General Practice 2022

Síinflammatory syndromeótric multisystem&pediatric átric: symptoms and treatment

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Síinflammatory syndromeótric multisystem&pediatric átric: symptoms and treatment
Síinflammatory syndromeótric multisystem&pediatric átric: symptoms and treatment

Pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome is a serious condition that can arise as a complication of COVID-19 infection in children. This syndrome causes inflammation of the blood vessels of some organs such as the heart, skin, lungs, kidneys or brain, resulting in symptoms such as difficulty breathing, conjunctivitis, diarrhea, abdominal pain, skin rashes and fever.

Although it is a rare complication, with unknown causes and risk factors, pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome appears to be more common in children aged 3 to 12 years, although it can also affect older children or infants.

Most children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome show improvement in symptoms with medical treatment, so it is important to know how to identify symptoms and take the child to the pediatrician or hospital for a more complete evaluation.

Main symptoms

The main symptoms of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children include:

  • Abdominal pain;
  • Pain or tightness in the chest;
  • Heart palpitations;
  • Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing;
  • Blue, gray, or whitish skin, lips, or fingers;
  • Confusion;
  • Difficulty waking up or excessive sleepiness;
  • Excessive fatigue;
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea;
  • Fever lasting 24 hours or more;
  • Headache;
  • Red spots on the body;
  • Red eyes;
  • Redness or swelling in the hands or feet;
  • Dizziness;
  • Formation of lumps or bumps in the neck, armpits, groin or any other part of the body.

If the child has COVID-19, is suspected of having an infection or has any of these symptoms, report it to the pediatrician immediately and take it to the nearest emergency room.

How to confirm the diagnosis

The diagnosis of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome is made through COVID-19 tests, such as PCR and antibodies, to confirm the infection by the coronavirus.

In addition, and to identify the inflammation caused by the syndrome, the doctor may also order other tests such as a blood test, chest X-ray, echocardiogram, abdominal ultrasound or computed tomography. Check out the main tests for COVID-19.

Possible causes

The exact cause of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome related to COVID-19 infection is still unknown, however, studies done so far report that during coronavirus infection the body produces inflammatory substances in large amounts, called cytokines, as a way to increase the action of the immune system to fight the virus.

These cytokines can cause an over-response of the immune system causing severe inflammation in blood vessels and other organs.

How the treatment is done

Treatment of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome depends on the type and severity of symptoms, but should be done in the hospital, with supportive care and measures to reduce inflammation in affected organs, preventing permanent damage.

The main treatments that can be used include:

  • Hydration, through serum applied directly into the vein;
  • Oxygen to help with breathing;
  • Medicines to help normalize low blood pressure and heart function;
  • Use of anticoagulants, such as heparin or acetylsalicylic acid, to prevent blood clots.

In addition, other drugs such as antibiotics, corticosteroids, immunoglobulins or other drug treatments can be used to reduce the amount of cytokines in the body and reduce inflammation in the organs. Check out all approved and under study drugs for COVID-19.

In more severe cases, it may be necessary to use a mechanical ventilator or ECMO, which is a machine that provides support for the respiratory and/or cardiac system functioning as an artificial lung allowing the necessary oxygenation of the body. Find out how ECMO works and when it is indicated.

Possible complications

Pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome is considered a serious complication of COVID-19. Without prompt diagnosis and proper treatment, it can cause serious problems in vital organs such as the heart, lungs or kidneys.

Although it is rare, multisystem inflammatory syndrome can result in permanent organ damage or even put a child's life at risk.

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