Roanoke, Virginia

...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 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.

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allergic to food?

The incidence of food allergies seems to be growing, but sometimes the definition of a food allergy is not at all clear.

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surgery at the children's hospital

 When we think about choosing a place for our child to have surgery we think, appropriately, about the surgeon, and perhaps the anesthesiologist.

Many surgeons and anesthesiologists are able to provide technically excellent intraoperative care for children as well as adults, or exclusively for children, but if that care is provided in a non-children's hospital, something else might be missing. I am including below an exerpt from a letter written by the grandparent of a child who recently underwent a surgical procedure at the Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital to one of our Child Life Specialists.

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it's a nice thing to do

Wow, I can't believe the luck some people have (or don't).

A lovely family was in the process of moving from New Jersey to South Carolina, but were on their way first to Tennessee for the Thanksgiving holiday. They happened to stop in Roanoke and got a room at the brand-new hotel across the street from our hospital. In the middle of the night, the youngest child became very ill with wheezing and respiratory distress. Although he had had problems with wheezing many times during his first year of life, he had not had any problems for nearly a year. His mom was trying to treat his symptoms with medication she brought with her, but it wasn't working, so they brought him to our pediatric emergency department, and he was admitted to our pediatric floor.

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kids need devices too

I spent Thursday and Friday attending the first annual  PMDI conference. Impressive? Well, you probably don't know what PMDI is or why it needs a conference. Guess what? I will tell you.

The Pediatric Medical Devices Institute (PMDI) exits to bring inventors together with medical providers, engineers and regulators to enhance the development of medical devices that are useful and necessary for children.

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