A 10-year-old boy in Michigan has undergone four amputations of his hands and legs after a rare bout of a serious coronavirus-related inflammatory condition.
Dae’Shun Jamison was diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), and had his right leg amputated in early February at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, a spokesperson for Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, where the boy entered rehabilitation and recovery, confirmed to Fox News. The child was transferred back to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital on Monday for amputations of both hands and his left leg.
Brittney Autman, the child’s mother, detailed the story on a related GoFundMe page, writing on Tuesday, “Dae’Shun is very emotional about his amputations and it breaks my heart. Please keep the prayers coming.”
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Patients battling this rare, serious inflammatory condition could experience limb loss due to a hyperinflammatory response affecting the body’s blood clotting capacity, one expert explained.
According to Dr. Rosemary Olivero, head of pediatric infectious disease at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, some MIS-C patients undergo severe heart dysfunction, affecting how the body pumps out blood to the rest of the body. The cardiac dysfunction, coupled with blood clotting or bleeding issues, can compound to obstruct blood flow throughout the body, she said.
Autman said her son needed to have his hands amputated “due to lack of blood flow and damaged tissues to his hands,” also writing last month, “Dae’Shun have [sic] had a blood clot in the artery of his right hand for over 2 weeks and the blood thinners that he is on is [sic] not working…”
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“Some patients with MIS-C have really extreme changes in their blood clotting factors. Some of them can actually clot too much in some parts of their body, and then too little in other parts of their body,” Olivero said, later adding, “the inappropriate clotting is one of several very severe consequences of MIS-C. It doesn’t happen in all patients but it can happen in some and can really lead to further organ damage because of mechanics of blood flow.”
While medical professionals have become more adept in standardized care for MIS-C, the syndrome continues to be incredibly challenging due to the complex nature of disease, Olivero said.
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When the child was told of the amputations in January, Autman wrote, “he understood everything. He understood that when he [would] wake up his leg will not look the same. Dae’Shun completely broke down in tears which effected [sic] me in so many ways.”
The boy had been battling a severe course of the disease through the winter, with his mother detailing his treatment involving kidney dialysis, lung support and a feeding tube.
Olivero said amputations stemming from MIS-C are “a very unique and unfortunate consequence.”
MIS-C typically arises several weeks after previous COVID-19 infection, and can lead to organ damage due to a hyperinflammatory response.
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“Your body is excreting a ton of inflammatory chemicals that really propagate the immune system, which can be very damaging to the organs of the body,” Olivero explained, detailing MIS-C.
Treatments aim to ease an intense inflammatory response involving reaction to infection. More specifically, treatments involve IVIg (intravenous immunoglobulin treatment), or pools of antibodies with particularly potent anti-inflammatory characteristics, as well as steroids to calm the immune system. Children with persistent inflammatory issues, or those requiring intensive care, could receive more targeted anti-inflammatories or immunomodulators.
If a child is infected with COVID-19, they generally tend to fare better, only developing mild or asymptomatic illness. This could make it challenging for parents to spot a case of MIS-C early. However, significant community transmission of COVID-19 will likely increase the prevalence of MIS-C, and parents should monitor children for telling signs like a fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, inflammation of the skin, eyes, hands or feet, skin rash or lips or eyes appearing red, Olivero said. Some children have puffy hands or feet, while other present enlarged lymph nodes.
The expert recommended that any parent with concern for MIS-C contact their doctor immediately for evaluation.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been over 2,000 reported MIS-C cases nationwide as of Feb. 1, disproportionately affecting minority populations.