Assistant Professor of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Emory University
Two years ago one of my colleagues sent a reminder that June 21st is ASK day and that we clinicians should support this day as Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physicians. ASK (Asking Saves Kids) is a day that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence have promoted to encourage parents to ask about the presence of unlocked guns in the homes where their children play. ASK day is held annually on the first day of summer, a season where children spend a lot of time in the homes of others. As a PEM Physician I am very cognizant of safety. I ensure that my children are always buckled into car seats with whomever drives them, I ask about swimming pools and pets when they visit others homes and ensure that grandparents medicines are put up when we visit. But I had never asked about the presence of unlocked guns in the homes my children visited. I embarked with trepidation and asked the parent of my son’s best friend. After I completed this uncomfortable conversation I began to reflect if this was a difficult conversation for me a pediatric emergency medicine physician who has seen multiple children harmed by firearms imagine the difficulty for other parents without a similar perspective.read more
The road to success isn’t always straight. Some of the greatest minds and talents in recent history had their share of struggles. Albert Einstein was slow to speak and difficulties in school; Michael Jordan was cut from his Varsity basketball team; Steve Jobs was fired from his own company. Medic al trainees may also struggle to meet various standards of performance across one or more clinical competencies. Identifying the problem resident/fellow and formulating an organized approach to remediation can be a struggle.read more
Even if you have turned off all news sources over the past two years, it would be hard to escape the urgent alarms regarding opioid misuse in the US. The statistics are remarkable.
Since 1999, overdose deaths involving opioids quadrupled.1
2000-2015: greater than half a million people died from drug overdoses.
91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.
1999 to 2010: number of prescription opioids sold to pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors’ offices nearly quadrupled. 2,3
This is compelling evidence that we have a problem—perhaps some more than others. Opioid addiction is a frequent challenge for those caring for adults in the Emergency Department with some centers (e.g., rural) seeing more of this than others. Those who care for injured and ill children are left with two important questions: (1) What is the evidence regarding opioid addiction in children? (2) To what extent is the management of acute pain in the Emergency Department contributing to an increase in opioid related morbidity and mortality?read more
As the days shorten and we move into the winter holiday season, most of us take some time to reflect upon the year and take stock of where we are and where we will head come January 1st.
For myself, this happens to include the pediatric emergency medicine section.
Mike Greenwald, the outgoing chair, has really gotten me off to a great start with the formation of workgroups/subcommittees. We will use these groups, Education, Research, Advocacy, and Clinical/Quality to generate new microsite content, produce section grants and leverage as outreach for new members.read more
The EMS for Children Innovation & Improvement Center recently reached out to the Texas Pediatric Society Foundation (TPSF) to request that they set up an Emergency Relief/Recovery giving category targeting the special needs of children post disaster. The mission of the TPSF is to enhance the well-being of Texas children by supporting efforts to help improve their health, safety and education and to make a positive impact on their lives and futures.
The funds collected by the TPSF for Emergency Relief/Recovery will be provided in the form of grants to emergency relief and recovery efforts conducted by physicians, community advocates and other child advocacy organizations in Texas during times of a natural disaster such as a hurricane, flood, fire, earthquake and other emergency events. To find out more about the TPSF visit their website at https://txpeds.org/tps-foundation. To make a donation to the TPSF Emergency Relief/Recovery giving category use the online form.read more