TICK TOCK tick tock, Kawasaki Disease treatment time still too slow – putting children’s hearts at risk!

TICK TOCK, Tick Tock – We don’t have time!

“Slow treatment times for Kawasaki Disease continue to put children’s hearts at risk” – says Societi, the U.K. Foundation for Kawasaki Disease

 Today – International Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day – sees the start of a campaign for every doctor and every parent in the UK to know the symptoms of Kawasaki Disease, the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children. Societi, The UK Foundation for Kawasaki Disease is stepping up efforts to grow awareness and encourage urgent action when treating this increasingly common, serious disease.

Kawasaki Disease is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in UK children – and research shows U.K. outcomes remain amongst the poorest in the western world – with about a third of treated children still having heart damage. This is often due to slow detection rates and delayed treatment.

Kawasaki Disease can affect people of any age, but the under 5 age group is most vulnerable. A recent UK and Ireland study showed that on average, children waited over 7 days for treatment between 2013 and 2015. The study showed a link between later treatment and poorer outcomes with those children treated at 10 days of illness having a significantly greater risk of serious, lifelong heart damage. Slow treatment and low levels of awareness of Kawasaki Disease is putting hundreds of children’s hearts at risk every year.

Professor Neena Modi, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said: “Spotting the signs early and getting treatment quickly is key to limiting the potentially devastating effects of Kawasaki Disease. With better awareness by medical professionals and parents, the condition is more likely to be recognised early. The sooner treatment starts the more likely a better outcome”.

Professor Robert Tulloh, the U.K’s leading Paediatric Cardiologist in Kawasaki Disease, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children said: “GPs and Paediatricians need to be able to recognise Kawasaki Disease early and aim to start treatment as soon as possible. We are not serving our children well by late diagnosis. Kawasaki Disease is not that rare, with hundreds of children affected each year – we are missing far too many cases who may have preventable coronary artery aneurysms and hence long term consequences. The most seriously affected are young infants with an unexplained fever and few other signs – we need clinicians to THINK Kawasaki Disease.”  Go to the full media release here.