Reye’s syndrome is a rare diseased condition that causes brain and liver damage. Reye’s syndrome can affect all age groups, most commonly seen in children. Reye’s syndrome usually occurs in conditions when your child has had a recent viral infection like chickenpox or flu.
When you give medicines like aspirin to minimize other infections, it gradually increases the risk of Reye’s syndrome. Thus, it is recommended not to have aspirin to cure headache and flu that can increase the risk of Reye’s syndrome.
Reye’s syndrome Symptoms
Reye’s syndrome generally appears soon after the infection. It takes only few hours for the visible symptoms to appear for Reye’s syndrome. The most common symptoms associated with Reye’s syndrome include:
- Irritability or aggressiveness
- Coma in most severe cases
Initial signs in children younger than age 2
The common symptoms seen in children who are younger than 2 years of age include:
- Rapid breathing
Initial signs in older children and teenagers
The early signs and symptoms in teenagers include:
- Persistent vomiting
- Unusual sleepiness
Additional symptoms of Reye’s syndrome include:
- Irritable or irrational behavior
- Disorientation or hallucination
- Weakness in arms and legs
- Paralysis in arms and legs
- Excessive lethargy
You need to consult a doctor when you experience seizures or convulsions in your child and in cases when you lose consciousness.
Reye’s syndrome Causes
According to experts the exact cause of Reye’s syndrome is unknown. Reye’s syndrome is generally considered as a metabolic condition that gets exposed in case of infections. There are many factors that contribute to Reye’s syndrome:
- When aspirin is used to cure infection, Reye’s syndrome is generally triggered
- When your child is having an underlying fatty acid oxidation disorder.
- Medications containing salicylates can also trigger Reye’s syndrome
- Products containing oil of wintergreen
Reye’s syndrome Treatment
Reye’s syndrome is a condition that can be a medical emergency. Early diagnosis and early treatment is essential in case of Reye’s syndrome. In most of the cases Reye’s syndrome requires hospitalization and in severe cases your child will be treated in the intensive care units.
There is no permanent cure for Reye’s syndrome. In case of Reye’s syndrome the main focus of the treatment is to reduce the symptoms associated with the disease. In this case the doctors usually make sure the child remains hydrated and maintains a balanced electrolyte level in the body. Cardio respiratory status and liver functions are carefully monitored during the course of this disease. Medications will be prescribed only to minimize seizures and control their side effects.
Reye’s syndrome Prevention
Reye’s syndrome is less common as the doctors and parents have reduced the use of aspirin to cure any infection. You can consult your doctor for headache and fever if it does not subsides in few days. Reye’s syndrome is rarely fatal and can be managed with medication and care.