Essential Information About Rotavirus Vaccine--Severe Rare Side Effect
Hey there! I want to make sure you have all the information you need about the rotavirus vaccine for your little one. It's essential to know that there is a small risk of intussusception, which is a type of bowel blockage. It's treatable in a hospital but it may require surgery in rare cases. I'll discuss more about what Intussusception is down below.
Intussusception can occur in some babies every year in the United States, and often, there's no known reason for it. When it comes to the rotavirus vaccine, if intussusception happens, it usually occurs within a week after receiving a dose of the vaccine.
How common is intussusception?
It's most often seen in children between three months and three years old, but it can occur at any age. Now, let's talk numbers. The risk of intussusception from rotavirus vaccination is estimated to be around 1 in 20,000 to 1 in 100,000 US infants who receive the rotavirus vaccine. It also tends to happen more to boys
What are the symptoms?
The main symptom is severe, crampy abdominal pain that comes and goes.
The painful episodes can last for a few minutes or longer, followed by pain-free periods.
Some children may also feel very tired or curl up their knees during the painful episodes. Other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, and rectal bleeding (red jelly-like stools).
How is intussusception diagnosed?
While a physical examination can sometimes detect a lump in the abdomen (not usually), an ultrasound is the most accurate test to identify the condition. Barium or air contrast enemas are also used to help diagnose intussusception.
How is it treated?
If diagnosed, the first step is to try to push the intestine back into place using a liquid or air contrast enema. This is a non-surgical procedure, and anesthesia is not needed. The success rate for this procedure is around 60% to 70%, with a low chance of recurrence.
If the not unsuccessful, surgery may be necessary. During surgery, the child will be sedated, and the surgeon will either reposition the intestine or remove the affected part.
What happens after surgery?
Your child will receive pain medication and intravenous fluids to aid in recovery. They may need to pause regular feedings temporarily. Most children can resume eating within a few days.
What's the outlook?
Your child can be discharged from the hospital when they can eat normally, have no fever or incision issues, and show regular bowel function. It's normal for them to rest at home for a few days before returning to school and wait three to four weeks before participating in gym or sports activities. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled for four weeks after surgery to check on their progress.
I'm here to support you and your little one every step of the way. Your child's health and well-being are our top priorities, and we want to ensure you have the knowledge to make informed decisions.
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