Children’s hearts at risk because of lack of knowledge of Kawasaki Disease

…telling the world about our TEMPERS on World Heart Day!

TEMPERS is a mnemonic created by Societi to make Kawasaki Disease memorable.

A legacy of permanent heart damage which we must change – together

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: “Kawasaki Disease is the most common cause of acquired heart disease in children in the western world and can leave a legacy of permanent damage. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. With higher levels of awareness, early diagnosis and timely treatment, we can save and improve the lives of children affected by this disease. We are fully behind Societi’s mission to ensure every doctor and every parent in the UK is able to recognise the symptoms and act quickly to treat this deadly disease.”

Kawasaki Disease – a little known risk to children’s hearts

Kawasaki Disease is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children in the western world. Across the globe, Kawasaki Disease incidence is doubling every ten years and despite many research efforts, the cause of Kawasaki Disease is still not known.

Here in the UK we’re focusing hard on raising awareness of the disease. Our UK-based research (BPSU study 2013 – 20151) clearly demonstrates that early diagnosis is linked to better outcomes – and that for some, early treatment can reduce the likelihood of lifetime heart damage. Despite this, awareness in the UK is low and we lag behind many countries in terms of public awareness of Kawasaki Disease. We need much greater levels of Kawasaki Disease awareness in our medical community too.

So, on World Heart Day we want everyone to know about our TEMPERS!

Kawasaki Disease is increasingly common

Professor Robert Tulloh, the UK’s leading paediatric cardiologist in Kawasaki Disease said: “Kawasaki Disease is increasingly common in the UK and we urgently need much earlier consideration of it as a possibility when patients present with persistent fever.  The TEMPERS mnemonic will help both parents and medics remember Kawasaki Disease and we hope – increase accurate, rapid diagnosis so children can get early treatment.”

Making it memorable

Rachael McCormack, Founder of Societi, the UK Foundation for Kawasaki Disease said “We created our TEMPERS mnemonic because we want to make Kawasaki Disease memorable.  We want every doctor and every parent to know Kawasaki Disease and be able to recognise the symptoms – it is increasingly common.  We know that children with Kawasaki Disease are really irritable – which is where the idea for TEMPERS came from. One of the most critical words in this mnemonic though is PACE – we need awareness because we need doctors to EXPECT to see Kawasaki Disease and be READY to treat it.  Early treatment is key.”

Improving lives through awareness

Richard Lynn, Scientific Co-ordinator at the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit (BPSU) said: “Societi’s TEMPERS campaign will go a long way to raising the profile of Kawasaki Disease amongst clinicians, health workers and the public alike – which can only be to the benefit of children. As a unit, we are pleased to support Societi in their important work to raise awareness of Kawasaki Disease.”

Raising Kawasaki Disease awareness every day

Throughout September Societi supporters have been raising Kawasaki Disease awareness across the UK;  in Somerset at craft fairs; in Hitchin, Herts, where an Osteopathy clinic have worked though the month fundraising too and we’ve had marathon runners, running miles and miles in Rutland and Hatfield.  All raising awareness of the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children! Today, on World Heart Day, Societi supporters at SKY in London – are having Kawasaki conversations – and sharing knowledge with ‘Wear Red’ days, heart-healthy activities and Kawasaki Disease information for everyone.