Brandon, Florida, USA – “That pain was like a gun shot.” That is how 5-year-old Parth Kulkarni described the pain of burns which covered his body, inside and out.
It started in June when Kulkarni came down with a fever. His parents, Amit and Supna Kulkarni, said their pediatrician recommended they give their son Motrin, a medication that has ibuprofen.
Instead of getting better, Parth developed a rash on his body.
“Parth told me, ‘See mom, everywhere is looking red, red, red, red. What is going on with my body?'” Supna Kulkarni said, recalling the start of his son’s illness.
A few days, later Parth was in the hospital.
Doctors diagnosed Parth with a rare disorder known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which quickly developed into a more serious disease know as Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), caused by the ibuprofen.
“Steven Johnson is a serious disorder of the skin and mucous membranes. Often, Stevens-Johnson syndrome begins with several days of flu-like symptoms, followed by inflammation of your mucous membranes and a painful red or purplish rash that spreads and blisters, eventually causing the top layer of your skin to die and shed.”
Dr. Richard Weibly, who treated Parth at Tampa General Hospital, says only one or two people out a million are diagnosed with the disorder a year.
“Sometimes our bodies make a mistake and it will make an anti-body that will harm us in some way. Steven-Johnson or TEN is an example of that,” Dr. Weibly explains.
Dr. Richard Weibly says because the condition is so rare, there is no need to panic.
Warning signs include skin blisters, ulcers in the mouth and nose with irritated eyes. Remember to consult a doctor before giving your child any medication.