Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kawasaki Disease & My Son

Where to begin?  Recently my son Tre started coming down with flu like symptoms and after the first 24 hrs I ended up taking him to the Emergency Room.  They gave him fluids and treated the fever with Motrin.  After a few hours we were sent on our way with some simple instructions and I thought it was behind us. The next day I realized his fever wasn't fading and I had to take him back to the ER.  After admitting him for dehydration and the fever, my pediatrician came and immediately and diagnosed him with Kawasaki Disease.  Since then I have been in Pittsburgh's Children's Hospital with him.  We are now in PICU which is the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Kawasaki disease is a poorly understood illness. The cause has not been determined. It may be an autoimmune disorder. The disorder affects the mucus membranes, lymph nodes, walls of the blood vessels, and the heart.
Kawasaki disease can cause inflammation of blood vessels in the arteries, especially the coronary arteries. This inflammation can lead to aneurysms. An aneurysm can lead to a heart attack, even in young children, although this is rare.

Children with Kawasaki disease are admitted to the hospital. Treatment must be started as soon as the diagnosis is made to prevent damage to the coronary arteries and heart.
Intravenous gamma globulin is the standard treatment. It is given in high doses. The child's condition usually greatly improves within 24 hours of treatment with IV gamma globulin.  Only in Tre's case he had adverse reactions to this medication and ended up worsening instead.  His blood pressure dropped and swelling increased.
High-dose aspirin is often given along with IV gamma globulin.
Even when they're treated with aspirin and IV gamma globulin, up to 25% of children may still develop problems in their coronary arteries. Some research has suggested that adding steroids to the usual treatment routine may improve a child's outcome, but more research is needed.
Needless to say we are in desperate need of your prayers right now and I hope to continue blogging once this nightmare ends....

All information was pulled from