How do you go about building a new medical facility that improves upon current workflow and safety but also anticipates technologies and care models yet to be developed?
It’s a daunting task, and one that demands collaboration among all stakeholders: clinical staff, patients/their families and building architects. A workgroup from Boston Children’s met with consultants from FKP architects to come up with a vision for a brand new clinical building set to open in 2022. As part of the pre-planning process, FKP proposed a bold idea: constructing life-size cardboard replicas of clinical areas for doctors, nurses and patient families to “test” with simulated scenarios.
“There are no disadvantages to this approach,” says Uma Ramanathan, AIA, lead architect on the project for Shepley Bulfinch, the architecture firm designing the new building. “If only everyone could use this level of detail!” Shepley Bulfinch joined the simulation project to observe and record data and insights.
“For architects, visualizing space comes easily,” Ramanathan adds. “Not so much for others.” …Read More
A study last week in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that exposing infants to peanuts can provide lasting protection against peanut allergy. But what about peanut-allergic children right now? They and their parents live a life of precautions — from pre-screening birthday party menus to segregation at the school lunch table — to avoid life-threatening consumption of even trace amounts of peanut.
Now, a multi-center study reports on a protocol combining the allergy medication omalizumab (Xolair) with controlled, gradually increasing peanut consumption. After 20 weeks, most initially allergic children could safely consume the equivalent of 8 to 10 peanuts at a time. Three months after stopping the medication, most had worked up to 16 to 20 peanuts.
The small boost in peanut tolerance may not seem like much, but it could mean less worry for parents who are constantly on guard for even trace amounts of the substance. Our sister blog, Vector, has more of the story.
One in 10 people in their lifetime will have a kidney stone — a small, hard deposit of mineral and acid salts that can obstruct the drainage of urine, cause intense pain and, if not treated properly, lead to long-term kidney issues. Kidney stones are relatively uncommon in children, but the number of cases over the past two decades has risen.
The treatment for kidney stones has remained the same for decades — increased fluid intake, limited sodium intake, diuretics and potassium citrate therapy. Lifestyle factors are typically blamed for kidney stones, yet twin studies suggest a genetic component.
Precision cancer medicine — an approach in which doctors treat a tumor based on its genetic profile, rather than where it is — has benefited a growing number of adults with cancer. It’s not yet a standard approach in pediatric oncology, but the times may be a-changing.