Shining a light on PIMS-TS
( Paediatric Multi-inflammatory Syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 )
Here is a full list of possible symptoms for PIMS-TS. Your child may not present with all of them. Symptoms do not usually arrive all at the same time, and individually or in small groups they mimic other childhood conditions, making diagnosis challenging. This is why we want all parents to be aware of them, as they are the “first responders” for their children when they become unwell and because prompt diagnosis and treatment for PIMS-TS is so essential for optimum outcomes.
Please note: these symptoms are compiled from information given on the GOSH, EVELINA and RCPCH websites, and also from the experience of families who have been through PIMS-TS. We have tried to put these symptoms in order of most often seen, but please read them all.
Whilst we are here to share our broad knowledge and lived experience of PIMS with you and to point you to a wealth of medical information and guidance, we are not medically trained and cannot be held responsible for any choices you make for your child.
If you suspect your child has PIMS-TS, please seek medical advice asap.
FEVER: any inflammatory response will at some stage involve a fever and this will generally be high (38-41o) and prolonged (3-7 days) and not easily controllable with medication. Fever can easily be attributed to other childhood illnesses and sometimes the fever can arrive later on with PIMS, so look out for other symptoms too.
RASH: A red blotchy, slightly raised rash, similar to hives, can be on any part of the body, but often on torso, arms and face. May or may not disappear if pressed using the glass test. Can sometimes come and go.
TUMMY/ LOW RIGHT SIDED ABDOMINAL PAINS: sometimes swelling only or pain only on touching, sometimes severe pain mimicking appendicitis.
DIARRHOEA AND VOMITING
SWOLLEN NECK GLANDS OR SWOLLEN NECK: sometimes on one side only.
SWOLLEN, RED AND CRACKED LIPS: sometimes misdiagnosed for impetigo.
RED AND SWOLLEN HANDS AND FEET
STRAWBERRY TONGUE AND SWOLLEN TONGUE: Tongue sore and red and pippy like a strawberry.
RED BLOODSHOT EYES/ SWOLLEN PAINFUL EYES/RED EYELIDS: often misdiagnosed as conjunctivitis, but with no weeping.
TIREDNESS, SEVERE FATIGUE, SLEEPINESS OR WEAKNESS: Sometimes unable to hold own weight and having to be carried. Inability to access fine or gross motor skills.
UNEXPLAINED IRRITABLILITY/ CONFUSION/ DELIRIUM: Out of character, change of character.
EXTREMELY HIGH RESTING HEART RATE/RACING HEART RATE/SHALLOW BREATHING/LOW BLOOD PRESSURE: requires urgent and immediate action.
PEELING SKIN ON HANDS AND FEET: Generally, this happens at a later stage, when the inflammatory period has ended. It is still important to seek medical advice at this stage to rule out any organ damage.
PALE SKIN: a grey look, knowing something is seriously wrong.
COLD HANDS AND FEET
PAIN/SWOLLEN GLANDS IN GROIN
RED AND OR SWOLLEN FACE/CHEEKS
MUSCLE ACHES AND PAINS
BLOATING AND CONSTIPATION
LOSS OF APPETITE
SORE THROAT AND COUGH
CHANGES TO TASTE / AVERSIONS TO TASTES
INFLAMMATION OF THE IRIS
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