Author: Ellen Greenlaw

Hemodialysis simulator: An interactive learning experience for clinicians

Last year, OPENPediatrics announced the release of their newest simulator, the Hemodialysis Simulator. It has already won accolades, as it was named a 2016 winner of the American Society of Nephrology’s Innovations in Kidney Education Contest.

OPENPediatrics’ work in simulation has also been recognized through their selection as a finalist for the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Award, which promotes innovative projects from around the world that address global educational challenges. …Read More

Helping Teens with Depression

A recent study published in Pediatrics set off alarm bells for many people who care for teens and young adults. The researchers found an increase in the rate of depression in this population between 2005 and 2014. The most dramatic rise was in girls ages 12 to 18.

Yet, despite the rising numbers of young people facing depression, the study found no correlating increase in the number of teens or young adults seeking treatment. This is worrisome to the study’s authors, who called for more outreach efforts from pediatricians and school health services.

“Overall, I think many Massachusetts pediatricians are doing an excellent job of diagnosing and managing depression in young people,” says Oscar Bukstein, MD, MPH, associate psychiatrist-in-chief and vice chairman of psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital. “We’re going in the right direction, but we have a huge population. There’s really no other chronic condition that affects such a large percentage of the population. And the numbers are rising.” …Read More

Challenging cases: Managing chronic kidney disease using genetic research

kidney disease

It’s World Kidney Day, and at the Boston Children’s Hospital Hildebrandt Lab, we’re focused on improving the lives of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) year-round. Our discoveries about the genetic causes of CKD have a direct impact on patient care. Worldwide, one in five cases of CKD in patients under age 25 is caused by one of 220 genes.

“To date, our research has identified over 80 of these genes. On average, we’re identifying one new gene every six weeks,” says Friedhelm Hildebrandt, MD, chief of nephrology at Boston Children’s Hospital and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. By pinpointing the exact cause of CKD, doctors can adjust the management of the disease and make appropriate recommendations to patients and their families that lead to better long-term outcomes. …Read More

Vaping: The new face of nicotine

Vaping-e-cigarettes

E-cigarettes. Vapes. E-hookahs. Cigalikes. It’s hard to keep up with the terminology but one thing is certain: teens are using these products at an alarming rate.

According to a 2016 Report of the Surgeon General, the number of high school students who have used e-cigarettes increased 900 percent between 2011 and 2015 — making e-cigarettes the most common type of tobacco product used by teens and young adults.

“These products pose an interesting public health question because they’ve been accepted by some in the public health community as a useful smoking cessation tool,” says Sharon Levy, MD, MPH, director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Levy says that framing e-cigarettes in this way has led to mixed messages — and potential health risks. …Read More