Seattle Children's Provider News

An Update on Seattle Children’s Precautions and Instructions for 2019-nCoV

We want to provide an update on how Seattle Children’s is preparing for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). To date, no Children’s patients have tested positive for 2019-nCoV.

PCPs who are caring for a patient with suspected 2019-nCoV should first contact Public Health-Seattle & King County. If, after discussing with Public Health, the decision is made to send the patient to Children’s, the PCP should first notify the ED Communications Center at 206-987-8899.

The viral respiratory panel used at Seattle Children’s does not detect this virus. If the panel detects coronavirus it is due to a different strain.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They usually cause mild respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. 2019-nCoV is a new coronavirus that was not seen in humans prior to December 2019. For more information, please review the coronavirus information sheet. Read full post »

Three Operating Rooms Reopened; Next Closure Planned for Mid-January

Following installation of a new air handling system in December that required a temporary shutdown of all operating rooms (ORs), Seattle Children’s has reopened the three ORs that already had in-room HEPA filtration.

These three ORs will be closed again for a couple of weeks beginning Jan. 18 to allow for commissioning of the new air handling system.

Ten other ORs remain closed to allow for installation of new HEPA filtration systems in each of those rooms. We expect that work to be complete no sooner than mid- to late- February; however, all dates are subject to change. To respect our patients and families — and to avoid unnecessary rescheduling of surgeries — we will not start scheduling non-urgent surgeries until we have a full go-live date.

We are continuing our extended operating hours at the hospital (until Jan. 18) and Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center and are performing some surgeries at partner hospitals.

For your convenience in fielding inquiries from concerned patient families, we’ve created flyers in English and Spanish about air quality in our operating rooms. Please feel free to print and share them with patient families as needed. Read full post »

GI Limits Referrals for Constipation, Abdominal Pain and Gastroesophageal Reflux; Offers PCP Resources

Seattle Children’s Gastroenterology program is notifying referring providers that patients referred for functional abdominal pain, functional constipation or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are not being scheduled unless they are showing alarm signs or red flags.* They are instead re-directed to their referring provider for care. Patients on GI’s waitlist also are being notified, as are their referring providers.

The decision is intended to provide better access to timely care for those children who most need GI’s specialty care. It is driven by sustained high demand for GI specialty care and the departure in 2019 of several GI team members for other opportunities. GI is actively recruiting new providers and hopes to be able to resume seeing patients for these conditions again in late 2020. Read full post »

Urgent Care Clinics Now Open One Hour Earlier, at 4 p.m.

To better serve our patients and families, Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Clinics in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett and Federal Way are now open an hour earlier on weekdays, at 4 p.m.

As a reminder, all Seattle Children’s Urgent Care locations are open seven days a week, including holidays. Hours are from 4 to 10:30 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. Appointments can be made online the same day starting at midnight or by calling 206-987-2211. Limited walk-in appointments are also available.

Urgent care and ED hours and locations are found in the Emergency or Urgent Care Referral Guide. Read full post »

Scoliosis and Back Pain: A Q&A With Dr. Jennifer Bauer


Jennifer Bauer Headshot

Jennifer Bauer

Jennifer Bauer, MD, MS is the only orthopaedic surgeon at Seattle Children’s whose elective practice is singularly dedicated to the treatment of pediatric spine problems.

She has been selected this year for both the Scoliosis Research Society’s Edgar Dawson North American Traveling Fellowship and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America’s International Traveling Fellowship, both of which will bring her to other leading centers to exchange ideas, give lectures and discuss research collaboration.

What is the basic treatment algorithm for idiopathic scoliosis?

Dr. Bauer: In general, children with curves of 20 to 25 degrees on an upright spine radiograph who still have at least a moderate amount of growth remaining (Risser 0-2) will be recommended a thoracolumbosacral orthosis (TLSO) brace to keep the curve from progressing, as well as offered scoliosis-specific Schroth physical therapy as an adjunct to the brace. This is continued until growth stops. If a child is younger than 5, they may be casted instead of braced. Children with curves over 45 to 50 degrees who still have a large amount of growth left will be offered surgery with growth-friendly implants that allow continued height. These will be converted to a final fusion once appropriate growth has completed. In patients with curves of this size without as much growth left (at least after their tri-radiate cartilages have closed), a final fusion may be recommended. The goal for surgery is to stop a curve from progressing, as curves that reach 70 to 80 degrees affect pulmonary function, and secondarily to correct deformity. The majority of curves over 50 degrees, even after a child stops growing, will continue to slowly progress, and thus these are offered surgery. Read full post »

Autism Center Is Changing Its Medication Management Program; Returning Stabilized Patients to PCPs and Community Psychiatrists

Seattle Children’s Autism Center is beginning to restructure its psychiatric medication management program with the goal of reducing long wait times for appointments and improving overall access to care. Wait times for a first-time appointment are currently one year or more. The medication management program is also actively recruiting new providers to fill gaps left by several staff departures last year.

The new medication management program will no longer see patients year after year for ongoing medication management, but will instead aim to provide a short-term, consultative model that helps patients get stabilized and on the right medication program, then return to their primary care provider or a community psychiatrist to receive ongoing medication management. In most cases, patients would require 3 to 5 visits, although patients needing more time to find the right regimen and stabilize would be seen longer. Read full post »

Amazing Advances in Cystic Fibrosis Treatment

A clinical trial at Seattle Children’s of a new drug called Trikafta has shown dramatic improvements in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, and is projected to benefit up to 90% of all people with CF. Seattle Children’s Cystic Fibrosis Program participated in the phase 3 trial, and our On the Pulse blog describes the research science, the team of doctors and nurses involved at Children’s and the very personal impact on 17-year-old Ellie and her family.

“The first therapy approved for cystic fibrosis treated only about 7% of patients,” said Dr. Ron Gibson, director of Seattle Children’s Cystic Fibrosis Program. “Not only is this third-generation drug more robust, but it is treating the vast majority of patients with cystic fibrosis.” Read full post »

CME Events and Grand Rounds at Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s is hosting three events in the coming weeks:

Wednesday, Jan. 15: Free category 2 CME event, “Pediatric Hearing Loss Evaluation and Management,” Terracotta Red restaurant in Everett at 6 p.m. RSVP to Jen Mueller by Jan. 13.

Friday, Jan. 31: Pediatric Nursing Update Conference. Seattle Children’s Outreach Education Department invites you to register for the 2020 Pediatric Nursing Update, an all-day conference scheduled for Jan. 31 in Seattle Children’s Wright Auditorium. Topics include the latest on school and child care immunization requirements, pediatric psychiatry and behavioral medicine, up-to-date trends in pediatric conditions and more. Breakout sessions will be included in the conference. View the conference brochure for more details.

Saturday, Feb. 1: All-day Practical Pediatrics course for health-care providers at Seattle Children’s hospital campus in Wright Auditorium. Check the conference program for registration details, who should attend, schedule and speakers. Read full post »

Advances in Pediatric Cancer Care: Fine-Tuning CAR T-Cell Immunotherapy to Benefit More Kids

Seattle Children’s On the Pulse reports the hospital’s research teams are advancing the ways hospitals treat pediatric cancer patients with CAR T-cell immunotherapies. For the youngest patients — between 1 and 3 years old — Seattle Children’s physician Colleen Annesley, MD, reports that CAR T-cell therapy is safe and effective in a paper presented in December at the 2019 American Society of Hematology annual meeting. For older patients experiencing the systemic inflammatory response cytokine release syndrome (CRS) as a side effect of CAR T-cell therapy, doctors at Seattle Children’s have found that treating mild CRS promptly instead of waiting does not reduce the persistence of CAR T-cells in the body, but does reduce by half the rate of severe CRS. The finding is likely to change the practices of other pediatric cancer centers using CAR T-cell immunotherapies. Read full post »

3 Operating Rooms Re-Opened: Update on Air Handling Unit Work and OR Closures, Tuesday, Dec. 31

Seattle Children’s has completed the latest step in the installation process of our new air handling unit. That installation work required us to temporarily shut down all the operating rooms (ORs) at the hospital.

After extensively cleaning the ORs and performing air testing this past week, we have reopened three ORs we had previously been using that already have in-room HEPA filtration. Ten of our ORs will remain closed until the end of January 2020 to allow for installation of the new HEPA filtration systems in each of those rooms.

We will continue our extended operating hours at the hospital and Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center. This will allow us to serve more patients in our available ORs while we continue work to reopen those that are closed; we will also perform some surgeries at partner hospitals.

Please note that additional work will need to occur before the new air handling unit can be activated — we will not begin using it until the end of January. Read full post »