Monday, August 9, 2010

2010 JA Conference Notes - Medications and other concerns

If your child is on an injection give them a choice. They can get it in the morning or at night, they can get it in the arm or in the leg. Have them help draw up the medication, push the plunger, put on the band aide, etc. Get them involved so you aren’t doing it “to” them. Praise them each time for doing a great job. You will need to find a driving factor for them to continue their meds, it can be sports, dance, karate, playing at the park, etc. Whatever your child loves to do and couldn’t without their meds. Keep reminding them that these things are possible with their meds. Guided imagery was talked about as a coping technique for the pain of injections and blood draws.

If your child has trouble swallowing pills, start with mini m&m’s.

Biologic drugs are proteins which attack the chemical markers which cause inflammation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) is one such chemical, Enbrel targets the key which allows the TNF to cause inflammation. Without the key the TNF is harmless.

Take chest pain very seriously, the membranes in the chest cavity can swell and lead to life threatening pressure on the lungs and other organs. If your child complains of chest pain go to the ER immediately.

Kids with JIA are at a higher risk to dislocate the joint at the top of the spine, where the spine meets the head. For this reason neck pain should be taken very seriously. The head also shouldn’t be tilted back too far. If the child is going to be intubated be sure to let the person know not to tilt the head back too far.

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