Roanoke, Virginia

why I do what I do

On the inpatient pediatric unit, where I work as an occasional pediatric hospitalist, one can generally find all ages and sizes of infants, children and adolescents, with all sorts of medical and surgical problems. The role of the hospitalist is to be the general pediatrician for inpatients on our unit. We directly supervise a variety of students--medical, and physician assistant, plus interns and residents. We work side-by-side with our nursing and nurse practitioner colleagues, as well as respiratory, physical, occupational  and speech therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, social workers, case managers, chaplains, child life specialists, and others that I may have neglected to mention.

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sudden infant death related to in utero smoke

My office is on the 13th floor of Roanoke Memorial Hospital.  I take the elevator that stops directly in front of the Labor and Delivery unit. Usually a happy place, this is where babies are born. It is also where mothers are admitted if they are in premature labor, placed on drugs to stop the contractions, and gain some time for the infant to mature before birth.

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alcohol energy drinks

Canned drinks that combine alcohol--usually a malt beverage --with caffiene have been in the news of late. You may have seen this article in the Roanoke Times: As adolescents and young adults ingest these drinks, they are turning up in Emergency Departments around the country. Some states have already banned the sale of one or more of the energy drinks, and others are considering doing so. Colleges are banning the drinks and/or warning their students about the dangers.

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celebration of quality and patient safety

I was honored today to be invited to share in the celebration of quality in the Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This is the 60-bed unit that provides care to our most vulnerable patients. It is the largest intensive care unit in our hospital, and is the third largest such unit in the State of Virginia (Inova Fairfax NICU has 72 beds in Northern Virginia, and Children's Hospital of the Kings Daughters (CHKD) has 62 beds.

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do you need another reason to get a flu shot?

If you need another reason to obtain a flu shot for yourself or your child this year (and EVERY YEAR) I would like to share some newly available information on the impact of "seasonal influenza" on children. An article in this month's (November) issue of The Journal of Pediatrics by Drs.

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halloween at CCHC

 I just love working on the pediatric inpatient unit! In (I suspect) every children's hospital around the country, thousands of doctors, nurses and other staff dressed up in halloween garb on Friday or Sunday or both. Our children at CCCH had the opportunity to engage in a little bit of halloween fun despite having to spend the day or the weekend in the hospital. Walking around in the non-pediatric areas of the hospital, people looked at me and either laughed, screamed, or averted their eyes. Occasionally, someone would say; "I like your hat" or "you look cute" but I am not sure they knew who I was or why I was dressed up like a witch with the letters P..E..Z on my dress.

Our team had decided to dress up like CANDY, and you can see a few of the costumes in the pictures below.

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who are you?

It's hard to believe that I wrote my first post on this blog one month ago. So, I thought I would let you know how it's been going.

Seven hundred twelve separate visitors have accessed this blog, resulting in 1486 visits. On average each person looks at 2.32 pages per visit, and stays an average of about 2 and a half minutes per visit. Each day, about a third of the visitors to the blog are new.

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physician (and mother), heal thyself

I did nothing yesterday, well, almost nothing. Nothing important.  Sometimes doing nothing IS important.

I awoke at about 8:30 (usually I am up at 5:15), took my time getting ready and having breakfast, then went to the salon for a decadent "fire and ice" pedicure, followed by lunch with my daughter and baby grandson, a trip to a park with them to watch the ducks and geese, and more of "nothing" when I got home. Fixed a lovely dinner of lamb, rice, portabellos and fresh strawberries, spent some time in my craft room, and then watched a really useless movie with my husband on pay-per-view.

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caring for our youth means accepting them

Today's blog deviates a bit from my usual. I am sharing a video that makes me proud of my youngest daughter,  Rachel Fogel, a student at American University, fighting to prevent bullying of gay and lesbian teens. She appears toward the end of the video. This is from USA today.

As a community concerned with supporting all aspects of health for our children, adolescents and young adults, I urge us all to fight against the kind of bullying that has resulted in the recent increase in notable suicides among gay youth.

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pediatric asthma; a real challenge in management

Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood. Continuing on a theme we started yesterday, talking about children with chronic disease, I was very interested to read an  article by Kevin Dubrowski and colleagues from this month's edition of Pediatrics about one way to follow children with this disease, called spirometry.

I have asked my colleague, Dr. Andre Muelenaer, head of the Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital section of pediatric pulmonology and allergy, to comment on this article. Here is what he has to say:

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