DUBAI 24 January 2019: He could only speak, swallow or breathe with extreme difficulty because of a large swelling on the right side of his neck.
It would come and go – and when it was there – the 4-year old child would be in grave danger.
Also, he had developed a resistance to antibiotics – and the parents and doctors were foxed as to what to do to ease his suffering and the danger to his life.
The large swelling was complicated by him contracting MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) while being treated abroad.
The patient had endured recurrent swelling on their neck over the period of several years and had repeatedly been prescribed courses of antibiotics to treat the condition while under the care of different doctors in the USA and UK.
Following a battery of blood tests and an MRI scan, Dr Jehad al Sukhun and his team at Medcare, diagnosed the child with MRSA in addition to a chronic infection, swelling to a 6x6cm lump in diameter. The child was operated on under a general anesthetic and the chronic inflammatory tissue, and right submandibular gland were removed preserving the vital neck structures, i.e. nerves, muscles and vessels.
Highlighting the dangers of MRSA, Dr Jehad al Sukhun said: “This is a bacteria strain that is resistant to several widely-used antibiotics. It is likely that the patient contracted MRSA during frequent trips to different medical clinics, as it is highly contagious and can be spread via skin-to-skin contact or by touching contaminated surfaces.”
“This rare case was particularly severe as the child’s body had developed a resistance to antibiotics and the swelling and MRSA had been left untreated until an in-depth investigation and accurate diagnosis of the route issue at Medcare. Fortunately, the patient has recovered well; MRSA affects two out of every 100 people and can lead to a life-threatening case of sepsis,” he added.
MRSA symptoms vary with most cases causing mild infections on the skin, but it can also cause more serious infections or infect surgical wounds, the bloodstream, the lungs or the urinary tract. Common in people with weak immune systems, MRSA is spread by contact and is more likely to affect younger people. While resistant to some strains of antibiotics, the condition can be treated with different types and in severe cases, by intravenous antibiotics.