Pediatrics

it's just a little cough medicine....

Do you give cough or cold medicines to your less-than-2 year old child?

Did you know that in 2008, the FDA banned the use of over-the-counter cough and cold preparations in children under the age of 2 years? Did you know that many parents are still giving their young children these medications and many health care providers continue to recommend them?

FoxNews.com recently noted that 61 percent of parents continue to use over-the-counter cough and cold medications for their very young children, AND 57% of the parents reported that this practice was recommended by their child's health care provider.

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it seems every child in Roanoke has a fever

Many apologies to those of you who want to read my rambling posts, in that I have not written for ten days. Whenever I go more than a few days without a post, I feel awful. Unfortunately, the week that just ended was so busy I hardly had time to breathe, eat, sleep or ....well, you get the point.

So, last week was a week "on-service" which I have described in the past.

 This particular week was quite a busy one.

With 24 possible beds on the pediatric floor at the Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital at Roanoke Memorial Hospital, most of the week, between 16 and 19 of those beds were filled with patients for whom I was ultimately responsible.

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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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...another way for kids to die

  On Thursday I attended a meeting of the EMSC Committee for the State of Virginia. ( EMSC stands for Emergency Medical Services for Children, and its a topic we should spend some time discussing in the future). This group oversees and makes recommendations about responding to emergencies for infants, children and adolescents. Obviously a big part of being able to respond to such emergencies is understanding what they are, and ways in which kids can be harmed.

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a new year's wish

As the new year approaches I think that of all the things I do, seeing children in the hospital over the holidays is the saddest. Therefore, I wish for all children everywhere a year (and many more to come) full of health and good cheer. But if good health is not to be, I wish them easy access to caring and informed physicians, who will treat them "by the evidence" but also "from the heart" as they would want a member of their own family to be treated.

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a happy holiday

What's your definition of a happy holiday experience?

 Most of us focus on being with family and friends-either at home or away. Most of us do not think about having a child in the hospital for a major holiday, nor of the staff who spend their holiday in the hospital providing care for those who need to be there.

I would like to post this as a personal thank you......

........ to all the physicians, nurses, therapists, housekeepers, social workers, maintenance folks, food service workers, lab technicians, radiology techs, and the list goes on and on.  If not for all these folks spending their holiday in the hospital, it would be impossible to provide care for those children who need to be there.

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an unexpected holiday hazard

It seems I ALWAYS learn something on days that I serve as the attending physician for the inpatient pediatric unit.

Yesterday I admitted an almost-two year old with a concussion. That isn't so unusual. Toddlers have a way of getting into things. This one, however, did something I haven't seen before, but now I wonder why, because the hazard seems completely obvious.

One particularly attractive type of Christmas decoration, in the eyes of a small human being, is a stocking hanging from a mantle. So, the small human might reach up to try to touch or grab it, and cause it AND ITS VERY HEAVY HANGER to fall off the mantle and onto his head.

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what would you do....

...if your adolescent child told you they were lesbian, gay, transgender or bisexual (LGTB) ???

While many parents would react in various ways, there are potential health implications for youth and young adults depending upon HOW their families behave toward them once they confide in at least one parent about their sexual orientation.

The link below in HealthDay describes a study which demonstrates that if the family expresses a positive attitude toward the adolescent there is less risk of depression,  suicide and substance abuse in the early twenties, as well as improvement in genral health, well-being and self esteem.  http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=646940

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