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Thursday, July 31, 2014   12:22 AM   |   82°F

Pediatrics

Essay Contest for Louisiana Youth

The Office of Community and Minority Health Education at LSUHSC School of Medicine is now accepting entries for their essay contest: “What does being healthy mean to me?” The goal of this contest is to allow the children of South Louisiana “to exercise their natural inquisitive nature in exploring health and healthcare policy issues.”

Entries postmarked no later than May 9, 2014 will be accepted and the winners announced on May 17, 2014. First place winner will receive $750; second place winner will receive $500; third place winner will receive $250.

For eligibility and entry guidelines on words count requirements, submission address, judging breakdown, and contest entry form, please refer to http://www.medschool.lsuhsc.edu/essaycontest/.

An informational video has also been posted on YouTube:

Sponsors for this contest include the LSU Healthcare Network in partnership with LiveWell Louisiana and Winn-Dixie.

E-Cigarettes – Poisoning Children?

As someone who took a puff on her Dad’s pipe as a kid (to my everlasting regret), this study shouldn’t be a surprise…

The CDC is reporting a huge increase in the number of phone calls to poison control centers involving e-cigarettes and children under the age of 5. Liquid nicotine to the eye doesn’t sound good.

CDC Infographic

CDC Infographic

Introducing VisualDx: A New Tool for Clinicians

Thanks to the School of Medicine Office of Student Technology, LSUHSC now has access to a new web-based clinical application designed to aid in visual diagnosis and patient education.

VisualDx?á allows point-of-care assistance for the user. The differential builder, diagnosis search, and medication search provide the information necessary to compare symptoms, visual cues, diagnosis, and treatment options. The VisualDx image bank contains over 25,000 medical images of diseases of the skin, hair, nails, eyes, lungs, etc. and shows variations by age, skin type, and stage.

You can watch a video overview of the application here:?áhttp://www.visualdx.com/features/video-overview.

Access to VisualDx is currently available through August 2014 for use on campus as well as off-campus for those with remote access privileges.?áSupported browsers are Internet Explorer 7+, Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. VisualDx also supports mobile wireless devices with a 3G or 4G connection.

Blow Guns & Teenage Boys

National Public Radio (NPR) reported yesterday on a?áPediatrics eFirstarticle. Teen boys are finding blow gun direction on the internet and accidentally inhaling the darts. Over three months, the same Ohio hospital had three patients with issues.

On a similar note, the?áCenters for Disease Control?á(CDC) released statistics in June about regarding Homemade Chemical Bomb Incidents.

Link to the Pediatrics full-text is available to LSUHSC faculty, staff & students. It can be accessed off-campus with a valid LSUHSC library barcode & PIN. You can find more information at our remote access webpage. Link to the USMMWR is available to anyone as a government publication.

Rowena Spencer at age 91

Retired faculty member Rowena Spencer is back in the American Medical Student Association blog, On Call, on the occasion of her 91st birthday which will be July 3rd.

Toys~4~Tots!

 

PIG (Pediatric Interest Group) is sponsoring a toy drive.?á Drop off boxes are in Lecture Halls A & B on the 1st floor of the MEB. Last day to donate is Tuesday December 18th, so hurry!

This Month in History: Dr. Rowena Spencer and Her Little Chickens

Despite the resemblance, Dr. Rowena Spencer explains, children are not tiny adults; indeed, ÔÇ£Children are like little chickens. They like to know their way around.ÔÇØ As one of the first women in the country to specialize in pediatric surgery as well as the first woman appointed to the surgical staff at the LSU Medical Center and the first female surgeon in the state of Louisiana, Dr. Spencer proved a wonderful asset to any hospital. Her bedside manner set her apart as a surgeon of unparalleled worth.

Dr. Spencer preferred to take a lighter approach to her smaller patientsÔÇöbeing a friend instead of a threat; as a 1960 Times-Picayune article describes, ÔÇ£She is not above bribing a youthful patient with a nickel or a piece of candy.ÔÇØ And when asked in a recent interview about the most satisfying part of her work, she answered, ÔÇ£Holding the babies. I love babies more that a mule can kick.ÔÇØ

A forerunner for females in the surgical arena, Dr. Spencer faced some adversity, though she did not appear to dwell on this issue. She persevered to become a respected member of the medical community at a point in history rife with tension over not only the presence of women in the medical field but also African-Americans. At Johns Hopkins University, where she earned her M.D. in 1947, Spencer was in good company. She studied under Dr. Alfred Blalock and his laboratory technician, Vivien Thomas. Thomas, an African-American with little formal education, played an integral role in helping save those suffering from ÔÇ£blue baby syndrome.ÔÇØ Another partner in this discovery was Helen Taussig, founder of the field of pediatric cardiology and first female president of the American Heart Association. The work of Blalock, Thomas, and Taussig on the heart is immortalized in a PBS production, ÔÇ£American Experience: Partners of the HeartÔÇØ(2002), and in a Hollywood production, Something the Lord Made (2004). Dr. Spencer would continue their work on infant patients, making a name for herself as an authority on conjoined twins.

Examples of her work include many articles such as: ÔÇ£Parasitic Conjoined Twins: External, Internal, and DetachedÔÇØ and ÔÇ£Congential Heart Defects in Conjoined Twins.ÔÇØ An autographed copy of her text, Conjoined Twins: Developmental Malformations and Clinical Implications, is available for checkout at the Library. Dr. Spencer has also had the honor of being featured in a publication entitled, Louisiana Women: Their Lives and Times. Her chapter, ÔÇ£A Study of Changing Gender Roles in Twentieth-Century Louisiana MedicineÔÇØ by Bambi L. Ray Cochran, appears alongside essays on Marie Therese Coincoin, Oretha Castle Haley, and many others in a fitting tribute to their contributions. Dr. Spencer recently celebrated her 90th birthday.

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

Children and Diabetes

NPR ran a story this morning about the troubling rise in diabetes rates in adolescents.?á According to a CDC study the rates of diabetes in youths aged 12-19 has risen alarmingly.

LSUHSC’s own Dr. Melinda Sothern commented in the story about the concerns of the high rates of diabetes in adolescent girls in particular:

These are teen girls ÔÇö adolescent girls ÔÇö who are going to become mothers in the next five to 10 years. And if their weight is not healthy, we’re going to have another generation of these children with metabolic problems that lead to diabetes and prediabetes

Obesity in children is a hot topic right now and is something that concerns all of us, not just those with children.?á A report on economic costs of diabetes states:

Approximately $1 in $10 health care dollars is attributed to diabetes. Indirect costs include increased factors such as absenteeism, reduced productivity, and lost productive capacity due to early mortality.

FYI, LSUHSC has another connection to the NPR story. The accompanying photo on NPR’s website was taken by Director of Information Services, Leslie Capo.

 

Remarkable Woman in Medicine

An obituary for Dr. Ruth Aleman, a revered New Orleans pediatrician, was recently added to the LOUISana Digital Library. Dr. Aleman made amazing strides for women in medicine in the early 1900ÔÇÖs, most noted is her status of being the only woman to head staff at Hotel Dieu.

Over a span of many years Dr. Aleman served as nurse during World War I, graduated from Medical School and worked as an instructor of pediatrics at the Hotel Dieu School of Nursing and Tulane University. For sixteen years she participated in private practice and between 1930 and 1945 she remained a visiting physician at Charity Hospital.

To read more about her accomplishments before her death on November 11, 1958 visit the LOUISiana Digital Library Collection or click here.

Interestingly enough, Dr. Aleman is also a relative of one of the circulation associates at the John P. Isch?® Library.

Call to Action: Breastfeeding

Last week, the US Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin released a Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding. This call to action was aimed at families, communities, employers and health care professionals to improve breastfeeding rates and increase support for breastfeeding. Download the complete report and the fact sheet.