Reye’s syndrome (RS) is primarily a children’s disease. Reye’s syndrome is a disorder principally affecting the liver and brain, marked by rapid development of life-threatening neurological symptoms. Reye syndrome is sudden (acute) brain damage (encephalopathy) and liver function problems of unknown cause. Reye’s Syndrome tends to appear with greatest frequency during January, February, and March when influenza is most common. Reye syndrome is rare: approximately 0.1 cases per 100,000 population. Children with Reye syndrome get sick very suddenly. Typically, Reye syndrome follows an upper respiratory infection (URI) or chickenpox by about 1 week. It frequently begins with vomiting, which is persistent over many hours.
The signs and symptoms of Reye syndrome are almost always preceded by a viral illness. After the beginning of recovery from the viral illness, the affected person suddenly becomes worse, with the development of persistent vomiting. This may be followed rapidly by quietness, lethargy, agitation or combativeness, seizures, and coma. In infants, diarrhea may be more common than vomiting. Fever is usually absent at this point. Weakness in arms or legs ,muscle function loss or paralysis of the arms or legs ,double vision ,speech difficulties and hearing loss. The signs and symptoms of Reye’s syndrome typically appear about one week after a viral infection.
For children younger than age 2, the first signs of Reye’s syndrome may be diarrhea and rapid breathing.
Reye’s syndrome is a life-threatening emergency that requires intensive management. Intensive monitoring of the pressure within the brain, blood gases, and blood pH is required. Treatments may include fluids by IV to provide electrolytes and glucose ,steroids to reduce swelling in the brain and breathing support (a breathing machine may be needed during a deep coma). Corticosteroids medications may be used to reduce swelling in the brain. Monitoring pressure inside the head to help prevent brain damage. Using a respirator if the child is having severe difficulty breathing. Aspirin should be avoided for several weeks after receiving a varicella (chickenpox) vaccine. Small amounts of insulin may be used to increase sugar metabolism. Diuretics medications may be used to increase fluid loss through urination.
Reye’s Syndrome Treatment and Prevention Tips
- Fluids by IV to provide electrolytes and glucose.
- Steroids to reduce swelling in the brain.
- Use other drugs that help relieve fever, such as acetaminophen.
- Your child may be fed through an intravenous (IV) line.
- Corticosteroids medications may be used to reduce swelling in the brain.
- Aspirin should be avoided for several weeks after receiving a varicella (chickenpox) vaccine.