Mother warns of rare hair tourniquet syndrome after her five-month-old son almost lost his toe

Mother warns of rare hair tourniquet syndrome after her five-month-old son almost lost his toe

A mother has warned of the dangers of a rare disease affecting babies after a strand of hair nearly lost her five-month-old son’s toe.

Sarah Ward, 39, from St. Louis, Missouri, shared her story in a Facebook post last month, explaining that she had to take her little boy Logan to the emergency room after he developed hair tourniquet syndrome.

The condition occurs when a hair or thread is tied tightly to a finger, foot, or genitals and cuts off blood circulation, which can lead to infection and amputation.

“It was my first time, and even as a parent for the third time, I didn’t know it beforehand,” the mother-of-three told Good Morning America.

Sarah Ward, 39, from St. Louis, Missouri, revealed in a Facebook post that her five-month-old son Logan almost lost his toe after he developed tarsal tarsal syndrome.

Sarah Ward, 39, from St. Louis, Missouri, revealed in a Facebook post that her five-month-old son Logan almost lost his toe after he developed tarsal tarsal syndrome.

A strand of hair wrapped around the third toe of his right foot and began to interfere with blood circulation.

A strand of hair wrapped around the third toe of his right foot and began to interfere with blood circulation.

“I never saw this or that [had] never invent any of my friends or family members who are moms. So I was definitely in the dark about how serious it could be.”

In Ward’s post, she shared that she and her husband “notice a line going through Logan’s toe and some redness” on Saturday, Jan. 22, but they didn’t think much of it.

By Monday, his finger still hadn’t improved, so he was taken to the pediatrician. They were in the doctor’s office when they first learned about hair tourniquet syndrome.

Ward told GMA that the doctor and nurses spent about 40 minutes trying to remove the hair that curled around the third toe on his right foot.

Ward explained that on Saturday, Jan. 22, she and her husband

Ward explained that on Saturday, Jan. 22, she and her husband “notice a line going through Logan’s toe and some redness,” but they thought nothing of it at first.

By Monday, his finger still hadn't improved, so he was taken to the pediatrician.  They were in the doctor's office when they first learned about hair tourniquet syndrome.

By Monday, his finger still hadn’t improved, so he was taken to the pediatrician. They were in the doctor’s office when they first learned about hair tourniquet syndrome.

“They looked and they had to use all these kinds of special tools. They brought these magnifying glasses and special flashlights and they had these long tweezers and little scalpels,” she recalls.

“They went there and couldn’t get it either. I mean, they were able to get one little piece, but they weren’t sure they got it.”

Ward and her husband were sent home with orders to monitor Logan’s condition. After a few hours, they noticed that his finger was swollen and turned purple.

This time, they took him to the emergency center and were advised to go directly to the emergency room at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, where Logan had been admitted overnight.

After Logan's doctor failed to remove the hair, she took him to the emergency room and then to the emergency room at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.

After Logan’s doctor failed to remove the hair, she took him to the emergency room and then to the emergency room at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.

Doctors considered surgery as Logan's condition began to improve.

Doctors considered surgery as Logan’s condition began to improve.

Ward wrote in her post that a total of 12 nurse practitioners, pediatricians and surgeons tried to find the hair using tweezers, scalpels, magnifying glasses and special lights.

She said they even used Nair – depilatory cream for hair removal – to try and break a strand of hair.

On Tuesday, the day after Logan was hospitalized, doctors told Ward and her husband they were considering surgery to remove the hair.

The mom explained to GMA that at first she didn’t understand the potential dangers of the situation because she thought the hair removal process would be “an easy fix.”

Ward told Good Morning America that it took about a week for Logan's toe to

Ward told Good Morning America that it took about a week for Logan’s toe to “completely return to normal” after being treated for a rare condition.

Three weeks later, Logan has made a full recovery and his parents feel

Three weeks later, Logan has made a full recovery and his parents feel “very lucky.”

“I think that’s why a lot of people don’t understand the severity these hair ties can cause and that it can get to this point,” she said.

Ward isn’t sure exactly what changed, but Logan’s condition began to improve and at the last minute, they managed to avoid surgery.

“Many of you might think that this is just hair, why is it so hard to get it? I know I thought so,” she wrote in her post. “But a strand of hair can wrap so tightly around a limb that it then begins to swell and compress the area.

“The skin starts to form above the hair and penetrates so deep into the tissues. It makes it impossible to see.

WHAT IS TURNSTILE SYNDROME?

Tourniquet syndrome is a disorder in which a hair or thread is tied tightly to a finger, leg, or genitals, resulting in poor circulation and can lead to infection and amputation.

This problem usually affects young children and is most common in mothers who experience hair loss after pregnancy.

Hair can get caught in blankets, socks, or pajamas and wind up around the appendage.

The hair is often so thin that it is easy for parents and doctors to miss it.

It is identified with magnification and cut off, usually with small scissors.

Sometimes surgery is required to remove the ligature. Antibiotics may be prescribed for any infection.

She added that having a “screaming, kicking baby” makes hair removal “10 times harder”. She also noted that they are not sure how it even happened.

“The medical team suggested that there was just a random patch of hair in his pajamas that started clinging to his toe. Then, with all his kicks, he just wraps around his toe and starts to restrict blood flow, ”she explained.

“While Logan’s case was extreme, we were very lucky that we were able to save

Ward ended her post by warning parents to check their kids’ toes and fingers for hairs or threads.

“If you see someone wrapped around them, try to remove it as soon as possible,” she advised. “If you can’t and the redness gets worse, see your pediatrician immediately.”

Ward told GMA that it took about a week for Logan’s toe to “completely return to normal,” saying he made a full recovery three weeks after the scare.

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