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Title: Boy spent 47 agonizing days in ICU with tetanus. Parents still refuse vaccines
Source: ArsTechnica
URL Source: https://arstechnica.com/science/201 ... parents-still-refuse-vaccines/
Published: Mar 8, 2019
Author: Beth Mole
Post Date: 2019-03-11 08:14:01 by Tooconservative
Keywords: None
Views: 66
Comments: 8

The young son of anti-vaccine parents endured excruciating pain and spent 47 days in pediatric intensive care after contracting tetanus, a devastating bacterial infection easily prevented by vaccines.

Despite the nightmarish ordeal, his parents still refused to have him vaccinated, according to health officials in Oregon who helped treat the boy. They reported the boy’s harrowing case Friday, March 8, in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, an online publication from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The six-year-old Oregon boy contracted tetanus—also called lockjaw—innocently enough. He got a cut on his forehead while playing on his family’s farm in 2017. The boy’s wound was treated and sutured at home. Six days later, he showed signs of tetanus.

Tetanus is caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani, which is found in soil and produces a toxin that causes painful muscle contractions. The boy’s symptoms started as crying fits, jaw clenching, muscle spasms, and neck and back arching. The same day, he started having trouble breathing, at which point his parents contacted emergency medical services, who quickly air-lifted him to a pediatric medical center.

When he arrived at the hospital he was suffering jaw muscle spasms. He indicated he wanted some water but couldn’t open his mouth enough to drink it. Some of his muscles necessary for breathing also started spasming, throwing the boy into respiratory distress. He had to be sedated, intubated, and placed on mechanical ventilation.

At this point, doctors admitted him to the intensive care unit, where they kept him in a dark room with ear plugs to avoid stimulating him, which can exacerbate the muscle spasms. They treated him with antibiotics and gave him a shot of a tetanus vaccine (DTaP). Still, his condition worsened. His heart raced, his blood pressure went up, and his body temperature spiked to nearly 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Doctors gave him multiple intravenous drugs to control his blood pressure, pain, and muscle spasms. They also performed a tracheostomy, cutting a hole in his neck for prolonged ventilator support.

The boy stayed like this for 35 days.

At that point, the doctors were able to wean him off the drugs for muscle spasms over five days. On day 44 of his hospital stay, he came off the ventilator and tolerated drinking clear liquids. On day 47, he was moved out of the ICU and into an intermediate care unit at the hospital. Three days later he was able to walk 20 feet—but he needed assistance.

On day 57, he was released from the hospital and transferred to a rehabilitation center. He spent another 17 days there. And it took another month after his rehab before he was back to his old activities, including running and riding a bike.

Despite the heart-wrenching saga and “extensive review of the risks and benefits of tetanus vaccination by physicians,” his parents refused another DTaP vaccination—and all other recommended vaccines. That means he’s still vulnerable to a whole slew of vaccine-preventable illnesses and could one day get tetanus again.

The doctors noted that his hospital bill totaled $811,929, which is about 72 times the average hospital bill for children. And that bill does not include air-transport and rehab costs.

They also noted that the boy was the first case of tetanus in Oregon in more than 30 years. This lack of tetanus cases is attributed to widespread tetanus vaccination. Nationwide, between 2009 and 2015, there were only 197 cases of tetanus, which resulted in 16 deaths.

The recommended schedule for tetanus vaccines for children is a five-dose course at 2, 4, and 6 months, then 15-18 months, and 4-6 years. Health experts recommend a booster shot every 10 years.

Poster Comment:

The anti-vaxxers have gone insane. No one has accused the tetanus vaccine of causing autism or severe illness after immunization. And now, some antivaxxers don't even allow tetanus vaccinations.

These people are about to lose a lot of fights in various legislatures because they are so extreme.

Notice that they don't believe in vaccination but when their child is dying, they run to those "darned doctors" to save their child's life. And this little exercise in needless suffering only cost $800K.

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#1. To: Deckard (#0)

So, how about this one?

Should parents even refuse tetanus vaccinations, a vaccine that has never been credibly accused of harming anyone?

I notice you never want to comment on these kinds of threads despite your ongoing interest in the topic.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-03-11   9:47:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: Tooconservative (#1)

Should parents even refuse tetanus vaccinations...

I am not opposed to tetanus vaccinations.

Computer Hope

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2019-03-11   10:15:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#3. To: Deckard, Gatlin, Grand Island (#2)

I am not opposed to tetanus vaccinations.


Tooconservative  posted on  2019-03-11   10:17:34 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#4. To: Tooconservative (#3)

I am not opposed to tetanus vaccinations.


Parents should have the right to make fully-informed decisions for their own children regarding any vaccination.

Computer Hope

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2019-03-11   10:42:51 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#5. To: Tooconservative (#0)

The doctors noted that his hospital bill totaled $811,929

Hope they had insurance. The public should not have to pay for their ignorant obstinacy.

misterwhite  posted on  2019-03-11   10:49:14 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#6. To: Deckard (#4)

Parents should have the right to make fully-informed decisions for their own children regarding any vaccination.

But are they full-informed? Now some of them are claiming that measles can protect you against getting cancer, all because they've read some half-baked coverage on how scientists are experimenting with using a heavily modified measles virus as a carrier for attacking cancer cells.

Would people who believe crap like that qualify as "fully-informed"? I don't think so.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-03-11   12:44:39 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#7. To: misterwhite, Grand Island (#5)

Hope they had insurance. The public should not have to pay for their ignorant obstinacy.

I wondered the same.

And to top it off, after all that suffering they inflicted on the boy, the $800K spent, the life-threatening illness, they refused to go ahead and vaccinate the boy for tetanus. From what I've read in various articles, they still haven't vaccinated him for tetanus.

Grand Island is right. These people should move to a desert island so we don't have to put up with or hear their nonsense.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-03-11   12:46:55 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#8. To: Tooconservative (#7)

I have followed your posts.

Your objectivism is duly noted.

Mentor …

Gatlin  posted on  2019-03-11   13:37:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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