A look at Kawasaki Disease - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

A look at Kawasaki Disease

A parent's worst nightmare becomes reality last week after 13 News Anchor Katie Nilsson and her husband rush their son Kamden to the emergency room.  The two year old little boy was sick and the diagnosis was Kawasaki Disease.   They spent all of last week at Rockford Memorial Hospital so Kam could get treated.

You wouldn't know it by looking at this little face now, but just seven days ago, Kam was in the hospital being treated for a very rare disease.  It all started with a fever, that just wouldn't go away.  Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Ronald Foran says Kawasaki Disease is extremely rare, and usually is only seen in kids under the age of Five.  "There is no diagnostic test for this and no specific treatment for it and we don't even know exactly what caused it. If we knew what caused it we might be able to design a test for it."

At times Kam's fever rose above 104, then he broke out in a rash, had swollen feet and hands as well as lymph nodes.  Katie and her husband Kyle couldn't get Kam's fever to break, so they went to the emergency room.   It was there a doctor told them Kam had Kawasaki Disease.  It's a very rare illness that causes inflammation in your eyes, mouth and small and medium arteries.   They were transferred to Rockford Memorial Hospital, so Kam could start treatment for Kawasaki.   Dr. Robert Restuccia explains what kids who have it are given.  "The treatment is pretty clearly established today and that its is intravenous immuno-globulin which is a blood product that is highly concentrated in antibodies."

Intravenous immuno-globulin is referred to at IVIG and is administered over 12 to 18 hours.  Kam also had to have an echocardiogram and has to take high doses of chewable aspirin in case the Kawasaki Disease has damaged his heart.   Dr. Restuccia says we have to follow up with Dr. Foran in a couple of weeks.  "Initially you may not see any abnormality of the coronary arteries at 2 or 3 weeks is when most often one will see evidence of the aneurysms or ballooned dilatation of the coronary arteries."

There was a noticeable difference in Kam shortly after the IVIG treatment started, he actually wanted to sit up and play.  After a second round of it, Kam, Kyle and Katie were ready to head home!  Dr. Restuccia says their little one isn't out of the woods yet. "It can be very serious and if untreated as I said, about a quarter to a third of children will go on to have involvement of the coronary arteries with treatment though, that number can be reduced substantially to only 2 or 3%"

Kam has an appointment with Dr. Foran in a couple of weeks where Katie and Kyle will learn if he has damage to his heart.  In the meantime, he'll stay on aspirin to keep things flowing smoothly.



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