A perspective that comes from continuity of care over many years. An awareness of local resources. A sense of who a family is. An appreciation of the things that give life meaning and value to a child and family. Isn’t this care a lot to offer families of seriously ill children? What happens to all of this knowledge when a child becomes more ill and spends increasing amounts of time ...

Read more...

I wouldn’t say I’ve had a lot of revelations in my professional life, but there is one that still affects me emotionally to this day, and it’s about nurses. I had been a PICU doctor for a number of years, and I was rounding on all the patients in the PICU with the rest of the team. The background sounds consisted of the usual beeps, alarms, and humming from the patient’s ...

Read more...

How to save my sons life: 20 high stakes minutes Once a year, I give a high-stakes presentation in front of a single audience member: my son’s teacher. I have 20 minutes to teach her how to save his life. I need to explain the science of food allergy, list all of his many allergens, accurately describe the symptoms of anaphylactic shock, instill an appropriate sense of urgency and responsibility with one ...

Read more...

From MedPage Today:

  1. Imaging May Aid in Predicting MS Progression. A measurement obtained through MR spectroscopy appeared to predict disability progression in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.
  2. Invokana Monotherapy Promising for T2D Control. The SGLT2 inhibitor canagliflozin (Invokana) may be effective as monotherapy in type 2 diabetes patients who fail to control their disease with diet and exercise.
  3. Less Cardiac Screening May Suffice ...

    Read more...

The day my brother became a statisticThis article was originally published on May 12, 2014 in MedPage Today's Ivan Today. My brother would have turned 37 today. But he didn't. On January 9, 1995, he died in a car accident, at the age of 17. That was the day he became a statistic. I don't usually need any reminders this time of year. If I somehow forget, May 12 is ...

Read more...

Some skills are best learned in childhood, like playing a musical instrument or speaking another language. Sure, you can learn these things later in life, but you’ll have to work harder and you may never play music or converse with the ease of someone who learned young. The same is true about learning how to talk openly with your doctor.  Kids develop their habits and attitudes about health care with every ...

Read more...

Remember the mothers of sick children "Motherhood is the hardest job you’ll ever love." I’m not sure who first coined that phrase, but its truth becomes clearer to me everyday. And nowhere is that truth more evident than in mothers of children with a serious illness. Throughout my years of working at this hospital, I’ve had the privilege of knowing dozens of moms who find themselves within these walls fighting ...

Read more...

Physicians today are challenged with the unique task of navigating the fundamental incompatibility between patient autonomy and the goals of public health. A few months ago, I faced that challenge when my elderly patient declined to receive the recommended influenza vaccine. “I respect my patients’ right to choose, but sometimes I’m concerned that they make choices based on fiction rather fact,” I reflected in a recent post. “It’s been ...

Read more...

My family’s world changed instantly upon receiving Annie’s diagnosis of apraxia and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) a day before her second birthday. Hearing three words, "she has autism," we suddenly faced a lifetime of uncertainty. I knew that I had to embrace my role as a mother of a child with autism, and as an autism champion -- and more critically, find a physician that I could form a trusted ...

Read more...

From MedPage Today:

  1. No Link Between Pot Use and Stroke Risk. There was no evidence that marijuana use was associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke in adolescents and young adults.
  2. MERS Watch: First U.S. Case Reported. Health officials have confirmed the first U.S. case of the Middle East coronavirus.
  3. FDA Panel Nixes OTC Singulair. Montelukast (Singulair) should not be allowed ...

    Read more...