Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) In Infants – 4 Causes, 8 Symptoms & 8 Treatments You Should Be Aware Of


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It is obvious for you to worry after knowing that your baby is down with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCI). To ease your worries here is a post with all you would like to know about SCI

A defect or a particular mutation in a child’s genetic makeup is thought to be responsible for this condition. It is usually passed on in families.

Understanding The Cause:

Before reaching a result, let’s revisit defense mechanism basics of the human body.

  1. The immune system of human body protects itself from harmful and damaging substances.
  2. Right after a baby is born, he or she obtains protection from infectious agents. It happens through the antibodies transfer from the mother’s immune system.
  3. After few months, the baby’s immune system develops enough to start playing its role independently.
  4. Some babies have poorly developed immune systems. Their body doesn’t gains ability to fight off infections on its own.

This non-ability rises to a condition called severe combined immuno deficiency.

Is It Dangerous?

Immune deficiencies can range from mild to severe and life-threatening. SCID, short for severe combined immunodeficiency disease, is a fatal immune system deficiency.

[ Read: Archives Of Disease In Childhood ]

What Is SCID?

SCID is actually a group of disorders that cause severe abnormal functioning of the immune system.

  • Most of these disorders are genetic and cause reduced functioning of important immune cells of the body. Particularly B and T lymphocytes and white blood cells that fight infections.
  • There are 14 different types of SCID.
  • One of the most common types of this condition, which occurs due to a problem within a gene found on X chromosome, is found only in males.
  • If identified early, severe combined immunodeficiency disease SCID can be successfully treated. However, it is found to be fatal in a good majority of cases within the first year of life.

Signs And Symptoms Of SCID:

Most of times, babies affected by this condition seem well at birth, but start developing symptoms within a few weeks. Here are some common severe combined immunodeficiency symptoms and signs:

  1. Your baby becomes highly susceptible to infections.
  2. Treatment courses tend to be prolonged.
  3. Thrush, Candida, measles and chicken pox become more common.
  4. Frequent cold and cough.
  5. Severe pneumonia and other respiratory conditions.
  6. Severe diarrhea.
  7. Skin rashes may be seen.
  8. Poor weight gain and feeding problems.

[ Read: Eye Problems In Infants ]

Treatment Options:

A child suffering from SCID needs to be treated as fast as possible to reduce the risk of any severe illness or infection. Usually, blood tests may be needed to confirm the occurrence of the condition.

  1. Following diagnosis, your child may be restricted to a particular room or environment that has filtered air to minimize the risk of any possible infection. Sometimes, antibiotic medications may also be needed.
  2. Since your child’s body is unable to produce enough immune cells to protect itself from the disease, it may need some external help.
  3. The doctor may suggest giving your child the missing antibody by a therapy known as immunoglobin therapy. This will help provide temporary protection against infection.
  4. A bone marrow transplant is usually needed for a child affected by this condition. This is a reliable long term cure for this immune system deficiency.
  5. A transplant will help the immune system produce white blood cells and other cells as and when needed, and will restore health and well being.
  6. Since bone marrow transplants are much more complicated than other organ transplants, you may need to have a talk with your immunologist and check if there are other options available.
  7. It is also important to remember that a child affected by this condition cannot be immunized using a live virus. Dead viruses and bacteria are needed.
  8. In some cases, a simple weekly dose of a particular missing enzyme is needed.

[ Read: Baby Health ]

Children affected by SCID and their parents may have to endure many stressful situations, but it is entirely possible to overcome this obstacle with faith and medical help. Luckily, there are many new therapies coming up that may help make it easier for both you and your child.

Do share your views and experiences with us.

Reference : 1 , 2 , 3

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