Health and Safety

All Articles in the Category ‘Health and Safety’

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Helps Teens With Concussion-Related Mental Health Problems

A new study published in JAMA Network Open shows that providing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as part of a collaborative care model for youth who have experienced persistent post-concussive symptoms (PPCS) offers a promising treatment to alleviate symptoms and improve functioning.

Every year, an estimated 1.1 to 1.9 million youth suffer a sports-related concussion. Between 20% and 30% of those experience symptoms that last more than 30 days, including mental health challenges such as depression or anxiety. Yet there is a lack of high-quality evidence to guide best practices for the treatment of PPCS in the pediatric population. Read full post »

COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Update as of Feb. 3

Seattle Children’s is currently in Phase 1-A of vaccine distribution, priority group 2. This means Seattle Children’s active community medical staff are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Seattle Children’s. We will let you when the vaccine is available to a wider group of community providers. Please note that community providers who are part of another health system should expect to get their vaccine with their home system rather than Seattle Children’s. Read full post »

Returning to Two Caregivers Allowed in Inpatient Settings

To improve support for our patients and their families/caregivers, while ensuring the highest level of safety for everyone, starting Thursday, Jan. 28, Seattle Children’s began allowing up to two caregivers in inpatient settings. Previously the limit was one caregiver. In our outpatient settings, the caregiver limit remains one.

Please note:

  • Patients in single rooms can have up to two caregivers in their room around the clock.
  • Patients in double rooms can have up to two caregivers in their room during visiting hours (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and one caregiver overnight.
  • Patients in ambulatory, urgent care and surgical settings may have one caregiver with them.
  • Patients in the Emergency Department may have up to two caregivers with them.

Adolescent Vaccinations Plummeted In 2020: How You Can Help Improve Rates in 2021

Washington state’s vaccination rates in 2020 fell an alarming 37% for 11- and 12-year-olds and 35% for 13- to 17-year-olds. It is more important than ever to ensure youth are receiving the preventive care they need.

Clinics in King County are invited to boost their vaccination rates by participating in the WA-CHIP learning collaborative. Over a nine-month period, starting in March 2021, clinics will identify opportunities to increase adolescent vaccinations, implement improvements, receive regular data and coaching and participate in a community of clinics working toward the same goals. Read full post »

Getting the COVID-19 Vaccines to Healthcare Workers and Children: A Q&A With Dr. Danielle Zerr

Dr. Danielle Zerr is medical director of infection prevention at Seattle Children’s.

Is vaccination underway at Seattle Children’s?

Dr. Zerr: Yes. We are pleased to say that Seattle Children’s began vaccinating its workforce for COVID-19 on Dec. 16, 2020. To date, we have received four shipments of the Pfizer vaccine (975 doses each) .  We expect the vaccine supply allocated to us by the Washington State Department of Health to arrive in weekly shipments. Like other healthcare systems in Washington, Seattle Children’s has limited information at this time about the types and quantities of vaccines we will receive in the near future. As we learn more, we will share.

We rely on information from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and state and local public health authorities to guide our decisions on safe and equitable distribution of our vaccine supply. Read full post »

COVID-19: Updates on Patient Caregiver Policies in the Hospital, Preprocedure Testing and Accepting Young Adult Transfers From Other Hospitals

Patient Caregiver Policies in the Hospital

Due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in our region and nationally, Seattle Children’s is returning to stricter guidelines regarding visitors in order to protect the health and safety of our patients, families and workforce.

Patients in both our inpatient and ambulatory settings will only be allowed a single caregiver effective Monday, Nov. 30.

Inpatient care visitor policy update:

  • All families may identify two caregivers for their child’s inpatient stay.
  • Only one caregiver may be at the bedside at a time.
  • The two caregivers will remain the primary caregivers for the entirety of the hospitalization.
  • The following exceptions will continue to apply:
    • Caregivers of patients at the end of life may request an exception
    • Patients whose caregivers are receiving discharge teaching
    • Siblings who are younger than 12 months of age and who are breastfeeding may remain in a room with the breastfeeding parent if the patient is in standard precautions

Read full post »

Mental Health Referral Service for Kids: Additional Capacity Coming in January

Research shows that COVID-19 is taking the greatest mental health toll on children and teens ages 11 to 17. Demand for counseling and treatment for this age group is high and growing. Washington’s Mental Health Referral Service for Children and Teens receives about 20 calls a day from families needing help, and the wait time to be connected to an available provider in their community is currently about 9 weeks. The service is adding more staff in January and hopes to bring wait times down to the two-week level of this summer.

“We recommend families not be daunted by the current wait and call us right away to start the process,” says Ana Clark, manager of the Partnership Access Line program (PAL). “We provide education over the phone and can get them started on the right track. Some families are able to find providers on their own after our initial guidance and recommendations. And for those families who need a little more help, they will be added to our wait list and helped as soon as we are able. Our goal is to help families as quickly as possible.” Read full post »

Accessing Youth Mental Health Services and Support During COVID-19: A Q&A With Erika Miller, BSN, RN-BC; Kashi Arora; and Sophie King, MHA

Erika Miller is the clinical practice manager of Psychiatry Consult Services and Emergency Department Mental Health, Seattle Children’s. Kashi Arora is the mental and behavioral health project manager with Community Health, Seattle Children’s. Sophie King is the supervisor of program operations for triage and the Crisis Care Clinic, Seattle Children’s.

Q: What mental health services does Seattle Children’s offer?

A: We offer short-term, outpatient mental health services through our Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine (PBM) team. We start with a diagnostic evaluation to determine the patient’s needs and the evidence-based interventions recommended for these needs. We also discuss with families where it would be most helpful to receive care (either at Seattle Children’s or in the community).

In order to provide equitable and efficient care, many of our treatment programs operate using a stepped care model. They begin with a group or class for patients/caregivers, followed by short-term individual therapy as needed. Capacity for individual therapy is very limited. For youth pursuing medication, we offer a brief consultation model. We do not provide long-term therapy or medication management. Read full post »

Seattle Children’s Sees Early Spike in Fall Mental Health Visits to ED

An autumn uptick in mental health visits to the ED is normal as school begins and days darken. This year the surge began unexpectedly early at Seattle Children’s, in August, with about 20 more visits to the ED for mental health concerns than in the previous year. September and October ED numbers are holding steady so far compared to prior years. The difference is the acuity. More kids are arriving with mental health concerns who require admission.

“We all feared the effect that isolation, the pandemic and general societal stress would have on kids,” says Russ Migita, MD, clinical director of Emergency Services. “It’s because of the great work PCPs are doing to support kids and their families that we aren’t seeing even higher numbers in the ED yet. But the busy season is just beginning. We all need to work together to advocate for more resources and options for patients and families in the community.” Read full post »

How to Talk About Firearm Safety

A Q&A With Drs. Mark Del Beccaro and Fred Rivara

A child or teen is killed by a firearm every nine days in Washington, and firearms are the third leading cause of injury-related death in our state behind poisoning and falls – and ahead of motor vehicle crashes. In 2016, 3,155 children and teens in the United States died of firearm-related causes.

Most of these shootings occur in or around the home. One out of every three homes with children in the United States has a firearm. Many of these firearms are kept unlocked or loaded.

Children and teens are at the greatest risk of unintentional death, injury and suicide by firearm. Young children are naturally curious. They explore in drawers, cabinets and closets. Some older children and teens view firearms as signs of power. Others struggle with depression and thoughts of self-harm and live in households where firearms may be accessible.

Physicians may not always feel comfortable screening for the presence of firearms in the homes of caregivers or places where the child visits due to lack of training and perceived parent discomfort when discussing the subject.

A 2016 study found that fewer than 15% of physicians regularly ask caregivers screening questions about firearm safety. Yet, with national attention on recent school shootings, ongoing political dialogue and the opportunity to protect families with safe storage, pediatrician interest in discuss the subject with families may be changing. Read full post »