Harbor-UCLA Pediatrics

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Join The Fight Against Heart Disease: Walk, Design, and Donate! - 10/01/2013

Join in the fight against Heart Disease on November 10th, 2013 when Harbor Pediatrics joins Los Angeles County and the American Heart Association in Heart Walk 2013.

There are three ways to participate:


Join Patty Quan's team and thousands of others as they walk to raise awareness and money for research. Nine spots remain. Click here to join.

Dr. Dickson and Team Awarded NIH Grant for MPS 1 Research - 09/27/2013

Dr. Patricia DicksonPatricia Dickson, MD, has been awarded a grant for her research on mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPS I).

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, has provided a five-year grant totaling $1.5 million. Leading a team of five from universities across the country, Dr. Dickson will use the very latest in brain imaging technology to study the brains of models with MPS I.

MPS I, also called Hurler, Hurler-Scheie, or Scheie syndrome, causes physical and neurological damage. It usually begins at childhood and results in severe disability and early death.

Child Life Halloween 2013 Needs Donations - 09/17/2013

Halloween is nearly upon us and Child Life Services is in need of donations for its annual festivities. This year, Child Life Halloween will be celebrated on Halloween, Thursday, October 31st, with our hospitalized children on 6E Ward and Pediatric Clinic. CoachArt will be providing Halloween themed activities for our kids in the clinic.

Due to strict dietary restrictions, we kindly ask that any non-edible donations be put in trick-or-treat bags. We ask for a quantity to accommodate approximately 50 patients.

Here are some gift ideas:

  • Stickers
  • Notepads
  • Journals
  • Erasers
  • Hand-held electronic games
  • Matchbox Cars
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Activity/Coloring books
  • Rattles
  • CDs
  • We don't want to forget our infants and teen population
  • Gift Cards to nearby food chains for Older Teen/Adults patients

Summer Project: Summer Fellow Records Beating Heart Cells - 09/17/2013

Every summer, the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA (LA BioMed) recruits recent high-school graduates from around the area to participate in their Summer Fellowship program. (LA BioMed is where Harbor-UCLA Pediatrics faculty conduct their research).

Michelina Iacovino, Ph.D.This year, a student in the laboratory of Principal Investigator Michelina Iacovino, Ph.D., recorded an experiment of a dish of contracting cardiomyocytes generated from embryonic stem cells from mice. In the video, you can see the cells contracting in a coordinated manner all at the same time.

The purpose of this, Dr. Iacovino says, is to understand how a transcription factor, called HoxA3, affects the production of cardiomyocytes.

Dr. Tom Kallay & The Simulation and Skills Center Take Center Stage - 09/10/2013

Dr. Tom Kallay on LA NOW

Tom Kallay, M.D. and the Harbor-UCLA Simulation and Skills Center were recently showcased on LA Now, the Los Angeles County regional news program. Dr. Kallay is the director of the center, which provides skills training with simulations using high fidelity mannequins.

The mission of the Center is to promote patient safety and clinical outcomes by integrating simulation technology into the current educational curriculum for all healthcare practitioners and students at Harbor-UCLA.

NICHD Interviews Dr. Rehan Regarding Transgenerational Asthma - 08/29/2013

Virender Rehan, M.D.Dr. Virender Rehan and a team of collaborators recently published a landmark study using laboratory rats, showing that the risk of asthma is not only limited to the children of women who smoke but also passes to grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.

The NICHD interviewed Dr. Rehan about the discovery as part of their series of conversations they do with NICHD scientists and grantees.

"...a large body of evidence suggests that nicotine might be a key ingredient in cigarette smoke that accounts for childhood asthma following smoke exposure during pregnancy. Supporting this, there is strong experimental and clinical evidence showing that, on exposure of the developing fetus, nicotine crosses the human placenta with minimal biotransformation."

- Dr. Virender Rehan in NIH interview

Stuttering Not Deeply Harmful to Children, Says Study - 08/26/2013

Kid talking to adultConcerned parents file into the offices of pediatricians for a multitude of reasons. Many of those reasons are serious, some less so. According to a new study, stuttering should fall into the latter category.

Done by public health researchers in Australia in a study published online today and in print by Pediatrics of AAP in September, the study showed that contrary to what was previously believed, kids who stutter have a higher aptitude in verbal and non-verbal tests than their non-stuttering counterparts. Furthermore, kids who stutter have no ascertainable social impediments.

Study: Delayed Diagnosis for Latino Children with Autism - 08/19/2013

According to a study to be published in the September issue of AAP Pediatrics, Latino children are more likely to get a delayed diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Two hundred and sixty-seven California primary care pediatricians were surveyed on the topic of identifying Latino children with ASD. Ninety percent of the surveyed pediatricians did not do the recommended developmental screenings for ASD in Spanish.

When pressed for reasons for the poor identification rates, pediatricians cited menial access, bad communication, and cultural barriers.

While language barriers are an obvious contributor to the late diagnoses, the most frequent hurdle to timely ASD identification for Latino children was access to developmental specialists. Most surveyed pediatricians believed that parents of Latino children were less knowledgeable about ASDs than white parents.

Even when surveys were done as recommended in Spanish for Latino children, pediatricians said they experienced greater difficulty assessing for ASD, compared to white children.

Brief of Children in the Emergency Department, 2010 - 08/15/2013

According to a statistical brief by The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), emergency department visits are on the rise, and children represent a significant portion of the visitors.

The brief, a study of hospital visits in 2010, estimated that there were over 25.5 million emergency department visits by children younger than 18 years of age. Ninety-six percent of those children were treated and released.

The brief also studied the wealth of communities, finding an inverse relation to wealth and emergency department visits. The study had a balanced representation of all communities, indiscriminate of income, and concluded that children from poorer communities accounted for twice as many ED visits as children from wealthier communities.

Mean age of Children Visiting ED:

  • Infants younger than 1 represented 11.9% of the treat-and-release population and represented 22.8% of ED visits resulting in hospital admission
  • Ages 1 through 4 years: Treat-and-release ED visits, 32.8, ED visits resulting in hospital admission, 26.3
  • Ages 5 through 9 years: Treat-and-release ED visits, 20.5, ED visits resulting in hospital admission, 15.5

Interview with USA Football's Medical Director: Dr. Patrick Kersey - 08/12/2013

 Dr. Patrick Kersey Football season is almost upon us. Not just pro football, but youth football as well. Many seasoned kids have already begun practicing over the summer. Even more will don football pads this fall, when football coaches doubling as PE teachers collar the newest kid to hit a growth spurt and point him towards the football field.

According to a poll released in 2012, 59% of Americans follow the NFL. It's popularity is still surging while the health of its players is more scrutinized than ever. So how, then, can parents feel assured that their kids are safe on the gridiron? And what is the role of a pediatrician in ensuring the safety of kids who play football? I reached out to USA Football and got to ask their Medical Director, Dr. Patrick Kersey, a few questions. I began with the million dollar question:

In general, do you think football is safe enough for kids to play?