King's Lynn Town Hall to light the sky red
King's Lynn Town Hall was illuminated red for International Kawasaki Disease awareness day last night..
Societi is the leading foundation for Kawasaki Disease which is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in UK children and research shows outcomes in the UK are 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 is the number one cause of acquired heart disease in children in most continents and low awareness of Kawasaki Disease means it’s often initially misdiagnosed, putting children’s hearts at risk of lifetime damage.
A quarter of children affected develop serious lifelong heart damage and the charity calls for urgent investment in public awareness and accelerated UK-led research.
Rachael McCormack, founder of Societi said: "We are delighted that the town hall in King's Lynn, an iconic regional landmark, will illuminate the sky red for Kawasaki Disease awareness on the most important date in our calendar, International Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day.
"Despite Kawasaki Disease being increasingly common, low public awareness means it’s often initially misdiagnosed, putting children’s hearts at risk of lifetime damage.
"We must change this and stop Kawasaki Disease having the devastating effect it has on far too many children today. "We are really very grateful to the town hall for recognising the importance of getting Kawasaki Disease known, to protect children’s hearts from Kawasaki Disease."
Professor Robert Tulloh, paediatric cardiologist, Societi trustee and UK leading expert in Kawasaki Disease said: "We know early diagnosis and rapid treatment are the single biggest things we can do right now to change outcomes for children in the UK.
"To achieve this we need more people to know Kawasaki Disease and for doctors to consider it as a possible diagnosis in any child with a persistent, unexplained high fever."
Kawasaki Disease is very serious as it is fatal in up to three per cent of cases if not treated and about a quarter of all children affected will go on to have lifelong heart damage.
Societi research indicates about 1,000 UK hospital admissions for Kawasaki Disease will happen this year.
Once considered a rare disease, incidence is rapidly rising globally and it is now increasingly common.
Poor Kawasaki Disease awareness is leading to delays in diagnosis leaving an ever growing number of children, young adults and adults living with lifelong heart disease.
That means a heightened risk of serious heart problems in later life and needing specialist care for life.
In the UK today, children’s risk of heart damage from Kawasaki Disease is among the highest in the world.
Experts have linked these high levels of heart damage to lack of awareness amongst doctors and the general public. Studies show the later children are treated after first becoming ill, the higher their risk of serious, life threatening heart damage.
Rapid diagnosis and treatment is key to lowering the currently unacceptable chances of heart damage so getting Kawasaki Disease known is key.
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