On the Pulse

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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‘The Ultimate Gift’ | Young Girl Flourishing After Receiving Life-Saving Transplant

4-year-old Ruby was born with biliary atresia and had a transplant in 2022 at Seattle Children’s

After receiving a life-saving liver transplant at Seattle Children’s, 4-year-old Ruby Josephine Mwamba is thriving and living a dramatically different life than she was at this time last year.

Ruby was born with biliary atresia, a liver condition that occurs when a baby’s bile ducts do not form normally and are unable drain bile. Bile is the liquid that helps the body break down fats, from the liver. When it doesn’t drain, it can cause scarring of the liver and yellowing of the skin and eyes called jaundice.

Ruby’s parents Melissa and Gabriel Mwamba learned about Ruby’s disease shortly after she was born. At only a few months old, Ruby had surgery to try to correct her condition, but unfortunately the relief was short-lived.

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Improving Urologic Outcomes for Newborns and Young Children with Spina Bifida

10-year-old Stella is a patient at Seattle Children’s

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have teamed up with clinicians at Seattle Children’s to identify and evaluate the best urologic management for newborns and young children with spina bifida in a nationwide study called (Urologic Management to Preserve Initial REnal function (UMPIRE).

Launched in 2014, the multi-site, multi-year UMPIRE program aims to increase the understanding of kidney, bladder health and function, which are closely linked, in the early years. It also brings together a unique collaboration of doctors and nurses from more than 20 clinics across the country including Seattle Children’s Urology Program, which has been ranked among the top 10 pediatric urology programs the United States for the past three years by the U.S. News & World Report.

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How to Discuss Your Child’s Health Condition at School

Back-to-school is in full swing and with each new school year often comes new questions for many parents about their child’s health. For children with health conditions, understanding when and how to best communicate with teachers and school staff about a child’s medical needs, determining the proper amount of information to disclose, and identifying the right programs and services for students who need specially designed instruction or accommodation plans is important but can sometimes be puzzling.

Dr. Ashley Moss, a pediatric psychologist at Seattle Children’s, shares some key advice on how parents and caregivers can talk about their child’s health conditions at school.

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What You Should Know About the Flu Vaccine This Year

Flu season is here. Dr. Annika Hofstetter, whose research focuses on pediatric and adolescent vaccination, especially in high-risk populations, answered a few questions parents may have about the flu vaccine this year for On the Pulse.

Hofstetter is co-leader of the Maintenance of Certification Influenza Vaccination Project at Seattle Children’s and is a member of the Seattle Children’s Influenza Steering Committee.

Beginning Oct. 3, patients can get a flu vaccine during their visit at Seattle Children’s, including at a clinic appointment, urgent care or emergency department visit, or during hospitalization.

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