BCG reaction - OMG!!

tstmum

Registered User
My baby's a few months old and her BCG reaction is looking rather ugly. Initially a bump, then looked like a dark bruise, now is even more raised and kind of dark purple. It doesn't seem to bother her if I touch it (gently, of course!!) I had it checked by a midwife last week who said it was fine, but it looks worse now. All I've read says not to touch it, and not to cover it even if it bursts. Any advice?
 
Sounds perfectly normal. The bump eventually bursts and flattens out and then can begin to heal. There will be a scar, but at least it's on the buttock and not on the arm like for most of us adults.

Don't worry!
 
The QM docs gave my daughter the BCG shot in her arm, guess they didn't bother it would scar her permanently :mad:. She is close to 4 months now and the bump is still red, puffed and keeps peeling off every week. The Paed says not to worry it will heal on its own.
 
the public hospitals ALWAYS give on the arm. you have the option to take her privately and have it on the thigh/bottom instead, but it is much more expensive.

it does take a long time to heal properly but it sounds normal.
 
What age do they give that injection? I'll have to remember to ask them NOT to give it!! That's the scar that practically ALL the Chinese people I know have. I don't know if we got that in Australia, but I don't have that scar and none of my friends do either!!
 
I wouldn't worry about scarring. I had mine as a baby on the arm and have no scar at all...I know most of my friends had it as a teenager hence more of a scar when you are an adult.
 
My hubby has a huge scar on his arm - so do ALL his friends from over here... I'll have to ask him when he got it... Not that he'll remember, but anyways... Maybe I'm vain, but I don't want my baby to have to have that scar!! hehe
 
the BCG is for TB. if you plan on remaining in hk for any length of time, i would suggest you do some more research on it and not let your judgement be based on having a scar.

if we were going to move back to canada shortly after the kids were born, we probably wouldn't have had it, however as we've decided to stay in hk for the foreseeable future, we decided to have it for the kids. TB is not eradicated in this area of the world as it is in others.
 
question for carang

Cara,
I'm from Canada and hv been living in HK for awhile. What other vaccines did you get for your children that Canada requires but not neccessarily given in the HK public system. Did you vaccinate public or private? Just wondering what my kids shd be vaccinated with and what is 'optional'? Thanks.
 
Thanks for your reassuring replies. It seems like the reaction is normal (but ugly!). Fortunately I delivered in a private hospital so the injection was given in the hip, not the arm. I freaked out a little this time as my first child just got a bit of a bump but no scar (and I was immunised for TB as a teenager in my home country and never scarred).

For those concerned about the cosmetic aspect, BCG is given for a reason - the incidence of TB in HK is fairly high and more so in other parts of Asia. We are expats but plan on being in HK for a while longer so opted for the BCG.
 
i haven't done any other vaccinations other than those offered through the public system.

when/if we decide to relocate back to canada, i'll do research to find out what they've missed from the canadian schedule.

sorry i can't be of more help.
 
I agree - Nicole it is seen as important to get it if you live in this region, remember how close we are to Philippines and China, there are still many cases of TB floating around. It's not like living in Australia.

I wonder why they routinely do it in the arm though?? Is there a good reason? You would think the leg would be just as effective.
 
My daughter had her BCG done in Shanghai, in the leg at 4 months, and also had a bad reaction. I took her to a doctor in the UK and they were concerned by the reaction size and they gave her an X ray and antibiotics, she developed an infection. They said it could have been caused by her being given too much vaccine, the vaccine being administered too deep or simply her bodies response. It is not common in Western countries to give the vaccine in the leg, it is usually in the arm. I would keep a close eye on it, and go back to the doctor if it does keep getting bigger. My daughters is still healing and she is 19 months old.

TB is on the increase in many countries including the states and the UK. Any child/adult over 4 months would always be checked with a prick test prior to the vaccine being given to ensure that they have not come into contact with TB already. I was given the test at school when I was in my early teens, and then given the BCG vaccine - so it is still quite common to have it, certainly in the UK. I have a very small scar that I can hardly see. With a BCG, a reaction is important I have been told - it is a good sign that the vaccine is working.

In Shanghai alot of people spit and cough without covering their mouth, so there is a great risk of TB being passed on. I would check the recommendations for HK before deciding whether your children should have it.
 
My son had the BCG at one day old in the UK, it was in his arm and after a few weeks it had a reaction - I had completely forgotten and thought he had a mosquito bite until my friend reminded me!

My daughter was born here and had the injection in her thigh at 5 days old - again a reaction but this time I know what it is!!!
 
the BCG is for TB. if you plan on remaining in hk for any length of time, i would suggest you do some more research on it and not let your judgement be based on having a scar.

if we were going to move back to canada shortly after the kids were born, we probably wouldn't have had it, however as we've decided to stay in hk for the foreseeable future, we decided to have it for the kids. TB is not eradicated in this area of the world as it is in others.

I know it's shallow of me - and I definitely wouldn't NOT get the immunisation based on a scar!! But I WOULD pay extra for them to have a scar on their behind rather than on their arm where it's quite visible in the summer time and everything!!

I never realised that TB was still such a big issue in Hong Kong!!

I wonder if I've ever been immunised against it. I'd have to ask my mother!!
 
I think there are medical reasons for where they choose to do the vaccinations. If my daughter had had the vaccination in her bottom, then she would have been in considerable trouble. The reaction was the size of a 10 pence piece, there was pus coming out of it. It would have been at more serious risk of infection from the poo and wee in her nappy. She wouldnt have been able to sit down without extreme pain. It hurt her enough as it was on her leg. There will and should be some reaction to a BCG, but not normally the size my daughter had.The scar is getting smaller slowly, and I am sure will be of no concern to her when she is older.
 
my daughter - now 11 months old - got the BCG vaccination in the MCHC after she came out of the hospital at 8 days.
she also developed an infection on her arm (with pus) only about 1-2 months later, so i took her to the hospital as i was worried about the development.
the doctor gave us an ointment called fucidin and told us to clean the area twice daily. back in switzerland, the pharmacist told me that fucidin is a pretty strong ointment, and we should try not to use it (use bepanthen instead). anyway, we left it at that, and after a few check-ups at the hospital in hk, we stopped being concerned about it. it's healed now, but she does have a scar...
 
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