July 13, 2011

How Her iPhone Saved This Mom's Kid's Life

Our pediatrician's pretty sharp and mellow, but he's also at a teaching hospital. So maybe half the times I mention the Internet, some resident dutifully informs me that any website besides the American Academy of Pediatrics is a dangerous lie.

So it's awesome to read Deborah Copaken Kogan's story on Slate about how her Facebook friends raised red flags after seeing photos of her feverish, rashy son, and ended up identifying his rare auto-immune disorder, Kawasaki Disease, in time for them to get to the hospital.

While the experience and concern of Kogan's social network--which included a cousin who's a pediatric cardiologist--is pretty amazing, I'm most impressed by her doctor's reaction:

From the hallway in triage, I finally called our family doctor. Admitted what I'd done--furtively filling in the reason-for-visit blank on the hospital form with "possible Kawasaki disease"--and why I'd done it. "You know what?" he said, "I was actually just thinking it could be Kawasaki disease. Makes total sense. Bravo, Facebook."
The doctor had been considering KD because Kogan had sent him a batch of photos of her puffy kid "via MMS."

I think I'll never join Facebook, or post the kids' fever updates on the blog here, but this story just about convinced me to get rid of my dumbphone.

How Facebook Saved My Son's Life [slate via dadcentric's jason, who knows KD firsthand]

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