Critical Care

more than an ambulance

I am writing this post from Boston, where I am attending the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference And Exhibition (NCE). It is always stimulating to learn new information, network with others in my field (I mostly hang out with other pediatric intensive care physicians) and meet young physicians just getting started in their careers.

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trial by fire

I knew I shouldn't say yes. But I couldn't say no.


I was a brand new attending AND his brand new boss.

In retrospect he was testing me. And boy, what a test it turned out to be.  My first introduction to true leadership. My first opportunity to flex my wings as a pediatric intensivist. I hated the experience, but am very glad to have had it. So I agreed to cover the Pediatric ICU (PICU) for a few days so my colleague "Paul" could travel to Europe for a meeting he had neglected to put on his advance schedule. [I never did figure out how he managed to forget he was going to Europe until the day before he left.]

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the problem with patients

The problem with patients is they don't always read the book. I mean, how dare they come in to the hospital or office practice setting with symptoms that just don't fit any known disease, or don't make physiologic sense? These are the kinds of patients often featured on the medical drama shows. They are what make the practice of medicine challenging, frustrating, and fun.

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what are you doing October 13th?

Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital will be unveiling our brand new mobile ICU to the public on October 13, 2011. It will be parked in the lot in front of CRMH and open to visitors from 10 am to 2 pm. This vehicle was made possible, in large part due to the fundraising efforts of Children's Miracle Network. It will help us provide enhanced interhospital patient transport services to the children of Southwest and Central Virginia.

Come out and take a tour of this mobile ICU. Other activities will be going on, and members of our neonatal/pediatric critical care transport team will be on hand to answer questions about the services we provide.

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how adults can save children's lives

We are over half-way through August--"vaccine awareness month" and you are probably tired of hearing me preach about the value of immunization.

This has been a rather eye-opening month for me, as through my Twitter activity I have come to know a number of health care providers, social media enthusiasts and educators who are all invested in improving the rate of vaccination in the population.

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autism and pertussis

As you have probably heard, the US is in the midst of a widespread pertussis outbreak.

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Do we need "disaster champions"?

Today, some of my colleagues and I are bringing teams of physicians and nurses together from many of the surrounding community hospitals in our region, for the first installment in a year-long program designed to build confidence and competency for these hospitals in dealing with children in disasters.

Starting with the horrific events of the 9-11 terrorist attacks the nation has slowly come to the realization that we are not very good at predicting the needs of children in disasters.

This lack of expertise was demonstrated in response to the hurricanes Katrina and Rita. For many years, children were considered (AND NO, I AM NOT KIDDING) a "special population" similar to PETS, that needed a couple of additional sentences included in a manual.

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...and the world of pediatric emergency medicine

Over a week ago I let you know that I was headed out for a number of important medical society and continuing education meetings.

I was planning to write at least every other day or night to share what I was learning and doing; to give you a behind-the-scenes view of how some of these organizations work and what they do. I am sad to report that I have been so busy, and so tired I neglected this blog in favor of more meetings, sweet dinners with old friends, and sleep, when I could manage to get some. Now, as I sit in the airport lounge waiting to make my last connection before I arrive in Roanoke, I finally have a few minutes to catch my breath and catch you up on the week's activities.

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from the world of critical care

Those of you who have been reading from the beginning know that the first week of this blog I made several posts while attending the American Academy of Pediatrics annual meeting. Several of you commented (not in the blog post but directly to me by email or in person) how much you enjoyed getting an insider's look at what goes on at some medical conferences. Currently I am in San Diego attending the Society of Critical Care Medicine's annual Congress which starts on Sunday. So, why am I here two days early? Again, to help do the business of the societies to which I belong.

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