MIS-C among return visits for fever in a pediatric emergency department during the COVID-19 pandemic

Nirupama Kannikeswaran, David M. Merolla, Kersten Bond, Livia Philip, Usha Sethuraman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Return visits (RV) to a pediatric emergency department (PED) can be secondary to illness progression, parental concerns, call backs or rarely due to a diagnostic error during the first visit. Fever accounts for nearly half of these RVs and is also one of the most common presenting complaints of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID- 19) due to severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in children. Although majority of children with COVID 19 have a mild illness, severe complications such as Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) can occur. These children are often critically ill with a mortality rate of 2–4%. Initial symptoms of MIS- C are non- specific and mimic other viral illness making early diagnosis challenging. We report five patients who were evaluated for fever and discharged from our PED and were subsequently diagnosed with MIS-C (n = 3) or Kawasaki Disease (n = 2) during their RV within 7 days. All patients presented with fever during the initial visit and three of the five children had gastrointestinal symptoms. They were all noted have persistent tachycardia during the index visit. Three patients presented in cardiogenic shock and echocardiographic abnormalities were noted in four patients during the RV. Significant interventions were required in majority of these children (PICU admission: 4, inotropes: 3, mechanical ventilation:2). Clinicians need to maintain a high index of suspicion for diagnosis of MIS-C especially in those who present with persistent fever and have abnormal vital signs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-186
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Children
  • Fever
  • MIS-C
  • Return visit


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