Daily Health Tips: Should BCG Scar Bring Out Pus?

Q: Morn Doc, please help me clear out something. A new born baby that was given a first time injection (BCG).Is it a must that it must bring out pus. She is 3 weeks now. Again, is it normal she didn’t poo for some days now? Should I be worried?

A: The full meaning of BCG is Bacille Calmette-Guerin, named after scientists, Drs Calmette and Guerin who developed the vaccines. It was used for the first time in human beings in 1921. This is a freeze-dried live but weakened strain of Mycobacterium Bovis (very similar to the bacteria that cause tuberculosis), a bacterium found in cattle which can cause tuberculosis in man. This vaccine is part of the compulsory immunization schedule in countries with a high incidence of tuberculosis. It provides protection over a range of 10-20 years and so is not particularly useful in adults…sorry 😀

This vaccine usually causes a local reaction in most, but not all people. This local reaction gives rise to the ‘infamous’ scar 😀 but does not really act as a marker for protection against tuberculosis. So, if you don’t have a BCG scar, it does not mean that you did not respond to the vaccine and there’s certainly no need for you to take another dose of the vaccine. Sometimes, after the vaccine is administered, there is formation of an abscess. This could be due to wrong administration or it could occur as a common complication of this vaccine. It would usually heal on its own over a few weeks.

You didn’t note whether your baby is being exclusively breastfed or not. If your baby is exclusively breast fed (as he should be from birth to 6 months of age), the baby can sometimes go days without defaecation and is due to the fact that practically all the nutrients in breast milk are completely absorbed during each feed, such that there is little or nothing to excrete. However, it is expected that when baby does poop, the faeces should still be soft in consistency as opposed to hard, dry, pellet-like stool as occurs in constipation. If the stool is hard with exclusive breast feeding (?), please visit your baby’s paediatrician.

Formula fed babies, on the other hand, suffer from constipation because it is more difficult for a baby to digest formula than breast milk.

If your baby is dehydrated, perhaps from not taking enough fluids as may occur if she has a cold and is refusing feeds due to difficulty with breathing when feeding, ‘constipation’ may also occur. Other causes include food allergies and/or introduction of complementary fees as the body learns to handle these foods.

If your baby is on exclusive breast feeding, passing out dry, hard stools is unlikely. For formula feeds, try to give your baby more water and be sure that you are adding the right amount of formula to make the baby’s meals. If this continues, please see your baby’s doctor.

For more on this subject, please click on https://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/05/20/daily-health-tips-can-my-diet-cause-my-baby-to-have-diarrhea-while-breastfeeding/

Have a great night, y’all 😀


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