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

Showing posts from: Recent News

Juvenile Diabetes and ProBiotics – Yogurt, Bacteria and Children

The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study holds a deep interest for me—really everything about type 1 diabetes. And has, actually, from the very first clinical years of medical school.

Service with Dr. Marv Rallison in pediatric endocrine clinic gave me many early career “firsts” which continued into leading diabetic clinics of my own during my residency and obtaining grants for early studies of hemoglobin A1C (glycosylated hemoglobin)—which eventually revolutionized care of diabetic children and has become the current mainstay of management.
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Do Plants Have Brains?

Neuroscientist Greg Gage—Plants and Brains
Co-founder of “Backyard Brain”

Perhaps you are one of the million and a half people who’ve already watched this video on YouTube about brains and plants—it did go viral after all.

So, what do you think now that you’ve watched the video? Do plants have brains? Greg showed that plants can move when they decide they want to by creating electronic action potentials just like the heart of humans.

He showed that plants can move when they want to see the sun better, when they are touched and when they find something to eat. And, he showed that some of them can actually count and even “talk” to other plants using their action potentials. Does that mean that they have a “brain?”

Parenting: Discipline

“Discipline,” that’s a 200-pound-gorilla-in-the-room topic if I ever heard one!

These days the so-called “do-gooders,” “haters” and “conspiracy theorists” all over the internet have made poor parents fear even the word “discipline”… let alone actually giving it to their child. But “discipline” is different than “punishment” you know.
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Raj Panjabi: No one should die because they live too far from a doctor

Access to health care is a crisis for a billion people on the planet in 2017.

Dr. Raj Panjabi
Providing Health Care Where There Is None

Civil war erupted in Liberia on Christmas Eve 1989, now the country of 4 million has just four doctors to serve the entire population; which, in perspective is like making all inhabitants of San Francisco be seen by just 10 doctors!

Worldwide, a billion people lack access to health care because they live too far from a clinic.

Dr. Panjabi’s quest to train community health workers is the only answer to this crisis of intolerable proportions. He was given the 2017 TED prize in hopes that his work training workers can expand to scale for the billion people without health care.

Panjabi’s experience training his own workers so far on only 30 proven medical interventions shows that training more could save nearly 30 million mothers and children by 2030.

The statistics show that providing just 30 proven services by community health workers will save 3 million lives a year.

Not too much to ask.

Thanksgiving Dinner: Then vs Now!

It was over TWO HUNDRED years after it was first “eaten” (the dinner) before Thanksgiving (the holiday) became “officialized” in the United States.

Every pre-school child knows about the Pilgrims eating their first harvest meal with the Wampanoag Indians. They might not know the dinner was in 1621 and that Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday in 1863; but, they do know about gratitude and being grateful—or at least I hope they do.
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Refresh: 15 Back To School Diseases

I’ve written about back to school diseases and problems before but it seems that questions and issues just keep the topic alive and asking for an update.

This will be just a quick update of 15 back to school diseases your child may encounter now that school bells are ringing again.
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The “Art” Of Caring in Children’s Surgery

True compassion like that of Dr. Sam Rodriguez at the Stanford Children’s Hospital isn’t unique, just rare. A child’s experience with surgery is not the same everywhere; and, I’m sorry to admit, not all surgeons, anesthesiologists or hospital administrators are as caring—even if they are as talented. Compassion for others is a hard thing for parents to teach, as I’ve written about before.

The thing is, except for the gadgets and gizmos, a child’s hospital experience hasn’t changed much in the past 50 or so years. They are still afraid, they still don’t understand what is happening to them, they still feel disenfranchised and out of control… they still respond to people who care.

In the early 70s I felt inadequate next to my mentor Dr. Elwin at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City Utah as he showed me how he engaged his patients in the world of Sesame Street. He had previously met them in the security of their parents close by and obtained their favorite character and flavor. He was now holding them in his arms with their flavor permeating the mask and singing a song in the voice of their character. Before a single verse they were asleep and quickly transferred to the table with an IV started.

My patients I felt were cheated! I bought a tape, listened to it incessantly until I had mastered the songs and voices and attempted the engaging patter I had been shown. Still, I felt inadequate next to my mentor; but, that single rotation altered the way I felt about and dealt with patients from then on.

Dr. Sam Rodriquez
Pediatric Anesthesiologist, Surgery at Children’s Hospital, Stanford

Preoperative visits, favorite character, options to choose from, feeling like you’ve got some control, favorite flavor—a doctor who “cares”; the perfect storm of techniques when a physician combines his medical skills with a love for children.

In the ’70s during it was Dr. Elwin at Primary Children’s Hospital—flavored scents in masks, Sesame Street characters and his “lap induction” technique; today it is Dr. Rodriquez at Stanford—flavored scents in masks, full field video projection and a surgical table that “blasts off.” Same thing—different era… still uncommonly rare and beautiful to watch.

Prenatal Marijuana (Cannabis) and Brains

To my way of thinking the very thought that medical researchers are forced to stop what they are doing on important issues beyond our control and do research to prove that marijuana is bad for you and shouldn’t be used as a “toy” is unconscionable to the extreme.

We just can’t let the scammers and dealers destroy unborn babies like they did pushing tobacco however; so, that’s just what researchers had to do.
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James Parkinson: Social Activist and Advocate, Parkinson’s Disease and Palentology

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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Physical Signs of Hidden Heart Disease in Children and Teens

Once upon a time doctors were almost thought of as wizards; not so much any more and it all has to do with the ability (and desire) to do a thorough physical exam.

No kiddin’. Before the invention of so much gadgetry physicians relied on their acute senses for ever-so subtle clues the body gives when it’s not running full on all cylinders but before a part gives out entirely.
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Guidelines: Fruit Juice Intake For Children

I learned the adage “if a little is good, a lot is better” just after sitting in my pharmacology class and seeing Dr. Goodman hold up a book entitled: “Two For A Horse, One For A Human.”

Most generation of parents eventually find something to get “wrong” (especially if you ask the children) but it seems the current generation of parents is getting picked on… a lot. The latest? Fruit Juice.
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Intussusception In Children – Diagnosis and Treatment

There are four causes of bowel obstruction in children: Herniation, Adhesions, Volvulus and Intussusception. I’ll describe the four (shown in photo) but expand a bit on intussusception—which is the topic of this article.

A bowel obstruction, inability of food to pass completely through the intestinal system unimpeded, can occur at any age and there are many causes; but, time has shown us that we can narrow the most probable causes down a bit based upon age.
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