Last Saturday, July 15, my daughter woke up looking a bit like Linda Blair from The Exorcist. She'd been treated by two different health care providers in the previous 48 hours for strep/Scarlet fever, having only a red rash and bits of peeling skin on her face, but it was clear that the diagnosis was incorrect, and the amoxicillin wasn't working. silver colored items to wear of the evening
That morning, her mouth was crusted over. Her ears were sloughing skin. Her face was covered with sores and her whole body had developed a red rash like a sunburn.
We took her to another doctor who diagnosed Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome after consulting a few of his books. He'd never seen it before. He prescribed Clindamycin and sent us home.
I became distraught because she refused to eat or drink at that point, whereas in the previous two days every since the rash showed up she was otherwise happy. A friend pushed me to take her to a children's hospital a couple hours away, where they confirmed the diagnosis quickly in the ER and admitted her.
It took a little more than another 48 hours of IV Clindamycin, Gentamicin, and a few doses of morphine for pain before they released us that Tuesday morning.
She has since finished her oral Clindamycin at home and is on a moisturizing regimen several times a day.
She clearly did not see the worst of what this Syndrome can do, and I feel that's due to the doctor we saw that Saturday who heard hoofbeats and thought zebras instead of horses. She was on the correct medication within 72 hours of her very first symptom, which was a red ring around both eyes and her mouth.
Nikolsky sign, the rubbing off of skin when touched, was the number one indicator of SSSS according to the attending who saw her in the ER. The residents who saw her did not know to look for the sign.
We saw easily thirty students while we were in the hospital, and we repeated our story for each of them. I post it now in hopes that the next parent of a child with similar symptoms desperately searching the Internet happens upon this and pushes to get a correct diagnosis and immediate treatment.
Our daughter never had a fever during this illness. It was one of the most puzzling experiences. Today, on the right, she is clearly recovered. There is only 11 days difference between the two pictures.
She has shed 90% of her skin, although after she began the Clindamycin, her red, sunburn-like rash faded immediately to something like a tan and began peeling slowly, like it would had she gotten too much sun, and not like the huge blistering sheets we've seen on other patients. We do not expect any scarring.
I would like to see more public awareness about this syndrome so that future children who react to the staph toxin in such a manner can be diagnosed and treated much more quickly.