Uncommon Lemierre's Syndrome can be life-threatening - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/21/10

Uncommon Lemierre's Syndrome can be life-threatening

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By Kristin Beerman | email

Edited by Jon Bush | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – A simple sore throat became life threatening for a Colorado teen when he developed something called Lemierre's Syndrome.  The condition is not really common, but it's worth mentioning because what makes this different from a normal throat infection is how quickly it can spread.

"And then that infection proceeds and it drains to the lymph nodes, next to the tonsil, and can get into the blood vessel next to the tonsil and then proceed to set up a clot in that blood vessel that's infected," said Dr. Mary Globe, a Pediatric Infectious Specialist.

As the infection spreads, the body starts to shut down.  Fortunately, for Michael and his family, once doctors figured out it was Lemierre's Disease, they began heavy antibiotic treatment to fight the illness.

"Everything seemed to be going wrong. I had headaches and vomiting and sore throat and nausea and just everything went wrong," said Michael Safranka, a victim of Lemierre's Syndrome.

Here in Lubbock, doctors say Lemierre's Syndrome is unusual, but the important lesson from this is to know your child.  If they appear sicker than you expect for a normal infection, or they suddenly take a turn for the worse seek medical attention.  There are serious conditions that can develop after a respiratory infection that drags on, not just in babies, but in adolescents or teens like Michael. 

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