Facebook saves the life of a child

July 18, 2011 by Deborah Braconnier, Medical Xpress report

Deborah Copaken Kogan’s Mother’s Day wasn’t exactly what she was hoping for when she woke up to discover her 4-year-old son Leo was sick with a rash. She posted a status message on the social networking site, Facebook, with a picture of her son saying she was at the pediatrician’s office. Little did she know, but that status message would be responsible for saving her son’s life.

Leo’s physician first believed that he looked as though he had strep and began treating him for the infection. However, by the next morning, Leo was worse and the doctor changed the diagnosis to scarlet fever. It was after this trip to the doctor that Leo’s mom posted another picture of Leo and the swelling that he was experiencing.

A few moments later her phone rang telling her she needed to get Leo to the hospital immediately. The woman on the other end of the phone was her friend Stephanie. Her son, only a few years earlier, was hospitalized with a rare disease known as and Stephanie was sure Leo had the same. It wasn’t long after that Kogan’s cousin, a pediatric cardiologist, called with the same thought.

Kogan rushed her son to the hospital where he would spend the next three weeks being treated for Kawasaki disease and liver complications.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Kawasaki disease is a rare disease that occurs in childhood that causes blood vessel walls throughout the body to become inflamed. It causes symptoms such as a high fever, swollen lymph nodes, a rash, cracked lips, swollen tongue, swollen palms and feet and redness in the eyes.

Kawasaki disease is not contagious and with medication most children fully recover. Treatment must begin immediately with high doses of intravenous gamma globulin. If untreated, it can lead to complications such as aneurysms and heart attacks.

Kogan was advised that Leo will have to have yearly echocardiograms to monitor his heart for any damage that may have occurred.
While many people across the world blame sites like for things like cyber-bullying, this is a case where posting information to a friend’s list saved the life of a child.

Explore further: Study finds Filipino children in San Diego County at higher risk for Kawasaki disease

Related Stories

Study finds Filipino children in San Diego County at higher risk for Kawasaki disease

May 6, 2011
While children of all ethnicities can contract Kawasaki disease (KD), a study led by researchers at the Kawasaki Disease Research Center at the University of California, San Diego and Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego finds ...

Boy overcomes rare autoimmune disease and is standing strong again

May 18, 2011
Gordon Guest didn’t think too much of it when Joshua, then 3, fell a few times one summer afternoon near their home in Dryden, N.Y. Kids often get clumsy during a growth spurt or when they’re tired. He brought Josh ...

Kids born with HIV growing up well

April 21, 2011
(PhysOrg.com) -- Once facing an almost certain death sentence, most children born with HIV are now faring well into adolescence and adulthood, according to a newly published study co-authored by Tulane infectious diseases ...

Recommended for you

New study offers insights on genetic indicators of COPD risk

January 16, 2018
Researchers have discovered that genetic variations in the anatomy of the lungs could serve as indicators to help identify people who have low, but stable, lung function early in life, and those who are particularly at risk ...

Previous influenza virus exposures enhance susceptibility in another influenza pandemic

January 16, 2018
While past exposure to influenza A viruses often builds immunity to similar, and sometimes different, strains of the virus, Canadian researchers are calling for more attention to exceptions to that rule.

Don't hold your nose and close your mouth when you sneeze, doctors warn

January 15, 2018
Pinching your nose while clamping your mouth shut to contain a forceful sneeze isn't a good idea, warn doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

New antifungal provides hope in fight against superbugs

January 12, 2018
Microscopic yeast have been wreaking havoc in hospitals around the world—creeping into catheters, ventilator tubes, and IV lines—and causing deadly invasive infection. One culprit species, Candida auris, is resistant ...

Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication

January 11, 2018
A new study reveals how dengue virus manages to reproduce itself in an infected person without triggering the body's normal defenses. Duke researchers report that dengue pulls off this hoax by co-opting a specialized structure ...

Different strains of same bacteria trigger widely varying immune responses

January 11, 2018
Genetic differences between different strains of the same pathogenic bacterial species appear to result in widely varying immune system responses, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

4 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

ubavontuba
Jul 18, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Ricochet
not rated yet Jul 18, 2011
So, now that Facebook has officially claimed a life and saved a life, it can be ruled that Facebook is like anything else out there that's both good and bad for you...
MentalHealthNut
1 / 5 (1) Jul 23, 2011
With all of the data mining, consensual violation of privacy and consensual surrender of the fourth amendment, Facebook consistently creates more harm than good. Stephanie, Kogan's cousin, and all of the doctors who worked on her son are the ones who saved a life. Not Facebook.
Ricochet
not rated yet Jul 25, 2011
So, in a similar situation, but with only human interaction, you'd say the person that called 911 had nothing to do with saving the life? Or, on the flip side, the person that tips-off the "mob" that a certain person is in a certain location, has nothing to do with that person's death?

Or, are you treating Facebook like the actual phone, phone line, and phone company(ies) handling the call?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.