Monday, June 1, 2009


Mom has developed a rash all over her torso-- a possible allergic reaction to the intravenous vancomycin. Aside from the rash, Mom is displaying no other symptoms, and the rash itself is not causing her any discomfort. Nevertheless, it's a very worrisome development, so we're contacting the InfuScience on-call nurse to see what can be done for Mom. If it turns out she's allergic to vancomycin, she'll have to switch to another antibiotic. Mom has proved to be allergic to a variety of medications. Her body, it seems, is a minefield.

UPDATE: The nurse seems to think the rash isn't a big deal: it's likely contact dermatitis from the stick-on leads that had been placed on Mom's body to aid in monitoring her vitals. Apparently, this isn't an emergency; Benadryl is the recommended treatment. Another nurse is coming Wednesday, so perhaps we'll know more then.

UPDATE 2: The nurse mentioned in the first update was actually the second nurse we called. The first nurse, who took two hours respond, just got back to us (10:15PM) and voiced my own suspicion: that Mom might be having a reaction to the vancomycin, possibly as a result of the antibiotic's cumulative effect over several days (Mom had been on vanco at the hospital). However, her opinion was that this reaction isn't an allergic one, and like the other nurse, she too recommended Benadryl to treat the rash.

UPDATE 3: It occurred to me that we'll be seeing a doctor tomorrow, as Mom has an appointment to see Dr. Tonnesen, the radiation oncologist. While we're in the Radiation Oncology department, it'll be easy to snag a nurse, who can take an actual look at Mom's rash. Because we'll be physically at the hospital, it'll be no big deal to get Mom to a doctor (or the ER) if it's discovered that Mom needs immediate treatment. For now, though, we're not stressing too much: over the past few hours, Mom has shown no other ill effects, even though we started her on another IV bulb of vanco.

UPDATE 4: There's a lot of online discussion about allergic reactions to electrodes. Type the search string "allergic reaction to electrodes" into Google and you'll see what I mean.


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