Liver patient improves, but not out of the woods

Shirli Marder, whose liver began to fail from an extremely rare complication of taking a painkiller, may still need transplant.

March 30, 2011 04:14
1 minute read.
Shirli Marder

Marder 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Thanks to intensive treatment by medication and supervision by doctors at the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus, 27-year-old Shirli Marder – whose liver began to fail from an extremely rare complication of taking a painkiller – regained consciousness, responded to her name and was carrying out simple instructions.

The Petah Tikva hospital said on Tuesday evening that her improved condition, thanks to her young age, was at least a temporary reversal of her acute condition. But doctors added that it was not yet known whether it would decline and require a liver transplant.

Dr. Boaz Tadmor, who is heading the team that is treating her, said she remains officially in “critical condition.”

Marder suffered the extreme reaction a few days after taking ibuprofen (Nurafen), one of the extremely common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) for pain, following a tooth extraction.

Her family had planned to fly her to Paris for a liver transplant due to the shortage of organ donors in Israel, but at the last moment and in a dramatic turnabout, she was returned to the hospital from Ben-Gurion Airport when an older lower-brain-dead patient was identified and was being tested for compatibility.

Experts in the field of NSAIDS said that one should not take NSAIDS for no reason or in doses higher than those needed and listed on the packages. But usually side effects are no worse than a skin rash.

Marder’s case was one of fewer than half a dozen severe reactions recorded in the medical literature. Ibuprofen has been manufactured and taken over the counter since the 1960s.

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