Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Reye's and Confidence in your doctor

I started seeing a new doctor this morning and I have to say that I am not impressed. Actually, I'm a little appalled. On my chart, under medical allergies, I list Aspirin. I do not take it for any reason. Why? Well, as a child I was hospitalized with Reye's Syndrome. It's a condition for which they don't exactly know the full cause but basically after a child (possibly older but usually kids) has a flu/fever and takes aspirin/salicylates for relief they have a very serious reaction requiring hospitalization that typically affects most bodily organs (especially liver/brain) and can be fatal. I had a trip to the hospital for this when I was around 3.

Today, this new doctor says to me "Really? You had Reye's? I thought that was just theoretical?". Um, no. It's not just theoretical and it's very serious. It's why you aren't supposed to give a child aspirin/salicylates. So either she has it confused with another condition or she honestly thinks it's not proven. In either case she should NOT be a family practice doctor. I understand that the general public doesn't always know about this condition but a family doctor who treats kids? Not acceptable. If there is a family of products that you aren't supposed to prescribe or give to children a family practice doctor should know why. Otherwise, it is too likely that they'll start to think "well, a little can't hurt". Because YES, it can.

If you are a parent or care for other people's children, please know that Reye's Syndrome can be extremely serious or fatal and you should NOT give your children an aspirin/salicylates product.