Aspirin is found in a large number of over-the-counter medicines, including those you least expect, such as:

  • Acetyl salicylate;
  • Acetylsalicylic acid;
  • Salicylic acid;
  • Salicylate or subsalicylate;

Some childhood illnesses may require aspirin treatment. In these cases, make sure that your GP has specifically instructed you to give aspirin to your child. If you give your child aspirin and they get chickenpox or the flu, see your GP straight away.

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