Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Teenager Fights For Life After Taking Tamiflu - 12/08/09 7:35am

A PRETTY teenager is fighting for life in hospital after taking Tamiflu to beat suspected swine flu.

Helpline staff told 18-year-old Samantha Millard she probably had the killer bug and to take the antiviral drug.

But after popping just three pills Samantha developed blisters on her body.

Doctors now fear the drug triggered life-threatening Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which causes chunks of skin to fall off.

The horror condition affects just three in a million people.

If it doesn't kill a victim they are left covered in scars.

Samantha's shocked mum Deborah took a photograph of her at home on Friday - two days after taking Tamiflu.

But hours later the teen - who hopes to become an air hostess - was in intensive care unable to breathe on her own.

Last night her condition had deteriorated and she was transferred to a specialist burns unit at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, West London.

Deborah and Samantha's sister Charley, 23, were keeping vigil at her hospital bedside.

Samantha had called her GP in Bicester, Oxon, after suffering flu-like symptoms. But she was told to call the helpline.

An operator said her headache and runny nose was probably swine flu and to take Tamiflu.

Last night angry Deborah, 41, blasted the helpline staff. She said: "It shouldn't be the case that people with no medical background can make these decisions.

"These people are just Joe Bloggs off the street.

"My daughter could die because of this. Her condition is getting worse."

She added: "The doctor said because the rash appeared after she took Tamiflu it was probably caused by Tamiflu."

Tamiflu maker Roche is investigating the case.

A spokesman said it was "difficult to determine the role" Tamiflu played but it could not be ruled out that it played a part in triggering the syndrome.

The Department for Health defended the helpline.

A spokesman added: "Serious reactions to Tamiflu are extremely rare and it should still be taken as soon as possible, especially for very serious swine flu cases."


  1. I suppose, like the vaccine, nobody is allowed to sue for THAT either.

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