Update on the July 8-10 Inpatient Unit Measles Exposure

What Do I Need to Know?

A nurse who works in one of our River inpatient units has tested positive for measles, and was potentially contagious while working night shifts on Monday, July 8, Tuesday, July 9 and Wednesday, July 10. The nurse was exposed while caring for a patient who had tested positive for measles. The nurse was fully vaccinated and used appropriate personal protective equipment; the patient was in appropriate isolation. As part of our standard process, we reported the event to King County Public Health.

King County Department of Health reports that measles is preventable with the safe and highly effective MMR vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two doses of the MMR vaccine are more than 95% effective in preventing measles and that protection is long lasting.

If your patient or family has a concern regarding measles, please direct them to visit the King County Public Health website. This is also an excellent resource for you and your staff if you have questions.

Read full post »

June 22, 25, 26 Emergency Department Measles Exposure

A patient who arrived at our Emergency Department (ED) on June 22, June 25 and June 26 has tested positive for measles. During each visit, ED staff members followed the appropriate screening processes but the patient’s symptoms did not suggest measles until their third visit on June 26. Immediately, we implemented infection control procedures, which include isolating the patient and their family. As part of our standard process, we reported the event to King County Public Health.

What do I need to know?

We are currently contacting the families of patients who may have been exposed, providing information about exposure dates and disease symptoms. If your patient or family has a concern, please direct them to visit the King County Public Health website at kingcounty.gov/measles.

Innovative Care Models for Sports Injuries, Concussions and Physical Therapy

The team of physicians and athletic trainers in Seattle Children’s Sports Medicine Program leads the way nationally with programs designed to prevent injuries among young athletes.

The Sports Medicine Program includes a team of providers with specialized expertise: two pediatric sports surgeons, a physiatrist and five pediatricians who all possess fellowship training in sports medicine, and three sports medicine-trained physician assistants.

These experienced providers work with more than 40 certified athletic trainers in the Athletic Trainers Program – the largest program of its kind in the country – who monitor the health and safety of young athletes at more than 300 school and community sporting events annually. All of the clinicians in our Sports Medicine Program understand the specific physical and psychosocial challenges of sports injuries, either because they were athletes themselves or have worked with elite international- and Olympic-level competitors. Read full post »

A Comprehensive Approach to Cerebral Palsy

Seattle Children’s is one of the top treatment destinations in the country for children with cerebral palsy, a distinction made possible by the collaboration and expertise of surgeons and physicians.

Families of children with cerebral palsy seeking treatment at Seattle Children’s have access to a breadth of expertise unique to the Pacific Northwest.

The Cerebral Palsy Program includes a complete array of specialists. An orthopedic surgery team, which includes seven surgeons experienced in lower extremity, two surgeons experienced in upper extremity and four surgeons experienced in spine, performs single-event multilevel orthopedic surgery (SEMLS) along with a number of other procedures to address high tone and shortened muscles.

The program’s nationally and internationally recognized neurosurgeons have expertise in intrathecal baclofen pumps, selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) and hemispherectomy for children with intractable seizures. Read full post »

Groundbreaking Research at Seattle Children’s Improving Bone Tumor and Sarcoma Treatment

Research into tumor paint, glue embolization treatments and other fields of oncology care has allowed practitioners in the Bone Tumor and Sarcoma Clinic to provide unparalleled cancer care to children in the Pacific Northwest.

The Bone Tumor and Sarcoma Clinic is one of the first of its kind in the U.S. in which orthopedic surgeons and oncologists work side by side in the same program. The clinic’s expertise includes two surgeons with fellowship training in both pediatric orthopedics and musculoskeletal surgical oncology and a third with training in both pediatric and adult musculoskeletal oncology. Their interdisciplinary backgrounds and emphasis on collaborative care has resulted in one of the largest, most comprehensive bone and soft tissue programs in the country.

An emphasis on communication

At weekly bone tumor conferences, oncology, orthopedic and radiology teams review and discuss individual patient cases. An additional weekly clinic that includes a broader group of providers offers another opportunity for clinicians to maximize each child’s progress.

“Sarcoma requires team-based care,” says Dr. Suzanne Yandow, chief of Pediatric Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Seattle Children’s and professor of orthopedic surgery at UW Medicine. “We have to have constant discussions about patients in group settings, and we have an entire team of oncologists, nurse practitioners with expertise in sarcoma care, social workers, and others who attend these weekly meetings.” Read full post »

Teduglutide and Transplants: Moving the Field of Pediatric Intestinal Rehabilitation Forward

The Intestinal Rehabilitation Program at Seattle Children’s, the only program of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, is dedicated to reducing transplantation rates through innovative research that improves intestinal failure management.

Seattle Children’s was one of the largest recruiters for the first 12-week trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of the investigational drug teduglutide for patients with long-term TPN dependence related to short bowel syndrome. Already approved for short bowel syndrome treatment in adults, teduglutide is designed to reduce the need for TPN.

“Teduglutide is the first drug to be introduced to the commercial market that has a sound theoretical basis, as well as supportive preclinical and adult clinical studies, to improve intestinal adaptation above and beyond what can be achieved with the best standard of care,” says Dr. Simon P. Horslen, director of the Intestinal Rehabilitation Program and medical director of Solid Organ Transplantation at Seattle Children’s, and professor of pediatrics with UW Medicine. “Anything that has the potential to wean a child from TPN or even reduce the amount of TPN they receive will improve quality of life.”

Results from the initial 12-week trial were promising. Among 42 children ages 1 to 17, the treatment was associated with overall reductions in TPN, in some cases as significant as 41%. Four children were weaned from TPN entirely during the study.

Horslen and his co-investigator, Dr. Danielle Wendel, gastroenterologist at Seattle Children’s and assistant professor at UW Medicine, are awaiting results from a recently completed 24-week study.

“Teduglutide is a huge step forward in the management of intestinal failure,” Horslen says. Read full post »

Uncovering the Genetic Roots of Pediatric Pancreatitis

Dr. Matthew Giefer’s pioneering research into the causes of early-onset pancreatitis has created new potential for diagnosing and treating the disorder in children.

Understanding the causes of pediatric pancreatitis – a condition many doctors may overlook when seeing children with abdominal issues – can lead to more timely and effective treatments.

It appears that genetics play a bigger role than previously thought, according to research conducted by Dr. Matthew Giefer, director of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy at Seattle Children’s and assistant professor at UW Medicine, and an international team of physicians involved in the INSPPIRE (International Study group of Pediatric Pancreatitis: In search for a cuRE) trial.

The team analyzed 342 children ages 0 to 18 diagnosed with either acute recurrent or chronic pancreatitis and found that family history and mutations on the PRSS1 or CTRC genes were the factors most strongly associated with early-onset pancreatitis. Surprisingly, 71% of children with this form of the disease had at least one gene mutation known to cause pancreatitis. Children with later onset pancreatitis, which generally develops after age 6, were less likely to have these genetic risk factors. Read full post »

Innovative Research Driving Change for Children With Hepatologic Challenges

At Seattle Children’s, the Pacific Northwest’s only dedicated pediatric hepatologists are actively engaged in research consortiums and working to improve treatments for pediatric liver diseases.

Two of these physicians, Dr. Evelyn K. Hsu, program director of the Advanced/Transplant Hepatology Fellowship at UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s, and Dr. Karen F. Murray have spearheaded a number of innovative studies that have improved children’s access to lifesaving transplants and medications. Read full post »