2009 News Release Archive
As national influenza rates continue to decline, influenza visits in Missouri and Illinois have also decreased from a high of 12% to a current rate of 4.2%.which is still above the baseline for this time of year. The consistent decline in influenza cases and the increased distribution of seasonal and H1N1 vaccinations have prompted St. Louis Children’s Hospital to modify our visitor restrictions for an indefinite period of time.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital will reduce its electricity usage by more than a million kilowatthours (kWh) per year, thanks to AmerenUE’s Business Energy Efficiency Program. That’s a savings of more than half a million dollars in a decade – money that can be used toward services for children -- and it’s equal to eliminating electricity usage in 74 average Missouri homes a year!
Michael R. DeBaun, M.D., has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors medical scientists in the United States can receive. DeBaun was recognized for his major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health. DeBaun holds the Ferring Family Chair in Pediatric Cancer and Related Disorders and is a professor of pediatrics, biostatistics and neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He runs the sickle cell program at St. Louis Children's Hospital.
Influenza cases are increasing in our community, and 75% of influenza-like illness is occurring in people less than 18 years old in the St. Louis area. St. Louis Children's Hospital is implementing additional safety measures to protect patients and staff from contagious illnesses. We are asking staff who provide direct patient care throughout the hospital - or who work within 6 feet of patients for 10 minutes or more - to wear masks. Influenza is spread by droplets, typically within 6 feet and after prolonged contact with an infected person. The virus is not usually spread at a distance or during short interactions.
St. Louis Children's Hospital's website received two 2009 WebAwards for "Healthcare Provider Standard of Excellence" and "Non-Profit Standard of Excellence" from the Web Marketing Association.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced $40 million in grants to 69 grantees in 41 states and the District of Columbia to help them find and enroll children who are uninsured but eligible for either Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). As part of today’s grant release, $985,373 will go to St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation. The Foundation will use the funds to partner with Metropolitan Organizations Strengthening and Empowering Society (MOSES), a group of St. Louis churches that will mobilize a grassroots community-wide enrollment effort utilizing church-affiliated advocates.
As you may have seen in recent media reports, hospitals across the nation and here in the St. Louis metro area are experiencing an extraordinarily high volume of patients due to respiratory illness and flu-like symptoms. In order to better meet these increased volumes and provide the exceptional care you expect and deserve, St. Louis Children’s Hospital has implemented several measures for the safety of our patients, families and staff.
Childhood obesity is an epidemic - nationwide, 19 percent of children ages 6 to 11, and 17 percent of those ages 12 to 19 are overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obese children are more likely to be obese adults and are at greater risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
A St. Louis-based team of plant and physician-scientists with a vision of eradicating malnutrition throughout the developing world today announced the formation of the Global Harvest Alliance (GHA), a humanitarian effort involving St. Louis Children’s Hospital, The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and Washington University School of Medicine.
Major League Baseball (MLB) and the St. Louis Cardinals teamed with Starlight Children’s Foundation to bring a ‘Fun Center’ to patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. It was part of 2009 MLB All-Star Week’s continuing efforts to give back to the St. Louis community. Four MLB Mascots helped deliver the Fun Center to the Child Life Playroom at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The Fun Center is a mobile entertainment unit containing a Nintendo Wii™, Sharp AQUOS™ TV and DVD Player.
Laya Westbrooks is attending Camp Crescent for the sixth time. In past years she has especially enjoyed archery, arts and crafts, and being able to talk to other children with sickle cell disease. This year the 14 year old from Jefferson City, Mo., is a junior counselor, and will spend the week sharing her knowledge with younger campers.
Katie Campbell looked cool as a cucumber in her red, rhinestone-encrusted baseball hat, as she smashed the tennis ball back to a Camp Independence volunteer. This is the first year Katie has attended Camp Independence, a sports day camp for kids age 7-18 with cerebral palsy. But she is a veteran of another St. Louis Children’s Hospital camp, Camp Rhythm, for kids who have had heart surgeries. The hospital sponsors both camps each summer. "I love it all, especially the swimming," Katie says.
Summer camp brings back fond memories of swimming and fishing, smores and campfires for countless people. Children who attend Camp Rhythm leave with these memories, plus the confidence that comes, for many, from spending their first nights away from home, and getting to be a "regular" kid. St. Louis Children’s Hospital developed Camp Rhythm to address the special needs of children who’ve had heart surgeries, including heart transplants, or have congenital heart problems. At Camp Rhythm, children proudly display their chest scars and take comfort in their common surgical and medical experiences.
More than 6 million children nationally, and 15-20 percent of children in St. Louis have asthma. It is a common reason for emergency room visits, and the leading cause of missed school. Last year the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America named St. Louis the most challenging place to live with asthma. The good news is that most children with asthma can stay healthy. “Asthma can be controlled through education, and working closely with doctors and nurses on a treatment plan,”says Lisa Meadows, RN, manager, Healthy Kids Express Asthma Management Program at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital-Washington University has been named among the nation’s elite pediatric hospitals on the Honor Roll of U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 listing of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. Just 10 pediatric hospitals, including St. Louis Children’s Hospital, made the Honor Roll by ranking in all 10 specialties evaluated.
School is out and children across St. Louis are rejoicing. But summer vacation can mean more time to play video games, watch TV and snack. Childhood obesity in the United States is an epidemic ¬– nationwide, 19 percent of children ages 6 to 11 and 17 percent of those ages 12 to 19 are overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overweight children are more likely to be obese adults and are at greater risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital has been named the State Lead Center for Missouri as part of a national network of healthcare institutions in what is being called one of the largest collaborative efforts in the history of pediatric medicine. The 51 other institutions in conjunction with St. Louis Children’s Hospital will work together to address the number one cause of death and disability for children and young adults in the United States – brain injury.
An outdoor celebration honored area first-responders for their service to the community. Trauma Services teams from St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University Emergency Medical Services (EMS) held a barbeque to recognize EMS Crews as part of National “Emergency Medical Services Week.”
St. Louis Children’s Hospital joined the National Association of Children’s Hospitals (N.A.C.H.) and other leading children’s organizations today as they launched a grassroots campaign asking Congress and the Obama Administration to make health care reform work for children. The campaign Speak Now for Kids in Health Reform utilizes interactive Web technology to allow advocates to register online as champions for children’s health, express their priorities for children in health reform and upload testimonials about experiences with children’s health care coverage, delivery, quality and costs.
Swine flu is the FLU. It is generally contained within the swine population but occasional swine-to-human and then human-to-human spread has been noted, usually limited to 3 degrees of separation (3 people from the source). All influenza viruses undergo something similar to mutation or recombine as they change hosts (swine, humans, birds etc) and this particular strain is now infectious to humans in general and doesn't appear to be limited as it was in the past by its infectiousness in human-to-human spread.
U.S. health officials have taken steps that will help health care workers respond if an outbreak of “swine flu” that originated in Mexico has a significant impact in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with health departments, hospitals and health care providers across the country to rapidly identify and contain any cases of the illness. To date, only a limited number of the influenza strain had been reported in the United States and most cases were mild.
The baby’s chest rises and falls. His heartbeat chimes in a happy rhythm on the monitor above his crib. He adjusts his eyes to the light of the room, which reveals a vibrant flower garden in pink and yellow paint across the wall, and the smiling faces of nurses, doctors and medical students peering down at him.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now advises that rear-facing car seats are safer for children until they are two years old. “A mistaken rule of thumb is that children can sit in forward-facing seats when they reach 1 year of age and 20 pounds. That is the minimum forward-facing recommendation. We’ve seen 5-month-old babies at the Safety Stop who weigh 20 pounds who obviously shouldn’t be in front-facing seats,” says Sue Hagan, RN, BSN, NICU nurse and Safety Stop Certified Passenger Safety (CPS) technician.
On December 6, 2008, Cadan Christopher’s mom and dad held him for the first - and last - time. He was twelve days old. The chest tubes, pumps and breathing machines attached to Cadan’s tiny body proved too weak to overcome his daunting diagnosis - a birth defect called congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). More common than spina bifida, muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis, CDH remains a mysterious disease with no known cure. One in every 2,000 babies in the U. S. is born with CDH, nearly half of whom don’t live to see their first birthday.
Through a collaborative with the Washington University Pediatric and Adolescent Ambulatory Research Consortium (WUPAARC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has provided Washington University Department of Pediatrics a $5.9-million grant that will apply a coaching intervention to enhance parental asthma management.
A new Interventional Radiology (IR) Suite at St. Louis Children’s Hospital not only offers the latest, most sophisticated technology designed for pediatric patients, but includes a recording system that allows physicians, nurses and technicians to review these X-ray-guided procedures from start to finish. “This review technology will allow us to systematically improve our techniques and approaches in pediatric patients,” says Jim Duncan, MD, PhD, interventional radiologist with St. Louis Children’s Hospital, associate professor of radiology at Washington University School of Medicine and chief quality and safety officer for the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology. “To our knowledge, this is the first installation of its kind in the country.”
Hypoglycemia in children with type 1 diabetes is the focus of a myriad of studies under way through the Diabetes Research in Children Network (DirecNet), a coalition of leading pediatric diabetes centers with active clinical and research programs. Under the direction of Washington University physician Neil White, MD, CDE, recognized for his long-standing contributions to the science of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, this collaboration will examine the risks associated with hypoglycemia and seek to improve glucose control in children and young adults with type 1 diabetes.
Children whose asthma improved while taking steroid drugs for several years did not see those improvements continue after stopping the drugs, new results from a comprehensive childhood asthma study show. The results come from the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP) clinical trial, in which more than 1,000 children age 5-12 were treated for mild to moderate asthma over more than four years at eight centers, including Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Kit Bond (R-MO) today announced bipartisan legislation to accelerate research on childhood illnesses. The Pediatric Research Consortia Establishment Act would create a nationally-coordinated research network to pursue new treatments and cures for childhood diseases. "This is about finding treatments for childhood diseases and preventing them from evolving into deadly illnesses in adulthood," said Brown. "This bill addresses gaps in pediatric research so that we can find new treatments for our nation's youngest patients."
St. Louis Children's Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received a five-year, $3.9 million grant to lead an international research effort designed to improve outcomes for children undergoing lung transplants. A lung transplant is often the only treatment option for children with severe lung disease such as cystic fibrosis, pulmonary vascular disease, genetic or inherited lung problems or birth defects.