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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
It's understandable that you may feel upset or frightened to hear your child has vasculitis. But at Children's, we view the diagnosis as a starting point: Having identified your child's condition, we're able to begin the process of treating him so that we may ultimately return him to good health.
In some children, certain forms of vasculitis will improve on their own -- for instance, Henoch-Schönlein purpura may run its course in four to six weeks with no treatment beyond bed rest, plenty of fluids and, occasionally, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. But other children will need medications to control their vasculitis and head off or treat serious complications.
Medications commonly used to treat vasculitis include:
Children with some kinds of vasculitis -- particularly Kawasaki disease -- may also benefit from IVIg (intravenous immunoglobulin).This is a blood product made up of healthful antibodies that is delivered by IV, and can help get the immune system back on track without suppressing its normal function.
In rare instances, children with vasculitis will develop complications that require surgery -- for instance, if an abnormal bulge (aneurysm) develops in a blood vessel wall, doctors may need to operate to keep it from rupturing.
We understand that you may have a lot of questions when your child is diagnosed with vasculitis. How will it affect my child's life? What do we do next? We've tried to provide some answers to those questions here, but there are also a number of other resources to help you and your family in dealing with your child's unique illness, such as:
In addition, there are many groups that help connect and educate people across the country who have vasculitis. Your doctor may be able to recommend which ones are best for your child's specific kind of vasculitis, but a good place to start is the Vasculitis Foundation (www.vasculitisfoundation.org), an international nonprofit with over 4,000 members in 58 countries. The group provides educational materials on all kinds of vasculitis, as well as contact information for local support groups. The foundation also encourages and supports research into the cause, cure and treatment of vasculitis.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”