What is wrong with these kids? (Mystery Diagnosis) - page 3

by Ashley, PICU RN

12,656 Views | 49 Comments

My area has recently seen 3 children at 2 separate facilities present with eerily similar and so far undiagnosed problems. Similar age group, but nothing else in common (different locations, ethnicities, no similar contacts or... Read More


  1. 4
    Hmmmm........

    The demographic angle is interesting. I wonder how this plays in? Is there some new 'fad' among this group - food/ game/ dress/ ?
    Esme12, anotherone, umcRN, and 1 other like this.
  2. 2
    Reye's syndrome would show up in the labs... abnormal liver enzymes. As marycarney says, the demographic is another pice of the puzzle. I'm assuming these kids have all had tox screens done as part of their admission work-ups. Very curious.
    Esme12 and tewdles like this.
  3. 0
    First thing that came to mind was Guillain Barre Syndrome but you said no ascending paralysis. Agree with those who said encephalitis especially the anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis and/or herpes viral encephalitis. Another thought - you said these were all boys, ages 10-13 living within 10 miles of eachother. Could they go to the same school? That's about middle school age. Maybe something in the cafeteria? Lead poisoning? Some cross contamination with anti-pest substances (rat poison, etc.)?
  4. 1
    Name:  887221_10151561620817164_971172779_o.jpg
Views: 327
Size:  107.1 KBA lot of mysterious diseases are popping up from over use of antibiotics. This is a photo of my niece. She has had cancer twice, (notice her arm) This is from the removal of a cancerous tumor located in her arm pit. Her throat is still very sore, and she has had numorous tumors removed from her body. None of us know where this disease came from. My brother and sister-in-law were both genetically tested and were negative for the neurofiborblastosis that ravages her body. She just turned 16.
    Esme12 likes this.
  5. 1
    Rabies? Any contact with animals (field trip? pets, are they vaccinated? any pets in fights with unknown other animals (infected saliva on fur even if pet is vaccinated)? anyone find a bunny/dead mice/squirrels/bat/raccoon in the yard??) should be followed up.

    Sports teams? Did these kids all play on the same field? Drink out of the same water fountain?

    Try the same magic pill-- you know how boys are-- parkinsonian symptoms? This sort of thing swept through the local addict population a few years back around here, turned out to be a contaminant in a recreational drug that fried the basal ganglia (permanently).

    Bulbar paralysis is classic for polio-- immunizations recently?
    Last edit by GrnTea on Apr 3, '13
    Esme12 likes this.
  6. 0
    we have similar cases but more fatal ones such as the meningococcemia, or check all meningococcal diseases.....
  7. 1
    Could it be a rare reaction to like, a med???
    What are the pt's PMHx?

    One of my patients had excessive pulmonary bleeding, on oscillator, etc; improved when Drs figured out that valproic acid causes pulmonary bleeding...extremely RARE side effect...once patient was off the valproic acid and was switched to another anti-seizure med, she recovered. Immunology was involved; no immunologic deficit.
    anotherone likes this.
  8. 1
    Interesting case...fever with no rash, unremarkable labs, progression of illness, and similar age/same gender.

    My guess is that there is some common denominator in here, if you find that you may solve the puzzle. Sounds like time is of the essence.
    anotherone likes this.
  9. 2
    With the demographics and similar presentation, is your local CDC office involved? They might have some insight as well.
    uRNmyway and anotherone like this.
  10. 2
    Quote from Franemtnurse
    Name:  887221_10151561620817164_971172779_o.jpg
Views: 327
Size:  107.1 KBA lot of mysterious diseases are popping up from over use of antibiotics. This is a photo of my niece. She has had cancer twice, (notice her arm) This is from the removal of a cancerous tumor located in her arm pit. Her throat is still very sore, and she has had numorous tumors removed from her body. None of us know where this disease came from. My brother and sister-in-law were both genetically tested and were negative for the neurofiborblastosis that ravages her body. She just turned 16.
    Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder (autosomal dominant) that causes tumors to grow throughout the nervous system. It is not related to antibiotics at all. Fifty percent of cases are the result of a new genetic mutation and neither parent is affected. The other fifty percent are inherited from a parent with the disease.
    ashleyisawesome and Syrenia like this.


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