Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sclerema Neonatorum (Synonyms: Scleroderma Neonatorum; Sclerema of the Newborn.)

Sclerema Neonatorum (Synonyms: Scleroderma Neonatorum; Sclerema of the Newborn.)

What is sclerema neonatorum?

Sclerema neonatorum is a disease of infancy, showing itself usually at or shortly after birth, and is characterized by a diffuse stiffness and rigidity of the integument, accompanied by coldness, œdema, discoloration, lividity and general circulatory disturbance.

Describe the symptoms, course, nature and treatment of sclerema neonatorum.

As a rule the disease first manifests itself upon the lower extremities, and then gradually, but usually rapidly, invades the trunk, arms and face. The surface is cold. The skin, which is noted to be reddish, purplish or mottled, is œdematous, stiff and tense; in consequence the infant is unable to move, respires feebly and usually perishes in a few days or weeks. In extremely exceptional instances the disease, after involving a small part, may retrogress and recovery take place.

The disease is rare, and in most cases is found associated with pneumonia and with affections of the circulatory apparatus.

Treatment should be directed toward maintaining warmth and proper alimentation.

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