On the Pulse

What Parents Should Know About Monkeypox

With cases of the monkeypox virus (MPV) being reported across the country, many parents have questions about how to keep their kids as safe as possible.

The MPV infection can cause an illness that includes rashes and other symptoms like fever, chills, headache and exhaustion, among others, and is passed by close, prolonged skin-to-skin contact. Pediatric cases are among a very small number of cases in the country and in general, children are at very low risk of getting monkeypox in their normal daily interactions, including at school.

Dr. Sara Vora, an infectious disease expert at Seattle Children’s, shares what parents should know about MPV and the measures they can take to reduce the risk of infection in children.

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Neonatal Telehealth Takes Geography out of the Equation to Save Lives

On December 30, 2021, Kelsey Schleppy gave birth to her baby girl, Maleila. Within days of taking her home, Kelsey’s intuition told her something wasn’t right. Her pediatrician assured her Maleila’s shallow breathing and lack of appetite wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, but Kelsey kept a watchful eye, nevertheless. One morning, Kelsey noticed Maleila deteriorating rapidly and made the decision to call 911.

By the time they arrived at their local hospital in Skagit Valley, Maleila no longer had a pulse. She was rushed into Emergency Department (ED) where the team performed chest compressions to resuscitate her. The team also needed to give her epinephrine, but the standard method of inserting an IV in a vein in her arm or leg wasn’t working.

At the same time, many miles away, Dr. Rachel Umoren, Medical Director of Inpatient Telehealth at Seattle Children’s and Associate Professor & Associate Division Head for Research, Neonatology at UW, was the scheduled on-call doctor for Seattle Children’s Telehealth Services. She received a call from Skagit Valley Hospital and dialed into the portable device positioned facing Maleila’s bed.

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A Pediatrician’s Guide to Understanding Toddler Tantrums

Parents often find themselves with countless questions about tantrums. What are they? Is this normal? When will my toddler grow out of this? How should I respond? To help provide guidance, Dr. Mollie Grow, a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s, discusses what caregivers should understand about toddler tantrums and addresses some of the most common misconceptions.

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Seattle Children’s Sickle Cell Disease Program Expands and Seeks to Diversify Care for Patients

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of blood conditions that affect hemoglobin, the part of red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells in the body. In the United States, most people with SCD are of African or Hispanic heritage. However, the disease can affect anyone, especially people of southern European, Middle Eastern or Asian Indian heritage.

Seattle Children’s and Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) team have been treating patients with SCD for more than two decades. In that time, many lessons have been learned and as a result a new integrated Center of Excellence has been created for the care of patients with SCD at the hospital campus and at OBCC Othello, led by the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and OBCC. As part of this Center of Excellence, a roadmap of program enhancements are in place to make progress towards improving and growing the Seattle Children’s Sickle Cell Disease Program to better serve patients with SCD and their families.

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Partnering with Biotechs to Save Lives

Dr. David Rawlings, director of Seattle Children’s Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies and a scientific co-founder of GentiBio

Biotechnology start-up GentiBio — a Seattle Children’s Research Institute spin-out — announced a multi-year collaboration with global pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb, the latest success story in the research institute’s rapid development of therapies and technologies that change children’s lives. Spin-off companies and biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry collaborations are a critical part of accelerating and expanding the reach of these innovations. 

GentiBio is collaborating with Bristol Myers Squibb to develop new engineered regulatory T cell (Treg) therapies to re-establish immune tolerance and repair tissue in patients living with inflammatory bowel diseases, which cause debilitating and life-threatening chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Current therapies are largely focused on systemic anti-inflammatories and broad immunosuppression, which can cause adverse effects and are not curative.  

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A Family Finds Answers in Seattle Children’s CRMO Program

Thanks to the Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis (CRMO) Program at Seattle Children’s, a family found answers and treatment for their son’s pain. Now that the symptoms associated with the disease are under control, Seth Maharry is able to focus on doing things he loves most— like playing guitar.

From an early age, Seth Maharry has been an active kid. He started playing soccer at age 4, joined Little League at 5 and by the time he was 9, Seth earned a spot on a club team in Gig Harbor, Washington where he played soccer year-round. During a tournament in Portland, Oregon, Seth started to complain about the pain in his hip.

“We figured he’d just been playing soccer all weekend,” said his mom Nora. “We saw the physical therapist and they said everything was fine, but it continued to get worse and worse.”

Seth’s parents decided to take Seth to the doctor but were told it was just growing pains, though it was clear to Nora that this was something far more serious.

“That was our battle for a year and a half,” Nora explained. “My heart just ached because I knew what we were being told was not right.”

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Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic Leader Awarded 2022 Physician of the Year by AAIP

Shaquita L Bell, MD of Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic

Dr. Shaquita Bell, Senior Medical Director of Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC), has been awarded 2022 Physician of the Year by the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) for her longstanding commitment to the individual and collective health of Indigenous and multi-racial children and impact within her community.

The distinguished award was presented to Dr. Bell ahead of the AAIP’s Annual Meeting and National Health Conference which brings together healthcare professionals, policy makers and community tribal members to discuss the pressing health concerns of American Indian/Alaska Natives across the nation.

 

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PedAL Initiative ‘Dares’ to Transform Treatment and Care for Kids with Blood Cancer

PedAL leadership left to right: E. Anders Kolb, Gwen Nichols, Samuel L. Volchenboum, Laura Di Laurenzio, Soheil Meshinchi, Todd Cooper

The PedAL (Pediatric Acute Leukemia) Master Trial is part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Dare to Dream Project with one of Seattle Children’s doctors leading the clinical trials for pediatric acute leukemia.

 

For children battling through a diagnosis of relapsed leukemia, moving away from standard chemotherapy and onto newer, safer treatments is something many families are hopeful for.

Seattle Children’s is actively working to identify, validate and innovate how children with pediatric acute leukemia, including acute myeloid leukemia and other high-risk leukemias, are treated through a collaborative master screening clinical trial led by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) called Pediatric Acute Leukemia (PedAL).

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Summer Heat Wave: Four Things Parents Should Always Keep in Mind

With a heat wave expected to impact Washington this week, many families across the state have health questions and concerns in mind.

Dr. Tony Woodward, medical director of emergency medicine at Seattle Children’s, provides the following advice for parents and caregivers about how to beat the heat as well as keep their kids safe this summer.

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No Stone Unturned: Seattle Children’s High-Risk Leukemia Experts Specialize in the Toughest Cases

Josh, Harper and Meagan in June 2022

Two years ago, Meagan stood in a hospital room at Seattle Children’s cradling her 1-year-old daughter, Harper, against her chest. Her fiancé, Josh, huddled close to them and kissed the thinning hair on top of their baby’s head.

A feeding tube was routed through Harper’s nose and her eyes were brimming with tears. Exhausted, she snuggled into her mom’s arms as a photographer took their picture.

Meagan and Josh feared those would be the last photos taken of their baby girl.

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