DESCRIPTIONReye's syndrome is a disease that involves the brain and other major organs, including the liver, kidneys, and heart. Reye's syndrome affects children from infancy through adolescence.
Appropriate health care includes:
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
Hospitalization for intensive care to monitor pressure on the brain.
Home care during convalescence.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSConfusion.
Weakness and paralysis in an arm or leg.
Drowsiness that progresses to coma.
Unknown. Reye's syndrome usually follows a virus infection. Some studies link it to the use of aspirin during a viral illness, especially chickenpox and influenza.
RISK FACTORSRecent illness, such as chickenpox, influenza, or other respiratory illness.
Use of aspirin.
Genetic factors. This is more common in Caucasians than in blacks.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCEDon't give a child aspirin for any illness with fever until the doctor has diagnosed it. If the illness is diagnosed as viral, don't use aspirin.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory studies, such as blood studies of liver function and an analysis of cerebrospinal fluid.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSPermanent brain damage, coma, or death caused by pressure on the brain.
With treatment, 80% of patients survive. Most children recover completely, but some have varying degrees of brain damage.
HOME CARENo specific instructions except those listed under other headings.
Anticoagulant drugs to prevent blood-clot formation during prolonged bed rest.
Drugs, such as dexamethasone, to reduce cerebral swelling.
Antibiotics to fight secondary bacterial infections, if they develop.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
Your doctor may prescribe:
Bed rest is necessary for your child until the acute stage is over. Reading or watching TV is acceptable. Normal activities may then be resumed gradually.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When signs of infection have decreased, appetite returns, and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of Reye's syndrome. Call at the first sign of confusion, lethargy, or other mental changes!
After hospitalization, any symptoms of Reye's syndrome recur or the child develops fever of 100F (37.8C) or higher.
New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.