News and Events
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
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?
In a new study published by AAP's Pediatrics, researchers have found that the number of emergency department visits due to children choking on food has increased. An average of 12,400 visits to the hospital were due to children ages 0-14 years of age choking on food -- that's 34 kids per day.
The study points to hard candy as the main food culprit, accounting for 15% of the choking episodes. Other kinds of candy, meat, and bones were also among the causes of choking incidents. The report didn't find a gender divide as boys accounted for 55% of the emergency department visits.
The authors of the report suggest that there be visible warning labels on food to indicate that it presents a choking hazard and to also develop public awareness campaigns to educate parents about the risk of kids choking on food.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). Immunizations are important for everyone at almost every stage in life: from babies to pregnant women, children, preteens, teens, young adults, and adults all need to be vaccinated.
With classes a mere weeks away, students need to remember to get their immunizations. They'll be shaking hands with strangers, hugging friends and kissing loved ones in the biggest melting pot they'll encounter the rest of their life. See your primary health care provider about getting vaccinated.
We all need immunizations to help protect us from serious diseases. To help keep our community safe, Harbor Pediatrics is proudly participating in National Immunization Awareness Month. Shots can prevent serious diseases like measles, diphtheria, and rubella. It’s important to know which shots you need and when to get them.
Virender Rehan, M.D., Chief of the Division of Neonatology, and his team of investigators from the Department of Pediatrics have made a landmark discovery that changes what we know about the lingering effects of second-hand smoke linger beyond what was initially believed.
In a study published online by the American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Rehan, John S. Torday, PhD; Jie Liu, PhD, and Reiko Sakurai, PhD, have concluded that an unborn child can develop asthma from indirect nicotine exposure during the mother's pregnancy. This phenomenon is known as "transgenerational" linkage because the third generation was never exposed directly to smoking of any kind. It was previously believed that only two generations, called "multigenerational" linkage, was possible with asthma.
Last week, we welcomed the Genomic Outcomes division to Harbor Peds as they founded the LA BioMed Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences. The team will be employing a research methodology known as genome-wide association study (GWAS).
What Is GWAS?
A Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) is an approach that involves rapidly scanning markers across the complete set of DNA of many people to find genetic variations associated with a particular disease.
Understanding Human DNA
A 13 year, $3 billion endeavor that began in 1989 and combined the work of scientists across the world, the Human Genome Project sought to map the human genome.
The writing may have always been on the wall for Moin's ascension, or at least ever since he switched specialties to Categorical Pediatrics and came to Harbor for residency where he has been ever since.
Moin was chief resident during his final year as a fellow in the Clinical Genetics and Medical Biochemical Genetics in the UCLA Intercampus Medical Genetics Training Program. "I loved being a fellow at Harbor. Our training program allowed us to spend significant time working with physicians at UCLA in clinical and laboratory settings."
A few weeks ago the USDA released its new standards for snacks in schools that will go into effect next school year in 2014. These new guidelines will form the minimum required standard for nutritional options in cafeterias made available to children across the country. Christine Hoyer, a registered dietitian with Harbor-UCLA Medical Center had kind words to say about the new guidelines.
When asked, she said this is something she and other clinical dietitians have been clamoring for. "Myself and my other team members at Harbor are always trying to increase healthy foods in our patients diets, so these changes [in schools] are very welcome."
The USDA reviewed nearly 250,000 comments from parents, teachers, school food service professionals, and the food and beverage industry when coming up with the new guidelines.
As the obesity epidemic continues to rage on, intrepid researchers are required to tackle this issue that looms over so many and threatens our prosperity. One such person stepping up to the job is new faculty member Yang Lu, PhD., who is joining us as a Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Principal Investigator.
Dr. Yang comes to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center by way of the University of Southern California where she was Assistant Professor of Research in the Department of Pediatrics and Price School of Public Policy, after being a Scholar-in-Residence. Prior to that, she received her PhD in Policy Analysis from Pardee RAND Graduate School where she became a Post-Doctoral Fellow.
When asked what attracted her to Harbor-UCLA, she cited the "supportive environment and the opportunity to develop a research program in health outcomes."
The Department of Pediatrics is pleased to announce that this summer, a new team is joining our ranks to begin a new institute that is focused on improving the health of the diverse communities served by Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Please join us in welcoming Jerome Rotter, M.D., Kent Taylor, Ph.D., Ida Chen, Ph.D., and Xiuqing Guo, Ph.D.
Dr. Rotter and his team are pioneers in their field, specializing in the study of the genetics of common chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Their research is hyper-focused on the effects of these diseases in Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians, facilitating a more personalized diagnosis for patients which reflect the diversity of Harbor-UCLA.
Dr. Rotter and his colleagues will found the LA BioMed Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences. They will make use of core technologies used to analyze genomics – the entirety of a human’s genetic makeup.