Necrotizing fasciitis and gangrene associated with topical herbs in an infant.
ABSTRACT A 4-mo-old Chinese infant developed necrotizing fasciitis and gangrene from a small skin infection on his buttock that was treated with topical herbs. Sequential cultures revealed a number of organisms: Enterococcus species, sensitive to ampicillin, were isolated throughout the course, and coagulasenegative staphylococci replaced gram-negative rods during the later phase of the illness. The infant required prolonged intravenous antibiotic treatment and underwent multiple surgical procedures for debridement and reconstruction. This report serves to alert the public of the importance of avoiding application of unknown topical herbs in children with skin disease. A seemingly small wound, if inappropriately treated, may result in extensive tissue destruction and require extensive surgery.
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ABSTRACT: Information about the safety of herbal medicine often comes from case reports published in the medical literature, thus necessitating good quality reporting of these adverse events. The purpose of this study was to perform a systematic review of the comprehensiveness of reporting of published case reports of adverse events associated with herb use in the pediatric population. Electronic literature search included 7 databases and a manual search of retrieved articles from inception through 2010. We included published case reports and case series that reported an adverse event associated with exposure to an herbal product by children under the age of 18 years old. We used descriptive statistics. Based on the International Society of Epidemiology's "Guidelines for Submitting Adverse Events Reports for Publication," we developed and assigned a guideline adherence score (0-17) to each case report. Ninety-six unique journal papers were identified and represented 128 cases. Of the 128 cases, 37% occurred in children under 2 years old, 38% between the ages of 2 and 8 years old, and 23% between the ages of 9 and 18 years old. Twenty-nine percent of cases were the result of an intentional ingestion while 36% were from an unintentional ingestion. Fifty-two percent of cases documented the Latin binomial of the herb ingredients; 41% documented plant part. Thirty-two percent of the cases reported laboratory testing of the herb, 20% documented the manufacturer of the product, and 22% percent included an assessment of the potential concomitant therapies that could have been influential in the adverse events. Mean guideline adherence score was 12.5 (range 6-17). There is considerable need for improvement in reporting adverse events in children following herb use. Without better quality reporting, adverse event reports cannot be interpreted reliably and do not contribute in a meaningful way to guiding recommendations for medicinal herb use.Global advances in health and medicine : improving healthcare outcomes worldwide. 03/2013; 2(2):46-55.
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ABSTRACT: Eczema is a common childhood atopic condition and treatment is with emollients, topical corticosteroids, and avoidance of possible triggers. S. aureus colonization is a common complication. As there is no immediate cure, many parents seek alternative therapies that claim unproven therapeutic efficacy. We report a girl with long history of treatment noncompliance. After practicing a long period of dietary avoidance and supplementation, the grandparents took her to an alternative medicine practitioner. Following cupping therapy and acupuncture, the child developed blistering and oozing over her back the next day, which rapidly evolved to two large irregular-edge deep ulcers. She was treated with intravenous antibiotics and received multidisciplinary supportive intervention. Using search words of "cupping," "eczema," and "atopic dermatitis," only two reports were found on PubMed. Therapeutic efficacy was claimed but not scientifically documented in these reports. Childhood eczema is an eminently treatable atopic disease. Extreme alternative therapy seems not to be efficacious and may even be associated with serious undesirable sequelae. Physicians should be aware of various alternative treatment modalities and be prepared to offer evidence-based advice to the patients with eczema and their families.Case reports in pediatrics. 01/2013; 2013:605829.
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ABSTRACT: Childhood-onset eczema is a common condition associated with pruritus, sleep disturbance and disrupted quality of life. The mainstay of treatment is usage of emollients and topical corticosteroid (CS). Nevertheless, many steroid-phobic parents are very skeptical about western medicine that may contain CS. Furthermore, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is popular among Chinese patients in Asia and many citizens idolize CAM and believe that traditional Chinese medicine and herbs are without any side effects. Pressed by public's quest for efficacious and safe treatment, and lucrative profits, CAM practitioners may take the risks of prescribing steroids and "western medicine" in the name of traditional Chinese herbal medicine. We report a series of illustrative cases of uninformed systemic and topical corticosteroid usage for eczema by steroid-phobic parents to alert the public of this risk. The drugs were detected by high-performance liquid chromatography with diode-array detection, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, gas chromatography mass spectrometry, or liquid chromatography ion trap time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Five cases of uninformed corticosteroid usage for moderate-to-severe eczema by steroid-phobic parents were reported. The physician caring for children with skin disease should also be aware that even steroid-phobic parents might indeed be using potent CS without awareness. The patient usually suffers chronic relapsing eczema of moderate-to-severe degree. The steroid-phobic parent is usually non-compliant in following advice on usage of emollient, topical CS, and avoidance of triggers in accordance with western doctors. The CAM practitioner, when confronted by an anxious steroidophobic parent who demands efficacious topical and/or systemic treatment, may knowingly or unknowingly be forced into prescribing potent albeit illegal products containing corticosteroids in the name of traditional Chinese herbal medicine.World Journal of Pediatrics 08/2012; 8(3):263-7. · 1.08 Impact Factor