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West Texas hospitals training for pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome

Both Midland Memorial and Medical Center have treated children with Kawasaki before but they have not treated children who have gotten the condition from COVID-19.

TEXAS, USA — Hospitals here in the Permian Basin are training its pediatric staff on how to treat a multi-system inflammatory syndrome, believed to be linked to COVID-19.

The illness is similar to Kawasaki disease. It has been seen in a growing number of children and teens. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain or diarrhea
  • Fever that lasts 3 days or longer
  • Rash or inflammation
  • Toxic shock

“It’s quite uncomfortable because they have persistent fever for more than five days, ” said Dinesh Gowda, Medical Center Hospital pediatrician. 

Both Midland Memorial and Medical Center have treated children with Kawasaki before, but they have not treated children who have gotten the condition from COVID-19.

“Most of the time we see this linked to other viruses that are common in childhood," Jordan Payne, Midland Memorial Hospital Pediatric hospitalist said. "With COVID-19 we’re seeing a more extreme form of the illness and it's making kids a lot sicker than your traditional Kawasaki patients.”

That is why hospitals here are doing the training now, before it even gets to West Texas.

“We have been going to webinars by the American Academy of Pediatrics," Gowda said. "We have done training with some of our staff in the emergency room”

This week MMH did a Q&A Zoom session with a doctor out of Colorado to learn more about the disease.

“This disease is evolving and we’re learning more everyday," Payne said. "We’ll be in touch with doctors all around the country to continually learn more about how to treat this.”

Trainings on the rare syndrome, believed to be an over-active immune response, are just getting started. Both hospitals are planning to have more trainings this summer.

Doctors want to remind parents that the condition is very rare but if your child develops any symptoms to get them to a hospital to start treatment right away.

Some of the medications doctors have been trained to treat multi-system inflammatory syndrome include steroids, blood thinners and a special type of anti-inflammatory medication. 

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