During the early stages of the pandemic, there was good news about the disease and children – it looked as if children were largely spared from the symptoms of COVID-19. If they became infected, there was often little change in their overall health, unless they had some pre-existing condition.
However, as the pandemic continued and more time elapsed, some infected children showed signs of severe inflammation, which showed similarities to other inflammatory conditions, such as Kawasaki disease. They were also experiencing gastrointestinal problems.
The afflicted children often ended up in pediatric intensive care units, sometimes with cardiovascular and musculoskeletal complications. The CDC has named this condition, which involves different organ systems, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).
Children with MIS-C sometimes have fevers, fatigue, and a number of other symptoms involving different organ systems resulting from the inflammation. The symptoms can vary depending on the individual.
The Role of the Pharmacist
As with any patient, the pharmacist’s role in pediatric patients’ care during the pandemic is one of support and education, making parents aware of MIS-C.
To start, pharmacists can continue to provide parents with the most up-to-date, effective measures to take in preventing or reducing the spread of the coronavirus. These include wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing, and cleaning surfaces.
Pharmacists can also talk with parents and remind them to make sure they have regularly scheduled checkups for their children with a pediatrician, especially those who have children with pre-existing conditions. For parents whose children are on medication, pharmacists can check with the parents to ensure they are adhering to the medication routine.
As part of their role as educators, pharmacists can also alert parents to COVID-19 on the CDC website, which includes details about MIS-C caused by COVID-19. The website, for example, advises parents to get emergency care immediately if their child is showing any MIS-C symptoms. These symptoms include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, pressure or discomfort in the chest, confusion, lethargy, inability to stay awake, blue color in the face or lips, and severe abdominal pain.
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