An Australian mother-of-two has warned parents of a rash that if left untreated could cause permanent damage to your child’s heart or even death.
Bindy Scott found out the hard way that the rash on her toddler Tommy’s body was more than just a viral infection.
Sharing painful photos of his chest, arms and back on her website, Mrs Scott, who is based in Queensland, explained how the unusual redness turned out to be a far greater danger to her little boy’s health than first thought, shares Daily Mail.
In October at their daughter’s birthday party, 22-month-old Tommy woke up a little bit ‘off’, with Mrs Scott describing him as a ‘bit grumbly and clingy’.
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‘That afternoon he started getting lethargic and that night was dreadful. He was awake screaming and had a 38C fever.
‘Sunday morning when we woke up he had a rash on his tummy. By the time we had finished breakfast and we changed his nappy again it had spread to his back. So off to the hospital emergency department we went.’
The doctor assumed it was a viral disease like hand, foot and mouth, but when the rash spread even further – and the family rushed back to the hospital – they guessed it might actually be an allergic reaction or scarlet fever.
Tommy’s symptoms continued to snowball: He began vomiting and had diarrhoea alongside the raging red rash that wouldn’t subside.
On their third trip to the ER Tommy had a blood test and a cannula inserted to rebuild his lost fluids.
‘They ran many tests; blood cultures, x-ray and from memory I think they started a broad spectrum antibiotic,’ Mrs Scott said.
He was even transferred to another hospital as doctors scrambled to diagnose the 22-month-old.
‘Wednesday was a rough day of more tests and this was the day he started to swell up. His little body went puffy, his hands and feet were like little balloons and his eyelids were so swollen.’
A paediatrician asked on Thursday evening whether Mrs Scott had heard of Kawasaki disease.
‘I hadn’t. She and the doctors she had been speaking to believed this is what he had, unfortunately there is no test for this disease – just ruling out other possible problems and that’s what we had been doing,’ she explained.
They decided to treat him for Kawasaki using intravenous immunoglobulin – a solution of human plasma proteins – which was ‘not at all dangerous for him to have’.
‘Saturday he did seem to pick up, he was more alert and playing. He was actually playing with toys,’ Mrs Scott said.
‘He ate more and just seemed brighter. We were so thankful that this treatment had seemed to work, if it hadn’t he would’ve had another round of it and if that failed, then he would receive a lumbar puncture – but thankfully we avoided that.’
Mrs Scott is sharing Tommy’s story before Kawasaki Awareness Day on January 26 in hopes other parents can be more aware of the symptoms.
‘I want to encourage you, that if your child is sick and you are given one diagnosis and then they worsen or change – go back,’ she explained.
‘Keep going back until the treatment works or you see improvement. You don’t have to accept one opinion. We are our children’s advocates. We have to fight for them.
‘I knew each time in myself when he needed to go back to the hospital and I didn’t care if it turned out to be nothing, I would prefer to be known as the overcautious mother than regret not taking him or leaving it too late.
‘If we had just agreed it was some viral thing and tried to ride it out over a week, I hate to think of what the outcome could’ve been.’
About the disease
Kawasaki disease, named after the Japanese pediatrician who discovered the condition, is an inflammation of the blood vessels.
The condition most often affects children under five years old.
It typically manifests itself by a body rash, fever that lasts at least five days, swollen lymph nodes, lips, tongue, feet and hands, and red eyes.
In most cases, the inflammation doesn’t have long-lasting consequences. But in certain cases, the coronary artery or the heart muscle are damaged.
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