Mum issues ‘hair tourniquet syndrome’ warning after hair wraps around baby’s toes

What you need to know about hair tourniquet syndrome. (Image via Getty Images)

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A Missouri mum has issued a warning to other parents after a single strand of hair got tangled around her five-month-old son’s toes.

Last month, Sara Ward of St. Louis, Mo. took to Facebook to share the dangers of hair tourniquet syndrome, a rare but serious condition that affects infants when strands of hair or fine fabrics of clothing ( socks, mittens and sleepers) get tangled. around the fingers, toes, umbilical cord stumps, tongue and wrists.

According to the mother-of-three, her son Logan started showing signs of hair tourniquet syndrome on January 22 after a strand of hair wrapped around one of his toes, cutting off his circulation.

In her Facebook post, Ward said she first noticed “a line running across” one of her son’s toes as well as “redness” that didn’t improve over the weekend. end.

In an interview with Hello America (GMA), Ward said she visited her pediatrician and eventually urgent care and the emergency room at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital to have her hair removed.

“I had never seen this or that (had) ever made up any of my friends or family members who are moms. So I was definitely a little in the dark about how bad the situation was,” said Ward. GMA.

Babies with tourniquets may seem “fussy” and often cry in discomfort and pain. If not detected and removed immediately, tourniquets can cut off the blood supply to the appendix. In severe cases, the affected areas become infected, leading to tissue death (necrosis) which often requires amputation.

Alberta Health Services notes that in most cases of hair tourniquet, the lock of hair may not be visible to the naked eye. If the hair has become tightly wrapped around the appendix, it may need to be removed by a doctor at the nearest emergency room.

Hair removal creams have also been used by medical professionals to help resolve tourniquets, but severe cases with discolored skin and swollen appendages require immediate medical attention.

Ward’s Facebook post revealed that her son was being cared for by a total of 12 nurse practitioners, pediatricians and surgeons who all attempted to find and remove the hair that had wrapped around his toe. Fortunately, they were able to remove the hair before having to resort to surgery.

Ward said CMG that when she visited her son’s pediatrician on January 24, the doctor and staff spent about 40 minutes trying to remove the hair from her toe, but were only able to remove “a small piece of it “.

After being sent home and asked to check on Logan’s toe, Ward said she noticed signs of swelling and the toe was “starting to look a little purple.”

Later that day, Logan was taken to the emergency room and eventually to the emergency room and admitted overnight to the hospital. Ward said she was surprised when doctors told her the next day that they were considering surgery as a treatment option.

“I was just kind of in shock the whole time it got to this point,” Ward said. GMA. “I really didn’t think about it at the very beginning because he didn’t seem to mind and once we went to the pediatrician and they mentioned that a piece of hair had wrapped around him, I always thought it was going to be an easy fix and gosh, you can just walk in and we’ll get the hair out right here in the pediatrician’s office…. I think that’s where a lot of people don’t understand the seriousness that these hair tourniquets can cause and that it can get to this point.

According to Ward’s Facebook post, the doctors used “tweezers, scalpels, magnifying glasses and special lights” along with depilatory creams to try and remove the hair. Eventually, doctors were able to avoid surgery when the swelling in her toe started to improve.

“We actually don’t really know what happened. Some of the swelling started to go down. So we don’t know if the hair removal creams might have worked,” she said. GMA. “I mean, honestly, we couldn’t even tell you because we’ve never even really seen the hair.”

Now, Ward wants other parents to be aware of the dangers that loose locks of hair can cause.

“Check your baby’s toes and fingers for hair. If you see any wrapped around him, try to remove it as soon as you can. If you can’t and the redness worsens, see your pediatrician immediately,” she wrote on Facebook. .

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