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1st Case Of Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome Identified In Oregon

<p>Randall Children&rsquo;s Hospital</p>

Courtesy of Legacy Health

Randall Children’s Hospital

Doctors at Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel in Portland have identified Oregon’s first case of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome in a 14-year-old girl.

The syndrome can cause life-threatening inflammation in critical organs and appears to be connected to the coronavirus.  

The girl visited her regular doctor on May 9 after about a week of fever, abdominal pain and shortness of breath, followed by her eyes turning red, said Mark Buchholz, a pediatric critical care doctor at Randall Children’s Hospital.  

“At that time, her blood pressure was very, very low and she was essentially in shock, in cardiac failure, when she came in to her primary care doctor,” Buchholz said.  

He said the girl’s primary care doctor recognized her symptoms as pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, called an ambulance and had her transferred to Randall Children’s Hospital’s emergency department.  

“Our cardiologist examined her heart and the heart was inflamed and was quite injured,” Buchholz said. He said the girl has been treated with medication including blood thinners and cardiac medication.  

The girl did not have any prior coronavirus symptoms, Buchholz said. He said she was healthy, energetic and had no prior medical history.  

She is recovering and is in good spirits, Buchholz said, but she will most likely need to stay in the hospital for about another week.  

“Given the syndrome is so new, we take it day by day,” he said.  

“She’s an amazing young lady,” Buchholz said. “She wants to go back home, go back to playing soccer and continue doing her school work.”  

There is not much known about the syndrome, of which cases have been diagnosed in New York and other states.  

Buchholz said she tested positive in a COVID-19 antibody test, but she tested negative twice for an active test.  

“So, she does not have the active infection, but it demonstrates that she had it sometime in the past,” Buchholz said.  

Buchholz said families should watch out for similar symptoms present in young people: “Generally, unexplained high fevers, red eyes, abdominal pain, swollen hands and feet and possible rashes,” he said. He said families should bring children in as soon as possible if they are seeing unexplained symptoms.  

“We would like to see those children earlier ... rather than later when they’re much sicker,” Buchholz said.  

He also said he wants to reassure community members that precautions are being taken in regard to coronavirus in hospitals and other medical offices and that families should continue to bring children in for needed check-ups and appointments.   

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Meerah Powell
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