October 31, 2020
Nicklaus Children's Hospital is helping treat children with rare illness caused by the coronavirus

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The effects of MIS-C are usually not deadly but can be serious, says Dr. Balagangadhar Totapally (right).

Economic Backbone - Pediatrics

Nicklaus Children's Hospital is helping treat children with rare illness caused by the coronavirus

Amy Martinez | 7/27/2020

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami has carved out space in its intensive care unit to treat Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a rare illness that can appear several weeks after exposure to the coronavirus.

The four-room MIS-C pod includes barriers to prevent cross-contamination within the hospital’s 40-bed ICU, a decontamination corridor for people to pass through and a specialized bed designed to help staff turn intubated adolescent patients.

While much is still unknown about MIS-C, it seems to be related to the buildup of coronavirus antibodies and is similar to Kawasaki disease, another illness that causes inflammation in children. Some common symptoms of MIS-C are stomach pain, fever, rash and pink eye. Doctors say they’re having success treating it with immune globulin or other anti-inflammatory drugs, and most patients recover quickly. In severe cases, however, the inflammation can block blood flow and damage the heart, kidneys and lungs. Doctors say they don’t yet know what actually causes MIS-C or why some patients who test positive for COVID-19 or the antibody get it — and others don’t.

“The mortality rate is very low, thankfully, but it can be a serious condition. We should not take it lightly,” says Dr. Balagangadhar Totapally, chief of critical care at Nicklaus Children’s. During a recent three-week period, the hospital saw a handful of patients with MIS-C, and all eventually recovered, he says. “Overall, we know the incidence of complications of the coronavirus in children is low compared to adults.”

Leadership Changes at Nicklaus Children's

Matthew Love is the new president and CEO at Nicklaus Children’s Health System, a post he held on an interim basis after the mid- 2019 resignation of Dr. Narendra Kini, who led the organization for 10 years. Love joined Nicklaus Children’s as CFO in October 2018 from Mercy Health System in Ohio, where he had been CFO.

Dr. David Seo, previously associate vice president of information technology and CIO at the University of Miami Health System, is vice president and CIO.

Dawn Javersack, previously CFO at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, is senior vice president and CFO.

Perry Ann Reed, previously executive director of WakeMed Children’s Hospital & Women’s Services in Raleigh, N.C., is senior vice president and COO.

 

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