On the Pulse

How You Can Support Patient Families Living Paycheck to Paycheck

This is the second holiday season Seattle Children’s Building Maintenance Technician Jerome Ramos will spend with his family in the hospital.

 

His daughter has been in the hospital waiting for a heart transplant since July 2021.  Before coming to Seattle Children’s, 10-month-old Kaelyn, of Honolulu, Hawaii, was experiencing shortness of breath. 

 

When her face puffed up one day, her parents, Jerome and Christine Ramos, thought Kaelyn was having an allergic reaction and brought her to their local emergency department. Providers ruled out allergies, but recommended Kaelyn have an echocardiogram (ECHO) — a common test used to measure heart function.  

 

Shortly after leaving Kaelyn with the technician, Christine and Jerome heard a voice over the hospital paging system: “Code Blue, ECHO.”  “We were in shock,” Christine remembers. “She seemed fine when we dropped her off but when we got back to Kaelyn, we saw our child being resuscitated. It was devastating.”  

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‘I Know What it Feels Like’ | How Meagan’s Patient Journey Shaped Her Career Path

PART TWO: From witnessing exceptional care and compassion given to children in their own lives, to receiving treatment first-hand, this weekly series features Seattle Children’s employees and the life experiences that drove them to pursue careers in healthcare.

Meagan Newman was a Seattle Children’s patient three decades ago

Meagan Newman’s relationship with Seattle Children’s began 30 years ago.

At just 3 years old, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and spent the next two and a half years in and out of the hospital for treatment.

“At the time, my dad was an anesthesia resident at the hospital and he suddenly had a glimpse into the day-to-day challenges of managing care for a child with cancer,” she explained.

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Talking to Kids and Teens about Risky Viral ‘Challenges’

As featured in Good Growing

It’s important for parents and kids to talk about the dangers of viral ‘challenges.’

These dangerous stunts can involve ingesting things, such as biting into a liquid laundry pod or eating an intensely hot pepper. Other challenges can include dares that urge kids to get high or faint by taking several antihistamines, hyperventilating or through choking.

Some challenges circulating in schools push kids to steal items such as the restroom soap dispenser or a teacher’s coffee cup. There are also dares that involve shoplifting specific items from a grocery store.

Not surprisingly, many of these challenges are designed to create sensational social media, urging kids to capture their stunts on video and share them online. These viral moments, however, have caused serious injury among youth, school suspension or even arrest and prosecution.

Social media often glamorizes these kinds of stunts, so tweens and teens can feel the temptation to try them. Youth do not always think through the real risks or consequences, and stunts that seem silly or fun can result in injury. This is true for games like the ‘duct tape challenge,’ which boasts the goal of escaping after being bound by friends in the super-sticky, heavy-duty tape.

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‘Cancer Doesn’t Always Win’ | Sofia’s Personal Connection to “Hope. Care. Cure.”

PART ONE: From witnessing exceptional care and compassion given to children in their own lives, to receiving treatment first-hand, this weekly series features Seattle Children’s employees and the life experiences that drove them to pursue careers in healthcare.

Sofia Carlo was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma as a child

Shortly after Sofia Carlo finished the sixth grade, she started experiencing bouts of intense back pain.

“I went to see my primary care provider who thought I may be developing some scoliosis,” she recalled. “Upon receiving that scoliosis X-ray, I was referred for an MRI because the radiologist noted on my X-ray that I had osteophyte on a portion of my vertebra.”

Osteophyte is an abnormal bone growth, also known as a bone spur. Within a week of Carlo’s MRI, she was being treated at Seattle Children’s where she received a biopsy.

“That MRI revealed a mass growing in my spine. I was then officially diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma bone cancer at just 12 years old and was getting chemotherapy within two weeks of that original scoliosis X-ray,” she said.

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Pediatrician Discusses Steps Parents Can Take to Keep Kids Protected in Poor Air Quality Conditions

For several consecutive days this year, Seattle was ranked among the top major cities with the worst air quality in the world, according to data compiled by IQAir.

As the smoky air covered large portions of Western Washington due to weeks of wildfires, many parents wondered what they could do to keep their kids protected.

Breathing in wildfire smoke is unhealthy for everyone, however children are at extra risk for negative health effects. Infants and children under age 18, whose lungs and airways are still developing, breathe more air per pound of body weight compared to adults.

Dr. Jonathan Cogen, an attending physician in Seattle Children’s Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, spoke with KUOW’s Soundside to share key safety measures families can take to stay as healthy as possible during poor air quality conditions.

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What Parents Should Know About RSV

You may be hearing about a respiratory infection that’s hitting babies and young children particularly hard this year, sometimes resulting in hospital stays. The current headlines are referring to RSV, which is short for respiratory syncytial virus.

On the Pulse asked Dr. Tony Woodward, medical director of emergency medicine at Seattle Children’s, to share information about RSV in an effort to help parents and caregivers keep their families as healthy as possible through this viral season which also includes flu and COVID-19.

What is RSV?

RSV is a virus passed from person to person that affects the nose, throat and lungs. People of any age can get RSV, but it’s most serious for young children and older adults. Most kids are infected with RSV at least once before they’re 2 years old. For healthy people, RSV usually results in a cold, but some people get very sick, developing bronchiolitis, wheezing/asthma or pneumonia.

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Meet Seattle Children’s Chief Operating Officer, Jamie Phillips

Jamie Phillips, Seattle Children’s senior vice president and chief operating officer

 

Seattle Children’s is thrilled to welcome Jamie Phillips as its senior vice president and chief operating officer (COO).

As a leader with over 25 years of healthcare administration experience, Phillips comes onboard with both an exceptional resume and a genuine desire to serve and make a difference for Seattle Children’s patients, families and workforce.

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Secret Lair: Extra Life 2022 Card Drop

Since 2015, Renton-based Wizards of the Coast, a family of studios specializing in role-playing, trading card and digital games, has participated in Extra Life, a fundraising program of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Extra Life brings together tabletop and video gamers to raise money for member children’s hospitals across North America.

Funds raised through Wizards’ Secret Lair x Card drop help Seattle Children’s Autism Center to continue supporting patients and families with program development, expansion, family support and education, training and more. Read full post »


Fetal Care and Treatment Center Performs Successful First Laser Ablation Procedure for Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome

Twins Juniper ‘June’ and Hazel’s mom, Katie Harmston, was the first Fetal Care and Treatment Center patient to undergo a laser ablation procedure for TTTS.

 

Katie and Nic Harmston were distraught as they drove to Kaiser for an ultrasound in July 2021. Katie was six and a half weeks pregnant but was experiencing symptoms of a miscarriage. They both feared the worst.

The Harmstons held their breath as the ultrasound began. After a moment, the sonographer smiled and said, “We have a heartbeat.” Katie and Nic were nearly overwhelmed with relief. Then the sonographer said something unexpected.

“Hold on — there are two heartbeats!”

“We were shocked to find out it was twins,” Katie says. “I just started crying and laughing.”

 

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Spider Bites, Bee Stings and Bed Bugs, Oh My! Creepy Crawler Signs and Symptoms to Watch Out for All Year

Across the country, children both young and old are preparing to celebrate another evening of Halloween, filled with costumes, activities, sweet treats and fun with friends. In fact, in 2021 alone, over 42 million kids between the ages of 5 and 14 went trick-or-treating, according to the latest data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.

But beyond the one night that adults will undoubtedly spot child-sized creepy crawlers scurrying along the sidewalks and near brightly decorated homes and in doorways, many actual insects and arachnids are also lurking all year long.

Parents and caregivers often have questions about what to do if their child gets bit or stung, and when to watch for signs of infection. On the Pulse compiled some resources below to help families stay safe and healthy.

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