Paper Trail: Injection drug use, cast-saw burns, LGBTQ bullying prevention and more


Boston Children’s Hospital is at the forefront of clinical research. Stay connected with Paper Trail — a monthly feature highlighting recently published outcomes data and new approaches to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of pediatric illnesses.

This edition of Paper Trail focuses on injection drug use and street-involved youth, cast-saw reduction rates, sleep apnea, LGBTQ bullying prevention and more.


Simulation-based education for orthopedic residents resulted in reductions in cast-saw burns

The actual and potential costs associated with cast-saw injuries include wound care, extra clinical visits and potential total payment (indemnity and expense payments). Through simulation-based instruction, Donald Bae, MD, with Boston Children’s Orthopedic Center, and third-year orthopedic residents Katherine Jamieson, MPH, Christopher Roussin, PhD, and Hayley Lynch compared incidences of cast-saw injuries and associated costs before and after the implementation of the simulation curriculum. Read about their findings in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.


Comprehensive review of the ThinkFirst Injury Prevention Programs: A 30-year success story for organized neurosurgery

Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries cause significant death and disability and are viewed as severe public health concerns in the United States. The ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on prevention education and awareness specifically for children and teens, has had great success in their interventions. National leaders in neurosurgery, including Mark Proctor, MD, of the Department of Neurosurgery at Boston Children’s, came together to analyze these successes and their possible impact on improving national injury prevention efforts. Read their review.


Associations of infant feeding with trajectories of body composition and growth

Could breastfeeding infants prevent later-life obesity? Katherine Bell, a Division of Newborn Medicine fellow, and Henry Feldman of the Clinical Research Center at Boston Children’s assessed the possible link between infant feeding and trajectories of growth and body composition. Read about their findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


Development of a tool to aid the radiologic technologist using augmented reality and computer vision

Exposure to radiation during imaging is a growing concern, especially for parents of pediatric patients who have frequent visits to a radiologist. Robert MacDougall and Benoit Scherrer of Boston Children’s Department of Radiology are developing a tool to expedite imaging by using augmented reality and computer vision to detect errors in positioning and motion before the patient is exposed. Read more about this technical innovation and the effects it could have on radiologic technologists in this PubMed article.


Cessation of injecting and preceding drug use patterns among a prospective cohort of street-involved youth

In the midst of the opioid crisis, injection drug use by street-involved youth has been a prominent topic of conversation and research. The periods of cessation by these drug users, however, is rarely discussed. Scott Hadland, MD, MPH, of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital collaborated on a study taking a closer look at these patterns. Read about how periods of injection cessation do not necessarily mean discontinued drug use in this Journal of Adolescent Health article.


LGBTQ bullying: Translating research to action in pediatrics

Youths who identify as part of the LGBTQ community tend to experience significant bullying that can affect their mental and physical health. Last year, educators, physicians, researchers, community leaders and parents came together for a national symposium to discuss strategies for preventing LGBTQ bullying. October is anti-bullying awareness month; read more on how to address this issue in the American Academy of Pediatrics article co-authored by Boston Children’s researchers Valeria Earnshaw, PhD, Sari L. Reisner, ScD, and pediatrician Mark Schuster, MD, PhD.


Isolated mild sleep-associated hypoventilation in children with Down syndrome

Children with Down syndrome often face a variety of health concerns, one being obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can be associated with hypoventilation. However, Dennis Rosen, MD, and Wai Wong, MD, of the Division of Respiratory Diseases at Boston Children’s, noticed that there is little research on the prevalence of hypoventilation not associated with OSA. Read about their retrospective study and findings published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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