Do you take painkillers often? Or as a parent do you administer it to your child anytime they are not feeling too well? Or you are just a hard worker who can’t do without painkillers?
Babies have lost their lives because of PARACETAMOL. Yes! Paracetamol has killed so much more babies than you can imagine.
A case scenario:
A 2-year old was rushed to the emergency room with gasping respiration… Obviously, he was about to die on arrival. As usual, we launched into action to salvage this young chap.
While working to save his life, we were asking the mother questions to know when the illness started.
“It started with a fever last week” She responded.
“Why then did you not bring the child since then?” We inquired.
“The fever came down after I gave him paracetamol,” the mother answered.
That was how the mother continued to give this baby paracetamol until the child could no longer stand erect. Then the baby started losing breath and was rushed to the hospital.
When the baby was examined, it was obvious the child needed blood as an urgent test confirmed the PCV to be 09% and the baby’s heart was already failing (Anaemic Heart Failure).
The doctors did their best but it was too late…
And many mothers have killed their own baby, though ignorantly.
Now, this is the message:
Paracetamol is an analgesic (pain-relieving) and an antipyretic (Fever ‘relieving’) drug. It does not cure any disease. For the child in the story above, it was found out through a laboratory test that what the child had was Malaria. There are so many causes of fever. Fever is not a disease, it is just one of the symptoms of a disease.
What Paracetamol does is to relieve the symptoms of fever or pain but it does not care for the disease. Malaria was destroying that baby’s blood, but it was also giving a signal (fever was the signal in this case) but the mother ignorantly ignored the signal by giving paracetamol.
Use this story to educate people around you, especially those who have children. When you have a fever, this is what to do:
Have a warm bath. Do not use cold water. Do not run to buy paracetamol.
For younger children, do what we call Tepid Sponging… Tepid means warm. Dip a clean towel into warm (not cold) water and rub the baby’s body. As the water dries from the body there will be cooling.
If after Tepid sponging for a while, the fever does not subside, it is time to see a Doctor.
Do not prescribe paracetamol for a child. See a Doctor and let the cause of the fever be dealt with.
Stop treating symptoms with painkillers. Deal with the cause.
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