What is that rash?

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Case history

A healthy 15-month-old girl presented to the emergency department with a 24-hour history of fever and rash. The initial blanching rash developed into non-blanching areas with associated leg swelling. She had received no recent medications, had no known drug allergies and no unwell contacts.

Case history

On examination, she was feverish at 38.6°C, capillary refill time was <2 s with warm peripheries, heart rate 169 bpm and blood pressure 94/59 mm Hg. A palpable purpuric rash was evident on all four limbs and face (figure 1) although the trunk was spared. Her legs were tense and oedematous to the knee.

Case history

Initial investigations:

Case history

Intravenous ceftriaxone was commenced following blood culture and meningococcal PCR. The following day, while remaining systemically well, she developed a vesicular rash on her trunk and back (figure 2).


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