7 year-old survives rare skin disease

Tarun Awasthi (not his real name) survived a 40-day battle to stay alive. pic/anita anand

Seven year-old Thane boy suffering from a rare skin disease named Pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta (PLEVA) survived a 40-day battle to stay alive. While cases of PLEVA are rarely detected, the case of Tarun Awasthi (name changed on request), who was infected with an even rare type of PLEVA called Mucha-Habermann disease, shocked the doctors at Fortis Hospital in Mulund. Tarun, a Class three student, was discharged earlier in August.

Speaking to SMD, Tarun’s mother Sakshi (name changed on request), said, “Initially, when Tarun complained about the boils on his chest, we suspected mosquito bites. The local doctor diagonised it as an allergy and prescribed antibiotics.” Gradually, the allergy spread to his stomach and back and his body started developing a rash. The doctor prescribed other medication,” said Sakshi. “On June 17, Tarun had a temperature of 104 degrees. We rushed him to another doctor who conducted a skin biopsy test and referred us to Fortis Hospital,” added Sakshi.

At Fortis, Tarun was kept in the general ward for 10 days. His temperature remained at 105 degrees during these 10 days. Shortly, his rashes started bleeding and his condition worsened even further. He was then shifted to the ICU on June 30. “Tarun’s skin started peeling off and it also gave out a foul odour. Doctors told us that he had a high rate of infection,” said Sakshi.

A team of seven specialists doctors from Fortis worked on Tarun’s case. Tarun was kept unexposed to the environment. His complete body dressing was changed twice a day.

Dr Prakash Vaidya, pediatrician, Fortis, said, “ It was a team effort that saved Tarun’s life after a struggle of 40 days. When he initially arrived, he had a very high fever and severe ulceration of skin called PLEVA which is a rare case in our country. The cause for PLEVA is still unknown to the medical world.”

Tarun is back home and is responding well to the treatment. His body has almost recovered from the infection. 

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