Friday, November 27, 2009

Boy's Swine Flu Vaccine Reaction - Leaves Mom Shaken - No Answers 11/27/09 8:17am

Seconds after getting his H1N1 flu shot, Ursula Fournier’s son Max went limp, his blood pressure dropped and he had trouble breathing.

The four-year-old had never had an allergic reaction before the incident at a Halifax vaccination clinic on Nov. 3, Ms. Fournier said Wednesday.

She said the clinic nurse laid Max on the floor, administered a shot of epinephrine (adrenalin) and called 911.

The boy was taken to the IWK Health Centre’s emergency department, where he was monitored for any further reaction. Max quickly recovered and has been fine since then.

The Health Department sent the file to the Fournier family doctor, who has referred Max to an allergy specialist, Ms. Fournier said.

She called the experience scary and frustrating. She has yet to hear from the specialist’s office and she’s also not happy with the department’s handling of the situation.

She has spoken to officials over the phone but said the only information she was given was that the file would be sent to her doctor.

"I assumed there would be some kind of followup meeting," Ms. Fournier said. "Maybe to see what he had to eat that day, how he was before. But nobody interviewed us, nobody asked a question, nothing at all."

Under Capital Health procedures, vaccine reaction cases are documented by the nurse on duty, a spokesman said. Those files are sent to the patient’s doctor.

"As a public health service, their main role . . . would be keeping in contact with the family physician or a specialist, if there’s a need to involve a specialist," John Gillis said Wednesday.

Ms. Fournier said she has seen little information on vaccine reactions or the extent of the problem in the province.

"I’m wondering, are there other parents who have gone through similar things?" she said. "I don’t know what’s been documented."

Six people have experienced anaphylactic shock in Nova Scotia since the H1N1 vaccination program began, Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer, said at a news conference Wednesday.

All six have recovered.

"We expect to see anaphylaxis as a rare complication, not just with vaccine," Dr. Strang said. "It is a potential risk with any medication."

That’s why people are asked to wait 15 minutes at the clinic after getting their shot, he said.

Clinic nurses have the training and equipment to deal with allergic reactions. According to national statistics, no more people are having severe reactions to the H1N1 vaccine than to seasonal flu vaccines, Dr. Strang said.

Ms. Fournier said the clinic nurse handled the situation well. She was given a prescription for an epinephrine injector in case Max has another reaction.

"All I’m hearing about is, get the vaccine, get the vaccine," she said. "But when you get it and something happens, and then there’s no answers as to why it happened, it’s very frustrating and concerning."

I have read and heard from people personally, that when there has been a reaction - the doctors on a whole do not document it and there is silence afterwards, as in this case. Was this Ever documented? Did the WHO ever acknowledge this reaction, did the doctor ever document it and how MANY other people have had a reaction that is not documented? I am glad this mother went public, due to her frustration!

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