Boy given over-the-counter medication for chicken pox — and it almost killed him


A mother has posted shocking images of her son Tommy on social media as a warning: never give your child ibuprofen to relieve the symptoms of chickenpox.

British mother Verity did it, and the consequences were horrific and almost fatal.

She said she took Tommy to the hospital when his temperature spiked and couldn’t keep any food or fluid down. “A nurse told me to help with the temperature that he could have ibuprofen and calpol together,” she told her Facebook followers.

“I questioned this and he told me it was an ‘old wives’ tale’ and not to believe everything you see on Google. He also said, ‘In all his time working in a hospital, he still has ibuprofen. never reacted to chickenpox.’

“A few hours passed as we waited for the doctors to give us a 24-hour pass and I saw a spot on Tommy’s stomach,” she said. “I showed it to the nurse and he told me it was nothing, and it could just be another chickenpox buildup. We left the hospital and returned home.”

Tommy's mom shared these images of his chickenpox infection.
“A nurse told me to help with the temperature, he could take ibuprofen and calpol together,” Verity said.
Facebook/CPR Kids

Verity said at 6 a.m. the next morning that Tommy “had developed a bruise on his stomach, but by 8 a.m. this bruise turned black.”

She said: “I called my doctor who saw us right away. He confirmed he was infected and drew around the markings to see if it spread. It did, and by 4 p.m. his entire abdomen was swollen, black and blue.”

He was then given an intensive course of antibiotics and fluids, and doctors told Verity that Tommy should never be given ibuprofen. “If he had received another dose, it could have been fatal,” she warned.

CPR Kids shared Verity’s message, saying that while such a reaction is rare, it should not be taken lightly and can result in a necrotizing soft tissue infection like Tommy’s. The organization calls it “a serious, life-threatening condition that requires immediate treatment to prevent the destruction of skin, muscles and other soft tissues.

Tommy's mom shared these images of his chickenpox infection.
“If he had had another dose” [of ibuprofen]it could have been fatal,” Verity warned.
Facebook/CPR Kids

“These infections can progress rapidly if not treated aggressively,” CPR Kids wrote.

Chickenpox Signs and Symptoms

  • Chickenpox (varicella) starts with a sudden onset of low-grade fever, runny nose, feeling generally unwell and skin rash.
  • The rash usually starts out as small lumps that turn into blisters and then scabs.
  • The rash appears over three to four days.
  • Symptoms usually appear two weeks after exposure to the virus.
  • Most people recover without complications, but sometimes the infection can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia and brain inflammation.
  • People who have been vaccinated before can still get chickenpox. If chickenpox occurs in a vaccinated person, it is usually mild and less contagious than in an unvaccinated person.
  • People are contagious from one or two days before the rash appears (that is, during the runny phase) and up to five days after (when the blisters have crusted or scabbed)

Children who show spots should stay at home until the spots crust, and be vigilant about washing their hands while staying away from other people, especially pregnant women, babies, the elderly and the very sick.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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