Understanding Kawasaki Disease
The young is considered to be virile and full of life. Unknown to many of us, however, is the fact that even the young are not spared when it comes to heart conditions. One heart condition that has affected the lives of a number of children is the Kawasaki Disease.
Kawasaki Disease is a medical condition wherein the patient suffers from high fever and inflammation in the mouth, hands, and feet, as well as other areas of the body. In majority of the cases, the patients can also suffer from inflamed arteries, including those that can be found on the heart. When that happens, the child could suffer from aneurysm and die.
Signs and Symptoms
The earliest sign of the Kawasaki Disease is high fever of more than five days that just would not go away regardless of the medicine that you give to your child. Aside from this, a child suffering from the Kawasaki Disease would also body rashes, swollen lymph nodes, and swelling of the hands, tongue, and feet. The patient would also be suffering from diarrhea as well as abdominal pain combined with vomiting. Keep in mind, however, that there have been cases where the child did not show any sign or symptom of the disease. In situations like these, a series of test would help determine Kawasaki. These tests would include electrocardiography, blood tests, and X-ray.
Unfortunately, there is, currently, no effective treatment for Kawasaki Disease. At most, treatment plans are put into place just to make sure that the disease does not affect the coronary arteries. The treatment also aims to lower fever and reduce inflammation.
As soon as it has been ascertained that the patient is suffering from Kawasaki, a high dose of aspirin would be administered along with immune globulin. This should have the fever subsiding within 24 hours. If that is not the case, a second round of immune globulin would be administered. Once the fever has subsided, low dose aspirin would be administered to the child in order to prevent blood clot. Usually, this treatment plan causes signs and symptoms to go away. However, parents need to understand that, in order to ensure that the heart does not get affected, the child would need to have a healthy lifestyle. This means having regular exercise, eating the right kind of food, avoiding too much stress, and not smoking. Children who have been given immune globulin would need to wait about a year before they can have their measles and chicken pox vaccines.
Children who experience problems in their coronary arteries due to Kawasaki Disease, would need to make sure that they undergo regular check up with a pediatric cardiologist. In extreme cases, a heart surgery might be recommended especially if there is already a need to repair affected coronary arteries.
If your child has Kawasaki Disease, make sure that you have an AED unit on stand by. This would be of great help should he or she suffer from a heart attack or a cardiac arrest.