A mum has issued a warning to other parents after her baby suffered from a new condition that can happen in children who have contracted Covdi-19.
Emma Aherne said her 14-month-old son Jayce came down with Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS), which is a new condition that causes swelling throughout the body.
The mum, from Cork, said her son broke out into a fever but it was nothing out of the ordinary.
A few days later he developed a rash and she was still assured there was nothing to worry about.
It wasn't until little Jayce couldn't keep his medicine down that he was taken to hospital where he spent five days battling the condition, RSVPLive reports.
Jayce was taken to hospital where he spent five days battling Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS)
Emma said: "Jayce tested positive for Covid on Wednesday, Nov 10th.
"He had a temperature Thursday, Friday and Saturday, nothing out of the ordinary very manageable and he was still eating, drinking and in very good form.
“Sunday he got a rash on his knees. I had a bad feeling and rang South Doc straight away only to be told it was "normal" and "nothing to worry about".
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“I rang South Doc another three times that day and night and even sent pictures of the rash as it progressed and all I was given was an antihistamine which we couldn't pick up until the morning."
She added: "At 9pm someone dropped the antihistamine to us but he threw it up straight away and that's when I knew he'd be going to the hospital as I was afraid he had a syndrome I had read about six months previous called Multi-systems inflammatory syndrome.
“I had read about the signs (rash and a high temperature being two of them) and had read it was happening more and more to children after a Covid-19 diagnosis.
Signs of Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS)
The main symptom of PIMS is a high temperature that lasts for a few days.
You might also have other symptoms such as:
- A rash
- Tiredness and weakness
- Tummy pain or cramps
- Red and cracked lips
- Swollen hands and feet
- Peeling skin on your hands and feet
- Red eyes
- Muscle aches and pains
- Diarrhoea and vomiting
- Swollen neck glands
- Unexplained irritability
PIMS is treated with a combination of medicines:
- Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) – This is taken from blood donations, checked for infection and then given to you as an infusion (drip). IVIG contains lots of antibodies – the proteins in the blood that fight off infection.
- Corticosteroids – You have these as an infusion or by mouth as tablets or liquid. They are a man-made version of a hormone (chemical messenger) in your body that calms down your immune system. As corticosteroids damp down your immune system you might be more at risk of some infections, especially if you are having high doses. When you no longer need corticosteroids, you may need to gradually ‘wean’ or ‘taper’ them rather than stopping suddenly. This helps your body start to make its own steroids again.
- Anti-clotting medicines (aspirin and dalteparin) – aspirin makes your blood less ‘sticky’ so it’s less likely to form clots. You will usually stop taking this after six weeks if the doctors are happy that your heart is working well. Dalteparin is given as an injection and makes your blood thinner. Typically, you only have this while you’re in hospital.
- Stomach medicine – Corticosteroids and aspirin can irritate your stomach, so you will probably have another medicine to take alongside them to protect your stomach lining.
- Biologic medicines – If IVIG and corticosteroids don’t work well on their own, you might have infusions of biologic medicines called ana-kin-ra and toci-li-zu-mab. These also ‘switch off’ your immune system.
“The doctor's office was on the ball and got us a letter straight away for A&E. Jayce was diagnosed with PIMS, which is Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome, what I had feared from the onset of symptoms.
“He spent five nights in the hospital and got the best care in the CUH but will have to be on medication and get heart checks for the next while."
Emma is now warning others to be aware of PIMS so they can detect it in their children early.
She said: "I want mothers to know that if their gut is telling them there's something not right then to go with it and I want parents to be aware of PIMS in case god forbid something like this happens to them.
“Early detection is key, don't delay and ask for the hospital straight away if your child is presenting with these symptoms post-Covid.
“Jayce is our little warrior and even took his first steps on his last day in hospital”.