A Story of Tetanus in an unvaccinated child - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 12-23-2012, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Not a nice story to read - about a child who contracted tetanus. 

 

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10855638

 

From the article: 

 

 

 

Quote:

The couple wanted to warn other parents of the dangers of tetanus.

Mrs Williams said they made what they thought was an informed decision not to vaccinate any of their children because of concerns over adverse reactions, but had since changed their minds.

"Our two other children were immunised last Friday."

They wrote to Alijah's teachers at his school urging parents to consider vaccinating their children, at least against tetanus and whooping cough.

"We're doing this only to prevent any other kids and parents going through what we have gone through."


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#2 of 32 Old 12-29-2012, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Another horrible story - not a VPD, but the death of a 33 day old baby of vitamin K deficiency caused bleeding on the brain (parents had declined vitamin k injection at birth).

http://www.courts.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/169659/cif-baby-20121203.pdf

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#3 of 32 Old 12-29-2012, 06:40 PM
 
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I'm not sure why I'm responding because I support the tetanus vax for my kids, and I certainly cannot speak for other forum posters. But if you would like to win me, Turquesa, to full, unquestioning, military-salute obedience to the vaccine schedule, the scary-stories tactic will not work with me. For every scary story about a disease, there's a scary story about a vaccine reaction. (And yes, Virginia, the latter happens!) Cases on either end are indeed tragic. But I do not make medical decisions for myself or my children based on guilt, fear, or any other form of emotional manipulation.

No parent should vaccinate out of fear. And no parent should not vaccinate out of fear.

By all means, post away. You may even convert a heathen or two. But realize that it won't work on all of us.

Vitamin k is not a vaccine and therefore irrelevant to this forum. But the Birth & Beyond forum would be more fitting.

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#4 of 32 Old 12-30-2012, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just sharing information.

Actually given you say you support tetanus vaccination, and in another thread commented you've given your kids the whooping cough shot too - if you read the first link that's all the parents suggest as the most essential.

I realise vitamin k isn't a vaccine, but the method of administering often leads to it being lumped in, so I thought it was relevant.

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#5 of 32 Old 12-30-2012, 01:48 PM
 
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"Actually given you say you support tetanus vaccination, and in another thread commented you've given your kids the whooping cough shot too - if you read the first link that's all the parents suggest as the most essential."

Just because I chose the DTaP vaccine for my children doesn't mean I'm going to behave as mainstream media does and become a bioevangelist for it. I'm not going to extol its wonders with a bugle blow from the mountaintop, nor am I going to go gallavanting across cyberspace anonymously posting scary, preachy media stories about the diseases that it targets.

Making a decision about vaccines is a profoundly complex process that doesn't happen in a vacuum. If I see compelling evidence either way, I will change my mind because science and our understanding of it is both dynamic and evolving. (That's why I can't stand the canard, "The science has spoken." Science doesn't quit speaking!)

Each disease, each vaccine, each child is different. The risks that we're willing to take for the benefits we're willing to attain vary and should be a choice for us alone to make. I deeply empathize with how a lot of these MDC mamas struggle to make their decisions with pediatric bullies, sophist pseudo-skeptic bloggers, and corporate-funded research on one side . . .and some loony, incoherent anti-vax websites on the other. (Yes, there IS middle ground, but some days it can be harder than others to find it!) I constantly wonder if I should have chosen Vaccine X or shouldn't have chosen Vaccine Y.

I won't fault any parent for a well-contemplated vaccine choice and wish to high heaven that certain stakeholders in this issue could acknowledge and honestly discuss the gray areas.

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#6 of 32 Old 12-30-2012, 01:55 PM
 
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lol.gif Um, could someone give me a lift off of this thing? soapbox.gif
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#7 of 32 Old 12-30-2012, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What exactly offends you about sharing information about the potential risks of not vaccinating? The supposed risks of vaccinating are just a google away and plastered all over NVIC, and most MDC threads. Surely it's part of the decision making process to understand these things?

I agree science keeps changing. Doesnt mean it's not giving us the best answer it can. smile.gif

Please stay away from personal attacks.

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#8 of 32 Old 12-30-2012, 02:29 PM
 
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Here is why I feel offended.

I love the civil back-and-forth of sharing studies and the like. But I start to bristle when the discussion turns more emotional and fear-driven. It's incredibly insulting when news media--serving as a. PR mouthpiece for public health officials and drug companies--talks down to me in this manner. The tone is one of, "Vaccinate or your baby will suffer and DIE!" Pediatricians acknowledge that alterna-vaxxers tend to be well-educated people, and this is no way to address well-educated people. Fear-mongering packaged as information simply won't reach my demographic. And believe me, pediatric literature studies us like we're lab rats! winky.gif

I apologize for directing my frustrations toward you and have hopefully edited my posts to change the target. You're within your rights and the UA to post these links . . . just as I am to keep my mouth shut in threads like these in the future. innocent.gif
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#9 of 32 Old 12-30-2012, 02:46 PM
 
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Turquesa,

Thank you for your posts.  I thought about quoting you but I would need to copy just about everything you said! 

I do not visit MDC much any more because of my frustration over the vaccination threads. (and for some reason I am unable to stay out of them when I do visit.)

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#10 of 32 Old 12-30-2012, 03:35 PM
 
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So, is it okay to post emotional stories of documented vaccine reactions in the same thread? Another thread of around and around it goes?

 

I agree with everything Turquesa has said. 


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#11 of 32 Old 12-30-2012, 04:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prosciencemum View Post

What exactly offends you about sharing information about the potential risks of not vaccinating? The supposed risks of vaccinating are just a google away and plastered all over NVIC, and most MDC threads. Surely it's part of the decision making process to understand these things?
I agree science keeps changing. Doesnt mean it's not giving us the best answer it can. smile.gif
Please stay away from personal attacks.

If you do not believe anecdotes are important to decision making you should not post them.  It is hypocritical. If you do think anecdotes are valuable in decision making, great, duly noted!  

 

I do not completely dismiss anecdotes (particularly when numerous anecdotes tell a similar story…it is often cause for investigation).  I would call a story about a boy in New Zealand who had tetanus a one (or very close to one) off, however.  

 

The word "supposed" above, is dismissive and insulting to those who have had their children harmed by vaccines.  It is also incorrect - there are acknowledge risks to vaccinating by such lovely sources as AAP, WHO, CDC…or are you some sort of vaccine risk denialist?

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#12 of 32 Old 12-31-2012, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I do not deny vaccine risks occur. That would be ignoring the evidence. However I will continue to claim they are extremely rare as that is also the evidence, and I will suggest that some of the things claimed as reactions are actually coincidence.

Severe problems with diseases like those in the original story are also rare - but you know what makes me mad is that they could be removed altogether if more people vaccinated.

If we were all completely unemotional beings so dealt only with facts then anecdotes would be worthless. They should be. But we all know that snot how decisions are made by eveyone, and to be honest what's really hypocritical here is the anti vaccination side accusing me of starting off using anecdotes to make a point. At least I'm not saying that severe cases of diseases can't be rare because that little boy had bad tetanus. That's where using an anecdote becomes incorrect in my opinion.

Turquesa - no worries, its not like worse words haven't been thrown at me on these boards because of my evidence based views.

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#13 of 32 Old 12-31-2012, 05:36 AM
 
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Severe problems with diseases like those in the original story are also rare - but you know what makes me mad is that they could be removed altogether if more people vaccinated.
 

In the case of tetanus, the vaccine would have to be 100% effective, and 100% of people would need to be vaccinated in order to remove the risk altogether.  It can't be vaccinated out of existence.

 

That kid's pretty lucky he got diagnosed in time.  In my tiny pool of anecdotes, there's a very real risk that doctors won't diagnose the disease until it's too late; I know of one doctor who freely admits that the only reason he diagnosed tetanus in a timely manner was because the patient told him what she had.

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.
Severe problems with diseases like those in the original story are also rare - but you know what makes me mad is that they could be removed altogether if more people vaccinated.
Wow.  You have an inflated view of what vaccines are capable of. The only 2 disease I can think of where vaccines have come close to eradicating disease are smallpox (which may have partly died out on its own, we cannot know) and polio (which may or may not have been renamed something else and is still prevalent in some parts of the world.  Vaccines are not 100% effective and some diseases change over time (faster than vaccines can keep up with them).  Moreover, some childhood disease serve a purpose (like keeping shingles at bay, or mumps decreasing the risk of ovarian cancer http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2951028/
If we were all completely unemotional beings so dealt only with facts then anecdotes would be worthless. They should be. But we all know that snot how decisions are made by eveyone, and to be honest what's really hypocritical here is the anti vaccination side accusing me of starting off using anecdotes to make a point.
Of course you used an anecdote to make a point - that tetanus is dangerous. And of course it is hypocritical if you are one of the pro-vaxxers who have dismissed anecdotes in the past (anecdata anyone?  or the plural of anecdote is not data?) .  If you have not dismissed anecdotes in the past, then you are not hypocritical.  Simple as that.  

Turquesa - no worries, its not like worse words haven't been thrown at me on these boards because of my evidence based views.
It was not your "evidence based" views that got you into trouble on this thread..   wink1.gif

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#15 of 32 Old 01-01-2013, 09:28 AM
 
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Had public health authorities done a better job at educating families about the proper emergent management for deep puncture wounds, poor little Alijah may have avoided all of that agony with a dose of TiG. I'm assuming he didn't get this, since the family didn't seek treatment until they noticed symptoms.

Remember, if you make someone afraid to say no---by posting scary stories or otherwise--it is not informed consent. To present only an inchoate picture of tetanus and the DTaP vaccine is disingenuous at best and anti-science at worst.

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#16 of 32 Old 01-01-2013, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually I agree (as I said up thread) that measured informed decision is better than letting emotions rule. I just don't think that's how most people work...

 

 I agree tetanus is very rare - so rare that people don't know how to treat it without the vaccination. I am thankful for that, and that most children not vaccinated against tetanus will never have a problem from it. 

 

I am curious why you think it's not OK to scare people in to vaccinating, when scaring them out of it seems to be the main tactic used by NVIC and others.... Just to be clear - do you think it's not OK to scare people with the rare bad reaction stories either? After all 99.999% (I think that's the right number of 9s after the decimal) will never have a vaccine reaction which causes any problem.....


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#17 of 32 Old 01-01-2013, 01:40 PM
 
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Actually I agree (as I said up thread) that measured informed decision is better than letting emotions rule. I just don't think that's how most people work...

So you should resort to manipulating them with partial truths and appeals to emotion and fear instead, because its what works- and obviously you know what's best for them. Why should you risk letting people make an informed decision if there's a chance they won't decide the way you want?

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We hear about people's "vaccine damaged" children all the time. Why all the uproar over ONE story about a vpd?
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The hypocrisy.
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The hypocrisy.

I totally agree.
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Actually I agree (as I said up thread) that measured informed decision is better than letting emotions rule. I just don't think that's how most people work...

 I agree tetanus is very rare - so rare that people don't know how to treat it without the vaccination. I am thankful for that, and that most children not vaccinated against tetanus will never have a problem from it. 

I am curious why you think it's not OK to scare people in to vaccinating, when scaring them out of it seems to be the main tactic used by NVIC and others.... Just to be clear - do you think it's not OK to scare people with the rare bad reaction stories either? After all 99.999% (I think that's the right number of 9s after the decimal) will never have a vaccine reaction which causes any problem.....

Yes, I think that using scary stories to dissuade people from vaccinating is unacceptable, including when NVIC does it.

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#22 of 32 Old 01-01-2013, 04:14 PM
 
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Actually I agree (as I said up thread) that measured informed decision is better than letting emotions rule. I just don't think that's how most people work...

 I agree tetanus is very rare - so rare that people don't know how to treat it without the vaccination. I am thankful for that, and that most children not vaccinated against tetanus will never have a problem from it. 

I am curious why you think it's not OK to scare people in to vaccinating, when scaring them out of it seems to be the main tactic used by NVIC and others.... Just to be clear - do you think it's not OK to scare people with the rare bad reaction stories either? After all 99.999% (I think that's the right number of 9s after the decimal) will never have a vaccine reaction which causes any problem.....

Yes, I think that using scary stories to dissuade people from vaccinating is unacceptable, including when NVIC does it.
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#23 of 32 Old 01-02-2013, 11:33 AM
 
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Turquesa, where do you draw the line between hoping to prevent someone else's child from dying the way yours did, and using a scary story to dissuade people from vaccinating?

 

I'm thinking of Michael Belkin here.  Is it unacceptable that he shares the details of his daughter's death from vaccines, and says, "please don't make the mistake I made, of letting someone vaccinate your child without knowing what the real risks are?"  Is it unacceptable that the mothers of the "Gardasil Girls" share the stories of their daughters' death or paralysis or complete physical breakdown from Gardasil, saying, "don't make the mistake we made of believing that Gardasil is safe, because it's not?"

 

I do understand your point about fear-mongering, and applying the demand for transparency to both sides, but where do you draw the line?

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#24 of 32 Old 01-05-2013, 11:07 AM
 
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Taxi, I'll honestly have to give some thought to that one. I don't have a problem with people owning up to their choices, including the risks entailed.

But while I don't know precisely where the line lies between informing parents and scaring them, I can say unequivocally that PSM's link crosses it. I mean, did you read that article? It reads like a tabloid piece. It's trying to get everyone all freaked out about getting tetanus from a freakin' rose thorn. Since the overwhelming majority of adults aren't current on their vaxes, you'd think there would be entire hospital wards crammed with little old ladies who caught tetanus while tending to their prize-winning roses. eyesroll.gif

On the other hand, my friend showed me a recent NVIC mailing showing a kid with a horrific vaccine reaction. I found it in really poor taste.

I'm getting Sick. To. Death. of various stakeholders in this issue blowing one set of risks out of proportion and sweeping the other set under the carpet. I feel for Belkin's loss and for what this poor kid with tetanus went through. I really do. But there has to be a realistic AND non-hysterical way of conveying risks and benefits.
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"I agree tetanus is very rare - so rare that people don't know how to treat it without the vaccination. I am thankful for that, and that most children not vaccinated against tetanus will never have a problem from it."

Both VADs and severe, acute vaccine reactions are rare. But we still should know the evidence-based protocol to deal with both. To say otherwise is akin to claiming that my teenagers will never have sex, so I don't need to tell them about contraception. Although the obvious hole in that analogy is that teen sex isn't rare . . .lol.gif

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#26 of 32 Old 01-05-2013, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah I think that read wrong. I'm not glad most people don't know what to do. I'm glad that it's very rare.

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#27 of 32 Old 01-05-2013, 05:22 PM
 
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Turquesa, I know what you mean.

 

I find Mercola's sales pitches to be doubly disgusting, because he uses the exact same fear-mongering techniques as the pharmaceutical companies he constantly criticizes.  Even worse, he does it for the exact same reason they do--to increase sales.  I think it's inexcusable on both sides.

 

However, I am willing to give far more leeway to someone illustrating damage suffered by someone given a mandated injection than someone illustrating damage done by a "vaccine-preventable disease," particularly when we are talking about organizations started by parents of vaccine-injured children.  Remember, these parents have been ignored, blown off, lied to, and vilified for...telling the truth.

Vaccine damage is preventable, too.

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#28 of 32 Old 01-05-2013, 08:21 PM
 
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That's the point of researching for yourself each and every vaccine. But not only the vaccines, but the diseases associated with the vaccines, the treatments of those diseases and the prognosis of each. That's why it's important to read both sides of the debate. There are absolutely going to be terrible stories about babies getting diseases they could have been vaccinated for, and there are absolutely going to be stories about babies having terrible reactions to vaccines for diseases they are very unlikely to ever even come into contact with. We are parents, it is our job to read all of the information, not just the information that already agrees with what we want to believe. Then we take that information and decide how we want to treat our own children. I feel like a forum like this should be used for back and forth discussion and information, not attacks. I want your research, not just your horror stories. This story was not helpful.

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#29 of 32 Old 01-19-2013, 12:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Good news - the little boy in the original story hs been released from hospital.

http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10860122

Mother of two living in UK. Daughter (2007) born in USA, son (2010) born here. I'm pro natural birth, midwife care, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and a keen advocate of cloth diapering. I'm a full time working research scientist (physical sciences) and I'm pro-vaccine.

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#30 of 32 Old 01-19-2013, 01:49 AM
 
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Yay for the little boy!

 

Shame on the Public Health clinic for taking advantage of a little boy's ordeal with tetanus (which is a horrible disease, but isn't passed person to person) into an attempt to shame parents into vaccinating their kids for the sake of others!  
 

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