pediatric housecalls Robert R. Jarrett M.D. M.B.A. FAAP

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Diagnosing and Treating Spider Bites in Children

It may surprise you, but spiders use their venom when they’ve decided they want to eat—not to scare you off your “tuffet” [whatever that is… do you still have one of those anyway, those are sooo yesterday!]

If a spider rushes out of its hole when their web jiggles to only find something the size of a horse’s head stuck in it, almost none of them (in North America) are going to waste the effort. On the other hand, if something tries to poke it with a stick… all bets are off!
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Immunization Strategy – What The Anti-Vaxxers Don’t Want You To Know

The Immunization Strategy
HIV and Influenza What The Vaccine Haters Don’t Want You To Know

Malaria, smallpox, Polio and some other 30 odd diseases have been controlled by substantial immunization programs — which, it seems, the vaccine-haters didn’t want to happen.

Sitting here in the 21st century, most of us really don’t have a clue how much real suffering humanity has endured in all aspects of their lives since the beginning of time, from malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia, diarrhea, influenza… and the list goes on.

Historical evidence reveals that even less than 100 years ago parents were so demoralized by the amount of uncontrollable disease that they were reluctant to even give their newborn infants a name until they had “proven” that they would make it through life for a couple of year! Can we comprehend what that must have been like?

Then there was the spark of hope when Smallpox seemed to be controllable—Polio, Diptheria, Tetanus… all through immunization efforts.

Seth Berkley is an epidemiologist and the CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the global health organization protecting lives by improving access to vaccines in developing countries. [No, they are not pharmaceutical salesmen—they don’t make money from production or sale of immunizations.]

With more than half a billion children immunized, he is leading Gavi’s efforts to reach a further 300 million children in the next five years and build sustainability into country immunization programs.

Prior to Gavi, he spearheaded the development of vaccines for HIV as founder and CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.

#40 Lawrence (Larry) Einhorn (1942-)

Our number 40, of the top 50 most influential doctors in history, is Dr. Lawrence Einhorn who has less written about him on the internet than any of previous 10 we’ve mentioned—even those dating back to nearly the dawn of medicine!

However, he is deserving of at least as many words on the internet as any of the others—he did invent an (almost) cure for testicular cancer after all!
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Joy, For Only A Quarter

A little girl gives coins to an older and smartly dressed street musician and surprisingly learns about joy in return. The kids these days call this a “flash mob” but what a way to give back to the community.

Additionally, it’s obvious what effect Beethoven’s Ode To Joy gives to the hearer—and makes one wonder why we don’t fill our children’s lives with the opportunity to grow up with such masterpieces more than we do.

Watch the looks on the kids faces and see the definition of joy. I wish I would have been there.

Donny Osmond, Matthew English – Any Dream Will Do

The Osmond family is no stranger to hearing difficulties and has a legacy within the arena of hearing impairment. They not only have proven themselves consummate performers but altruistic humanitarians as well by being integral promoters, sponsors and drivers for the Children’s Miracle Network and the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund named after the mother of the clan.

If you were touched by seeing the innate kindness of Donny in how he treated Matthew on stage, I encourage you to follow the link to the Olive Osmond page and see how they are quietly and without fanfare, helping thousands of hearing impaired children around the world. It’ll do ya good!

You may also want to visit Justin Osmond’s page, a son of Merrill and Mary Osmond who is hearing impaired and has become a noted Speaker, Author and Producer.

5 Immunization-Preventable Diseases Coming Back

Of the thousands of diseases we’ve got to contend with there are only about 24 which are immunization-preventable. Perhaps it seems like more when you’ve got your kids to the doctor for well child care but it’s not.

The CDC and WHO keeps track of these things and that’s all we’ve got. They also keep track of how well we’re fighting them off and guess what—THEY’RE COMING BACK! We seem to be loosing the fight!
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Vaccine Hero’s

Bill and Melinda Gates, perhaps today's most philanthropic people

Ever since Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, gave a talk about “Vaccine Hero’s” I’ve seen more and more “vested interests” jumping on his bandwagon with their own hero lists.

Gates had a list of seven person’s, 6 medical related and 1 business, who he is continually grateful for as he and his wife attempt to ameliorate great inequities and suffering around the world in the area of vaccines and disease prevention.
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#37 James Parkinson (1755-1824)

Dr. James Parkinson was born on World Parkinson’s Disease Day, April 11th 1755, in London, England. Of course he didn’t know it at the time. Come to think of it, neither did his parents; nor the fact that he would become one of the 50 most influential doctors of all time.

Affecting an estimated 1% of people over 60 years of age, what has come to be known as “Parkinson’s Disease” is one of the most common neurologic disorders known today.
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Helmets Don’t Prevent Concussion – Here’s Why

Concussion vs Skull Fractures
TED: David Camarillo explains difference

A ton of great information, right? I enjoyed the talk, even if he seemed a bit didactic and condescending in his delivery. None-the-less, the information that he DID give us is eye-opening and should cause us to pause in our analysis of how we’re going about protecting our kids. Completely being naïve to what we are doing doesn’t do anybody any good and may delay or prevent us from doing what really will protect them.

I completely understand the difference between concussion and skull fracture. And I understand completely why everyone’s first attempts at keeping kids safe was to protect against skull fracture. Obviously everyone makes the assumption, as I do, that decreasing skull fracture is a laudable goal because it intuitively must be related to concussion. But it’s interesting to realize that helmets are only designed and developed against fracture. However, we haven’t needed Camarillo to tell us that our former beliefs weren’t completely accurate. Most of us have come to believe that for several years; but, I’m glad that he and his group are trying to put some real dimension to the study and for that he should take credit.

If I find a disappointment with his talk it would be his appearing to want to take the credit for the discoveries of others in the field; and, his carefully worded dancing around the question regarding what we do now? Did you notice that he posed the question himself, then gave a non-answer… several times. He asked “what do I recommend to parents?” then skated to something like: “I don’t need to answer for me because I’ve got a couple years before my daughter actually rides a bike.”

So really, what DO we DO?! The honest answer is that there is nothing we can do, EXCEPT to do what we can—BUT not delude ourselves that what we are doing actually protects us from concussions. We’ve got helmets that don’t protect against concussion only fracture. We use what we can and look for other things we can do. We all have to decide for our own kids whether or not to let them participate in any activity, situation by situation. At the same time, to actually protect our kids we need to DEMAND MORE of our equipment, rule-makers, sports-organizers, government regulators, coaches, other teams, referees and umpires—pretty much everyone who is trying to turn children’s PLAY into trophy’s, pro-level goals and techniques and, yes, money-making schemes.

Those situations are not easily decided because of the complexity we have turned today’s “children’s play” into. It’s NOT just your coach; but how qualified, tolerant the referees are. Do they simply use common sense beneficial to children or are they just “winging it” or some sports wannabe living vicariously. And the other coach. Is he a complete nut who belittles his kids to basically “win at all costs?” And the schedule, does it suck every bit of spare time for other (let’s face it more life-important or family) activities out of not only your kid but the family as well? And the equipment—and on and on. Every decision stands on its own. Just know that today, there is probably 800 times more regimented activity available than is needed by your child to grow, develop and be happy in his life. You don’t NEED to endorse any sport for them to grow to their best potential.

Robert Koch: Modern Bacteriology

A man after my own heart, Dr. Robert Koch, one of the top 50 “influencers” of medicine of all time, loved to travel—except he had the where-with-all and time to actually do it.
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23 ½ Hours

So, how about it. Do we think we can limit all the sitting and sleeping and TV-watching we do to only 23½ hours a day? The good doc listed a lot of benefits for exercise; and notice that he didn’t give any specific requirements about it other than it’s supposed to be “30 minutes.” That means that you can pick the absolutely “fun-est” thing you can think of (as long as it’s active) and do it for 30 minutes.

We’ve got a huge epidemic of nearly every ailment related to weight and sedentary living going on with our children. Perhaps the most significant legacy you can give your children is a love (at least tolerance) for being active in their lives. NOW is the time to take seriously all the recommendations being given to limit children’s TV (screen) time.

Fever Of Unknown Origin – FUO

It’s called FUO or “Fever of Unknown Origin” and its definition is about as big a mystery as its name. Back during my medical school days FUO meant something different to the neonatologists in the newborn unit than it did to the pediatricians out on the hospital ward.
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