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Mom shares warning after 5-month-old develops hair tourniquet syndrome

YI-JIN YU·6 min read

A Missouri mom is warning fellow parents about a rare condition caused by a strand of hair that sent her 5-month-old son to the emergency room.

Sara Ward, from St. Louis, shared a Facebook post explaining that her 5-month-old son, Logan, started developing a condition called hair tourniquet syndrome on Jan. 22 and over the course of a week, had to be rushed to his pediatrician's office, urgent care and later, the emergency room at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.

"This was my first time and even with being a third-time parent, I was not aware of this beforehand," Ward, a mom of three, told "Good Morning America."

"I had never seen this or this (had) never come up with any of my friends or family members that are moms. So I was definitely kind of in the dark on just how severe this can be," Ward said.

PHOTO: Sara Ward, a mom from St. Louis, Missouri, is sharing her story after her 5-month-old son developed hair tourniquet syndrome in January and had to be rushed to the ER. (Sara Ward )
PHOTO: Sara Ward, a mom from St. Louis, Missouri, is sharing her story after her 5-month-old son developed hair tourniquet syndrome in January and had to be rushed to the ER. (Sara Ward )

For Ward, the unexpected ordeal began when she and her husband noticed that one of Logan's toes was "looking a little bit pink." "We kind of didn't really think much of it that night because he didn't seem bothered by it at all," she said.

They went about their weekend as usual, but Ward said that after a couple of days, Logan's toe started changing color again. "By Monday, it hadn't improved and it was starting to look redder and we were kind of noticing this line that was going across the middle of the toe."

PHOTO: 5-month-old Logan developed hair tourniquet syndrome in January and had to be rushed to the ER. (Sara Ward )
PHOTO: 5-month-old Logan developed hair tourniquet syndrome in January and had to be rushed to the ER. (Sara Ward )

That's when she decided to take Logan to see his pediatrician and it was at the doctor's office that she first learned about hair tourniquet syndrome.

"Hair tourniquet syndrome is when there is a piece of hair, or a thread of another material like a piece of cloth, that's tightly wrapped around a body part. It's usually a finger or a toe, but it also can be the genitals," Dr. Sara Holmstrom, a board-certified pediatrician and a pediatric emergency medicine fellow at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago explained to "GMA."

(editor:)

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