Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Always Sick - Could It Be Immune Deficiency?

As an immunologist, part of my job is to identify and treat immune deficiencies, which can predispose patients to recurrent infection. Primary immune deficiency is remarkably under-diagnosed, and it can often take years of chronic illness before a definitive diagnosis is obtained. This delay in diagnosis is frustrating for both patients and their physicians. However, a proper diagnosis and treatment for immune deficiency can be life-changing. With this in mind, I'd like to share the Warning Signs of Primary Immune Deficicency, courtesy of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation:

10 Warning Signs of Primary Immunodeficiency in Children

1. Four or more new ear infections within one year.
2. Two or more sinus infections within one year.
3. Two or more months on antibiotics with little effect.
4. Two or more pneumonias within one year.
5. Failure of an infant to gain weight or grow normally.
6. Recurrent, deep skin or organ abscesses.
7. Persistent thrush in mouth or fungal infection on skin.
8. Need for intravenous antibiotics to clear infection.
9. Two or more deep-seated infections including septicemia .
10. A family history of primary immunodeficiency.

10 Warning Signs of Primary Immunodeficiency in Adults

1. Two or more new ear infections within one year.
2. Two or more serious sinus infections within one year, in the absence of an allergy.
3. One pneumonia per year for more than one year.
4. Chronic diarrhea with weight loss.
5. Recurrent viral infections (colds, herpes, warts, condyloma).
6. Recurrent need for intravenous antibiotics to clear infections.
7. Recurrent, deep abscesses of the skin or internal organs.
8. Persistent thrush or fungal infection on skin or elsewhere.
9. Infection with normally harmless tuberculosis-like bacteria.
10. A family history of primary immunodeficiency.

If you or a loved one have experienced two or more of these warnings signs, please see a Board-Certified Immunologist to help you determine if an immune deficiency might be to blame for your illness.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Harry Potter Gets Funky at the Bajowala House

My boys have recently gotten VERY into the Harry Potter series. Their new favorite game is to play wizard dueling with markers in their hands as wands. Here's a recent exchange:

Son #1: (Pointing a green highlighter at his brother) I'm going to zap your wand! Experiamus!
Son #2: You missed! (Pointing a blue highlighter right back at his big bro) SUPERFLY!

With that slip of my 2 year old's tongue, I was treated to an image of Son #1 suddenly being transformed into Ron O'Neal. Superfly, indeed.