At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it appeared that children were at much lower risk than adults for poor outcomes, or even for becoming infected at all. As time went on it became clear that a COVID-related complication, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), was a threat to children’s lives—but, again, it appeared to be a rare occurrence and so did not garner the attention that it now appears it should have. A study just published by JAMA Network reveals that the number of organ systems affected by MIS-C had a statistically significant effect on mortality—and that Black children could be especially at risk. Working from a data pool of 4,107 MIS-C hospitalizations, researchers noted that mortality jumped from 1% in patients with two affected organ systems to 6% in patients with six or more affected organ systems. Length of hospital stay doubled (from 4 to 8 days), the rate of adverse medication events more than tripled (from 5% to 18%), and the percentage of patients who were Black doubled (from 16% to 32%). Concerns over disparities in provision of healthcare and outcomes are nothing new, of course, and are certainly not limited to MIS-C. In fact, the current issue of JUCM features an original research article entitled Investigation of Healthcare Disparities in the Treatment of Bacterial Infections: An Assessment of a Single Urgent Care Clinic. Read it here.

MIS-C May Be More of a Threat than We Originally Thought—Especially for Children of Color
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