Kiera Driscoll, 5, had a slight fever on Sunday morning, but she seemed to be feeling better after taking some children’s ibuprofen, said her father, Patrick Driscoll. “In fact, she was playing outside that afternoon with my wife and even made a comment that it was ‘the most fun time ever,'” Driscoll said. But then Kiera’s slight fever returned and her cough worsened and included phlegm, Driscoll said. She didn’t have asthma but occasionally had a barking cough as a baby, Driscoll said.
There are seven ways debaters can go with this news story. The writer of this story and editor of its source took direction #7 — the worst approach. It will be interesting to see how many ways that those with ulterior motives go with this sad story.
My first impression, however, is, based on the ill-conceived, misdirecting title, that this tale is going to add fuel to the fire already out there about vaccinations, namely linked the events linked to the recent measles outbreaks on both the east and west coasts over the past year.
But these measles outbreaks and the issues they relate to are not related to why this girl died. She died because she caught the flu, but the flu alone did not give her cardiac arrest and take her life. One could argue that if she had the shot . . . . (I don’t know really if she did or didn’t.) One could also argue that even if she did, it doesn’t matter, since the flu shot available this year doesn’t match the strain that is going around this year.
Still these reasons have nothing to do with this her death.
I next read that she was put on ibuprofen, which reminded me of my freshman years in pharmacology and medicine when myself and others felt the aromatic ring added added to salicylic acid was "bad for you", and toxic to the liver, and reduces the purported effect that salicylates have upon EPA, PC and PG pathways it was felt to work with, unlike tylenol. All of those "truths" about what makes these common OTCs work and so different from each other are now dead and gone. Guess I didn’t learn only the facts back then after paying my medical school tuition.
Ibuprofen couldn’t cause the mucus plug that blocked her airway passage, nor did the flu. It was the asthma medicines that caused these mucus plugs. This is a classical lesson about the use of asthma medicines in emergent care, that all of us have to learn and relearn as clinicians and as patients (or parents of), lest we forget it at the worst of times.
Up until the 70s, you could by the daturine and analogs needed to "treat" asthma. I say "treat" in quotes because that’s not really what you are doing. The Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors [AChE-Inh’s) like daturine, hyoscyamine, belladonine, scopolamine, atropine, and the like, work by drying air passages, making the mucus thicker, unable to to be expectorated. This was the primary reason we stopped the distribution of products like Asthmador and the like in the 70s.
Today’s complementary-alternative medical [CAM] field has practitioners who still support this very old line of therapy. So this story brings us in circles–CAM is also strongly linked to the anti-immunization movement that is now happening. Could CAM be the reason for her death? Unlikely. (I hope).
CAM isn’t responsible for this asthma drug related tragic death, nor is the asthma drug probably (unless it’s an overprescribed 100% AchE-Inh against HEDIS/NCQA/FDA/APhA recommendations), nor the flu shot, nor the use of OTC ibuprofen, nor the flu, nor her history of a flu shot.
But I am providing this background about the probably cause, forensically, due to the Title of this article. It is misleading, and very much showboating.
Kiera Driscoll did not die after catching the Flu, or after getting her Vaccine. She died due to her need for asthma medications, the administration of the wrong type, and the lack of emergent care received on time. The flu was a co-morbidity, and initiator, but not the cause. The Vaccine had nothing to do with this event. Still, due to Pop Culture, the editor and author wish to follow their ulterior-motive/personal ambitions with their title, pointing their fingers in all the wrong directions.
This is biased reporting, if ever I wished to see a perfect example of such. That makes it a lesson for the day in public health.