Stories about: Expert’s Corner

Cyberbullying: Detection and advocacy

Cyberbullying-leadCyberbullying is defined as “the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass or target another person.” According to 2016 data, approximately 34 percent of children have been bullied online or through mobile digital devices such as smartphones. Given the number of children and adolescents affected by cyberbullying, as well as the negative short- and long-term health effects on its victims, today’s clinicians must learn the signs of cyberbullying, how it affects their patients, and how to prevent and treat associated health outcomes. …Read More

From EKGs to echos: How broadly should kids be screened for heart problems?

Heart-screenings-athletes

Every three days, a young athlete somewhere in the United States collapses and dies due to an undetected heart problem. It’s a tragedy that Gian Corrado, MD, who works in Sports Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, has seen unfold firsthand. He was an undergraduate playing pick-up basketball when one of his teammates died suddenly on the court.

“It’s uncommon,” he says, “but it’s not so uncommon that it may not touch you. It happens, and we have no effective, efficient way to screen for it.”

There is a lot of interest in using heart screening in young athletes to reduce sudden death risk . The NCAA’s chief medical office recently suggested that it may be useful to routinely perform electrocardiograms (EKGs) and possibly other cardiac tests on some collegiate level athletes. A January 2016 opinion piece on this issue in the New York Times drew a lot of attention. Cardiac screening has also been proposed for other groups, such as children starting certain types of medications.

But there’s widespread debate in medical circles about such broad usage of EKGs. Why is this so controversial? If it’s such a valuable test, why doesn’t everyone get routine EKGs? …Read More

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Medical interpreters: Improving communication and care

Interpreter-ServicesA Vietnamese-speaking family arrives for a well visit and their clinician is English-speaking. Since the family understands some English, the family and provider move forward with the appointment.

During the visit, some aspects of the conversation were misunderstood or completely missed. The family completes the visit and schedules a three-month follow up appointment. Because of the language gap, the family did not schedule necessary, pre-follow up testing because they thought all testing was to be done during the next visit.

According to Teresa Amado, senior interpreter with Boston Children’s Interpreter Services, this is a common scenario — and one that shines a critical light on the need for a medical interpreter during appointments. …Read More

VUR updates: Q&A with a pediatric urologist

VUR-leadThe American Urological Association (AUA) recently reviewed and validated the 2010 clinical guidelines, Management and Screening of Primary Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR) in Children.

Although the guidelines remain intact, the AUA expanded its scope to include guidelines for the screening of siblings of children with VUR and of infants diagnosed prenatally with hydronephrosis.

Boston Children’s Urologist and Director of Quality and Safety, Caleb Nelson, MD, MPH, provides guidance on the detection and treatment of reflux in children, and offers clinical insight on the screening of siblings and those diagnosed prenatally with hydronephrosis. …Read More