HOUSTON — Derek Fields, a 6-month-old boy being treated for a rare combination of disorders diagnosed only once before in medical history, died Saturday in his mother's arms, his doctors said.
Derek was diagnosed Dec. 27 as suffering from Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, an inability to fight infection that was aggravated by a blood transfusion given him in mid-December for anemia.
Hospital officials said Derek began suffering complications from the rare combination of disorders late Friday.
"The blood transfusion that would not normally affect another person caused graft-versus-host disease, where the white blood cells in that blood were attacking the baby," said Dr. William Shearer at Texas Children's Hospital.
Derek was only the second child with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency to be diagnosed as contracting graft-versus-host disease through a blood transfusion, Shearer said. The other child was successfully treated in Boston but later died of an infection, he said.