Medical Alert: BODY TEMPERATURE IRREGULARITIES
Normal body temperature may be altered in PWS (lower or higher) and poor temperature control means fever may either be absent or higher than would be usual with infection or during illness. Hyper and hypothermia can occur. Hyperthermia may occur during minor illness and as a complication of anaesthesia. All individuals are at risk for hypothermia associated with impaired peripheral somatosensory and central thermoregulation. Some may be more susceptible to episodes of sustained hypothermia, particularly in middle age. Preventative measures and close monitoring of vital signs are recommended.
Medical Report: Hypothermia and Prader-Willi Syndrome – An Overview – Barb Dorn, RN, BSN
Medical Report: Phenomenology of Malignant Hypothermia in PWS – Pittsburgh Partnership & Latham Centers
Medical Alert: HYPERPHAGIA
Individuals with PWS have an increased appetite from around age 4.5yrs and become hyperphagic from around age 8. They may rarely feel full and may be consistently preoccupied with food. Supervision around food is necessary. If unsupervised access to food is gained they may quickly ingest large quantities leading to rapid weight gain which is difficult to lose and a risk of choking, gastric necrosis or rupture. Storing food securely out of sight and mind is recommended.
Medical Alert: HIGH PAIN THRESHOLD
Pain signalling is often impaired and can hide the presence of injury or infection. Pain may not be felt until severe. Complaints should be taken seriously and subtle changes in condition or behaviour noted. It also needs to be taken into consideration that a person with PWS may not be able to localise or describe their pain well. Any abdominal pain should be investigated, particularly if there is a chance the person with PWS has consumed unsavoury or unknown quantities of food.