For every day this month, I'm sharing a vaccine injury case I've personally been involved with.
October 23rd Vaccine Injury Awareness:Toddler had been vaccinated mostly on schedule per the CDC with some delay here and there. Following a set of vaccines around age 1, child had severe onset of hives requiring a trip to the emergency room when Benadryl didn't touch it. Of course this was not linked to vaccines at the time and was assumed to be food or environmental which seems reasonable at that time. 15 months rolls around and pedi is trying to "catch child up" on vaccines, so gives another round. Child immediately with severe hives in the office as well as airway symptoms. Ambulance called and patient taken to the ER with two epi pens given. At this point the parents are very clear the vaccines have caused this. Flash forward to closer to age 2 and pediatrician directs parents to take child to specialty clinic to continue vaccines in a controlled setting.
This is when I get contacted. My response:If you figured out that you gave your child peanuts, and she had a reaction requiring an ER visit, and then 3 months later you gave her peanuts again and she took an ambulance ride to the ER requiring epinephrine treatment TWICE, would you give her peanuts again?!? Ever?!?Parents- NO!!!Me: 🤷🏼♀️🤷🏼♀️🤷🏼♀️🤷🏼♀️🤷🏼♀️🤷🏼♀️🤷🏼♀️ Well then?You would think that would be the end of that but the pediatrician had REALLY been on their case about getting the boosters done. The parents eventually watched the Sherri Tenpenny video on YouTube- Vaccines: The Risks, The Benefits, the Choices and decided for their child that the benefits did not outweigh the risks for their child when it came to the diseases vs. life threatening anaphylaxis.Child released from pediatrician's care for failure to vaccinate on schedule.
October 24th Vaccine Injury Awareness Month:I want to discuss a very important conversation with a mother. A mother was giving me history on her 1 year old stating that after the 2 month vaccines the baby stopped cooing, smiling, lightly giggling, and making good eye contact. Some of this returned before the 4 month well check, however following those vaccines the same regression happened and was much more obvious. She put all of this together following the 4 months vaccines, and hadn't really made the connection after the 2 month visit. She returned to the same pediatrician office and refused vaccines. At the time the pediatrician told her that this was neurologically normal and he sees this all the time. She recounted the 9 month well check and how she essentially felt shamed and demeaned by the pediatrician and that it was a terrible appointment. Prior to the 12 month appointment she was thinking through all of this and called the office asking them to put a note in the chart to not discuss vaccines as she wasn't doing it and didn't want it to be an issue again. The office called back stating that she needed to do at least one vaccine at that appointment or she needed to find a new office. Find a new office she did. This child did not start laughing again until right before her 1st birthday.
Later in this conversation the mom asks me: Do you think it was the vaccines that caused these regressions?I said- You just told me that it was!She asked again- but do YOU think it was the vaccines that caused these regressions and obvious changes in her personality?!?I said- You just told me that it was!! So that IS what happened!She said- I told that doctor that!! I told him- this is NOT normal! This is my baby and I am her mother and you do NOT tell me that what happened is wrong!!!Amen, parents. Amen. ALL OF YOU need to take YOUR AUTHORITY back for yourselves. It doesn't belong to the pediatrician about YOUR child. It's YOUR CHILD. YOU KNOW what you see, YOU KNOW when things go awry, and YOU KNOW when your gut is screaming at you that something is wrong. The government doesn't own your child, the pediatrician is not the final authority on your child, the paternalistic model of medicine is not acceptable, and as parents it's our job to decide that we will no longer take this shit from our medical providers. Period!These are OUR children, and what we say goes. If they don't like it, we can take our business elsewhere. They work for us! We don't bow down to them! Got it?!?And as a final note- hell NO this is not normal. MY patients don't do that, EVER. Just because it's now usual and common, does not mean that you get to call it normal and lower the standards for our children!
October 25th Vaccine Injury Awareness Month:College athlete gets HPV vaccine. This was the start of her downward spiral. She steadily gained 60 pounds of edema over the next 2 months. Her body odor became quite strong prompting her to shower multiple times a day. At one point she was in a wheelchair. Turns out she had complete thyroid failure and complete blockage of her lymphatic system. Through extensive body work and working with a naturopath she was able to lose the weight and resume part of her normal life, but then eventually her thyroid function completely failed again and she gained 60 pounds back almost immediately. After more work with a naturopath, she was able to lose some weight and regain some of her life back again. Her struggles are continuous and potentially could be for life.
Dr. MIchael E. Pichichero states in the Pediatrics Vaccines and Infections Diseases Fall 2017 edition: "The HPV vaccine is a cancer prevention vaccine, and that is actually somewhat miraculous! So it baffles me why HPV vaccination is not higher."Well my friend- We've got a few ideas why.....
October 26th Vaccine Injury Awareness:Newborn infant born at a rural hospital receives the typical eye ointment, vitamin K, and hepatitis B vaccine right at birth. Baby develops respiratory distress so is transferred out to a tertiary care Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the nearest large urban center. After infant's symptoms subside, infant is accidentally given a second hepatitis B vaccine to prepare for discharge. That night the nurse goes to the patient's bedside after noticing some concerning activity on the monitor such as slowing heart rate, decrease in saturations. Infant is found on his side, seizing, vomiting through his mouth and nose, and turning blue. Intervention brings the patient's heart rate and oxygen saturations up and infant is obviously post-ichtal with responding only to noxious stimuli. Neonatologist in house is called out of call room with update. Not entirely believing that this "perfectly healthy baby" had a seizure, he comes to the bedside to assess. He does relinquish that baby has low tone, is minimally responsive, with stable vital signs at that time. As everyone stands around and watches baby open on a warmer, he starts to come around again. Doctor agrees that a work should be done and commences. Staff alerts doctor that this is the baby who accidentally received the second dose of Hepatitis B vaccine to which the doctor rolls his eyes and states: Well I don't see why THAT would cause a possible seizure or any of this symptoms?!?!
Complete work up ordered: Urine and blood cultures, CBC, CRP, blood gas, etc. All normal. Patient discharged the next day. We will never know what happened to that baby. Did he live? Or was he a SIDS victim? Did he have neurological deficits or developmental delays?? Who knows. Parents were not really aware of situation other than the baby had an "episode" requiring a work up that was negative, so they were told everything was ok and to proceed home.
October 27th Vaccine Injury Awareness:Toddler has history of frequent illnesses as infant: RSV and other upper respiratory infections treated with steroids and some breathing treatments, repeat ear infections treated with antibiotics as well as some most likely viral illnesses treated by antibiotics. Mother reports child up screaming most of the night following routine vaccinations from well checks as well as one instance of encapsulation of the injection site with a giant knot taking multiple weeks to dissipate. Toddler receives ear tubes around 15 months of age and continues with some ear infections after the tubes were placed. Child with some motor delay as toddler and was a late walker. Child receives 18 month shots and spends several days with high fever, very lethargic, minimally responsive for long periods of time. At that time child loses all speech. Speech delay missed at 2 year well check. By age of 3 parents realize child is very delayed in speech as well as not up to speed with peers with motor skills. Frequent illnesses have abated and ear infections no longer a problem. Some eczema that comes and goes in creases of joints. Toddler brought in by parents for work up. Child very picky eater, mostly eating the same things daily and mostly comprised of wheat and dairy. Food allergy/ sensitivity testing shows very high sensitivity to wheat and dairy. (This is very typical! Children tend to obsess about what they are allergic to! If they are eating very few foods, chances are very high they have a food sensitivity or allergy that needs to be addressed!) Nutrition testing shows high need for antioxidants, B vitamins, amino acids, essential fatty acids, glutathione with some toxic load showing up in blood and urine testing. Diet changed, however still not optimal diet. Parents refuse to really buy in to a clean diet full of Whole Foods and wide variety but at the least removed most dairy and wheat. This is NOT an ideal situation for treatment of this child given dimmer switch on brain from food sensitivities. Nutrients replaced as able through parents. Speech therapy started and completed when child within 6 months of catch up to speech for age. Parents decided against OT for motor skill delay. At age 4 child progressing however continues to be mildly delayed, showing some minor sensory issues, and parents decide to discontinue alternative care as they believe child is now "caught up". This isn't an optimal story. Child could have better outcomes, could be totally caught up by this time, and family could have made an important lifestyle change that would potentially improve the health of the entire family. Unsure what plan is for further vaccination prior to Kindergarten. Will have to wait and see if child shows back up to alternative care providers with future problems. Highly likely delay will persist or future problems will arise. Will be interesting to see if parents go with traditional or alternative care.
October 28th Vaccine Injury Awareness:4 month old infant received routine vaccinations including HIB for meningitis. Within 48 hours infant with extremely high fever and high pitched screaming that quickly turned to lethargy. Child taken to nearest children's hospital where child ended up having MENINGITIS. Despite full interventions, child goes in to severe continuous seizures despite multiple medications, multiple organ failure, and ultimately dies. Doctors tell parents the meningitis directly following the vaccines was a "coincidence" and the child must have all ready been incubating the disease while being vaccinated.
October 29th Vaccine Injury Awareness:Child on delayed vaccine schedule. After 2 month vaccine of DTAP, patient with trunk rash of flat red pinpoint dots with white halos around them, dry skin to creases of elbows and backs of knees and bilateral ear infections. Father is a chiropractor so treated ear infections naturally. Skin rashes subside. After 4 month vaccines of HIB and Prevnar, patient back in office with severe bilateral ear infections and wheezing. Child started on nebulizer treatments of albuterol for short period of time until wheezing abated and treated with antibiotics for ear infections per parents request. Over next two months, child continues to need nebulizer treatments periodically for wheezing. After 6 month immunization of DTAP child once again with bilateral ear infections and wheezing. Child treated naturally for ear infections and albuterol treatments per nebulizer resumed for next several days until clear. Within 4 days after 9 month immunizations of HIB and Prevnar child back in office with severe bilateral ear infections, wheezing once again, and a severe candida diaper rash. Patient sent home on antibiotics, nystatin ointment, nebulizer treatments, and inhaled steroid twice a day for 30 days. Probiotics had been given almost daily during all of this time and were changed to sacchromyces boulardii for concomitant candida infection while being on antibiotics. At this time provider discussed with parents that a distinct pattern was being seen here and that maybe the current course should be reevaluated. Parent changed offices to another alternative provider to continue vaccine schedule.
I think this story is important, even though not shocking. When people think about vaccine injury, they think about things that happen RIGHT THEN, or things that happen that are SEVERE adverse events. How many kids are out there like this who are distinctly giving signals that say- I can NOT handle this! Please STOP!!!?? There are so many. SO MANY stories of children who end up with a catastrophic or severe event were giving signals like this when you take their history. We all need to start paying attention to what our body's and our children's body's are telling us. They are always communicating, we just aren't listening because we are too busy following the current of society without thinking.
October 30th Vaccine Injury Awareness Month:Former 25 week extremely low birth weight preterm infant. Had the general rough start of a baby born this early needing invasive respiratory support with a ventilator, central lines with total nutrition given by IV fluids while breast milk feeds slowly started, antibiotic exposure for rule out procedures, phototherapy for jaundice, many xrays, medications, etc. Patient reached 2 months of age and providers started asking parents to sign consents for routine vaccinations. Parents questioned appropriateness of timing given that infant was still supposed to be inside mom and that patient was still extremely small, as well as that patient hadn't even reached due date yet. Eventually parents gave in to repeated strong conversations from providers for forms to be signed. Patient received vaccines that evening, and the next morning around 6 AM child "coded"- meaning child's heart rate stopped, had to be intubated, given oxygen with ambu bag, given chest compressions and two rounds of epinephrine. All strides made in health during 2 month stay to only needing CPAP (prongs in the nose with continuous airway pressure for support rather than tube down the trachea and ventilator breaths), coming off IV fluids and getting all nutrition from breastmilk and supplements, etc gone. Patient after code was on the ventilator, all nutrition through IV fluids, back on antibiotics for presumed sepsis/ infection, serial xrays to watch intestinal health, repeat lab draws for instability. This instability of status continued for several weeks until patient coded and died. Death tagged as cause by extreme prematurity and presumed overwhelming infection (despite that blood/ urine/ cerebrospinal fluids was negative for infection). Parents told vaccines did not have anything to do with patient's death.