AAP Behind the Scenes 2020 (Part 2): AAP Agenda, Safe Sleep, Encouraging Physician Diversity, APEX Mental Health

More from our recent AAP Board Meeting –more highlights:

Dr Sally Goza, AAP National President reviewed some of the AAP’s initiatives:

  • Healthcare coverage & Change in ‘public charge’
  • Gun violence
  • Climate Change
  • Early Childhood Programs
  • Suicide Prevention
  • E-cigarettes
  • Social Media.  She noted that Pinterest and Google have made efforts to curb harmful inaccurate posts, especially with regard to immunization information, whereas Facebook has not been cooperative.

2020 Georgia Blueprint for Children:

Dr. Sarah Lazarus, a terrific ED physician and an advocate for safe sleep, described updates and obstacles related to reducing sudden unexpected death infant death.

Key points:

  • NASPGHAN 2018 GERD recommendations (33 page PDF) with regard to positioning:  “The working group recommends not to use positional therapy (ie, head elevation, lateral and prone positioning) to treat symptoms of GERD in sleeping infants”
  • CPSC has removed many inclined sleepers.  Commentary from Dr. Lazarus from WebMD (November 2019): Sleeping on an Incline Not Safe for Baby

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning parents not let a baby sleep in rockers, pillows, car seats, or any other product that holds an infant at an incline — with their head higher than their feet.

“I do think it should have happened a while ago when we saw there were deaths from them, but I’m glad they did it now,” says Sarah Lazarus, DO, a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Dr. Lazarus is also an injury prevention researcher at Emory University and reviews infant deaths for the state of Georgia.  And what about putting the crib mattress at an incline to help with reflux?

Lazarus says she knows pediatricians used to recommend that, but she says new studies show that it doesn’t really help and may be unsafe. “We do not recommend any sort of wedging or propping or positioning at this point,” she says. In addition to avoiding inclined surfaces, the commission is reminding parents that babies can suffocate if they sleep with blankets, pillows, or other items. The safest way for a baby to sleep is flat on their back, in a bare crib, and on a flat, firm surface.Related blog posts:

Dr. Heval Kelli introduced a program called young physician initiative.  “Getting into medical school can be a long process and difficult to navigate particularly for students from underserved communities due to the lack of access to medical mentorship and network.  The Young Physicians Initiative provides early and interactive guidance to underserved middle school, high school and college students. We inspire students to pursue careers in medicine and pursue pipeline’s opportunities by Being Present in their communities.”

Here are links to his website and to one of the articles covering this project:

My take: This is a terrific program, though there are many other challenges that need to be addressed to encourage applicants from a wide range of socioeconomic groups.

Related blog post: Hidden Costs of Medical Schools

The final speaker, Dante McKay, discussed the APEX program which is a school-based program to address mental health issues in children.

Year in Review: My Favorite 2019 Posts

Yesterday, I listed the posts with the most views.  The posts below were the ones I like the most.

General/General Health:

Nutrition:

Liver:

Endoscopy:

Intestinal Disorders:

 

Disclaimer: This blog, gutsandgrowth, assumes no responsibility for any use or operation of any method, product, instruction, concept or idea contained in the material herein or for any injury or damage to persons or property (whether products liability, negligence or otherwise) resulting from such use or operation. These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, the gutsandgrowth blog cautions that independent verification should be made of diagnosis and drug dosages. The reader is solely responsible for the conduct of any suggested test or procedure.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

 

The High Toll of Sudden Infant Death

Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) is not frequently an issue that is addressed by pediatric gastroenterology.  However, it is very common and needs to  be considered as we see infants with reflux, irritability, diarrhea, and dyschezia.

A recent report (DR Roehler et al. J Pediatr 2019; 212: 224-7) puts the magnitude of this problem into perspective.

Key points:

  • From 2013-2015, there was an average of 3523 US infants each year who died from SUID, peaking at 1-2 months of life.
  • The average annual risk of SUID during the first year of life was more than 5 times the peak risk of mortality from firearms homicide, motor vehichle-traffic, drugs/opioid overdose, and suicide.
  • More black infants died of SUID in the first year than black children who died from firearm homicides in all of childhood through age 19 years.
  • SUID deaths from 2013-2015 (10,568) was similar to the total number of motor vehicle-traffic deaths in all of childhood (10,714) and greater than the total number of any of the other causes.
  • Rates of SUID deaths were much higher for non-hispanic blacks than non-hispanic whites or hispanics.  Peak rates reached 481 per 100,000 per month compared with 215 per 100,000 per month and 130 per 100,000 per month respectively in these three groups (Figure 1).

Related study: AB Erck Lambert et al. Pediatrics 2019; 13.pii.e20183408.  In a SUID database analysis, 14% (250) of SUID cases from 2011-2014 were due to suffocation, most commonly due to soft bedding (69%), overlay (19%), and wedging (12%).

My take: The first year of life, particularly the first 3 months, is a very dangerous time for infants.  More attention to SUID could prevent a great amount of tragedy.

Related blog posts:

Useful website: Charlieskids.org This website has a book called “Sleep Baby Safe and Snug” which incorporates updated recommendations on safe sleep practices.

Children should sleep in the same room but on a separate surface from their parents for at least the first six months of their lives, and ideally the first year. They say that this can halve the risk of SIDS…You can read the AAP’s full guidance here. These are a few more of the pediatricians’ recommendations:

  • Infants under a year old should always sleep lying on their backs. Side sleeping “is not safe and is not advised,” the AAP says.
  • Infants should always sleep on a firm surface covered by only a flat sheet. That’s because soft mattresses “could create a pocket … and increase the chance of rebreathing or suffocation if the infant is placed in or rolls over to the prone position.”
  • Any other bedding or soft objects, like pillows or stuffed animals, could obstruct a child’s airway and increase the risk of SIDS and suffocation, according to the AAP.
  • The pediatricians say breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS.
  • The same goes for pacifiers at nap time and bedtime, although the doctors say the “mechanism is yet unclear.” They add that “the protective effect is observed even if the pacifier falls out of the infant’s mouth.”
  • Smoking – both during pregnancy and around the infant after birth – can increase the risk of SIDS. Alcohol and illicit drugs during pregnancy can also contribute to SIDS, and “parental alcohol and/or illicit drug use in combination with bed-sharing places the infant at particularly high risk of SIDS,” the pediatricians say.

Pittock Mansion, Portland, OR

 

Are We Making Progress on Infant Sleep-Related Deaths? (Not anymore)

An interesting commentary (KP Quinlan. JAMA Pediatrics; 2018; 172: 714-6) points out the need for better surveillance and prevention efforts for sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs).

Key points:

  • Since the late 1990s, there has NOT been significant improvement in SUID.  In 1999, there were 3716 SUIDs compared with 3684 in 2015.
  • This rate of SUID is 9 times the rate of deaths to motor vehicle crashes for an 18 year-old driver.  The author notes the driving-related fatalities have declined by ~50% for persons younger than 20 years since 2000.
  • Promotion of safer sleeping habits is important. Bed sharing raises the SUID risk but is commonly practiced by parents from all backgrounds.
  • There is very little publicity of this problem and there is not a systematic surveillance system.  . How often do we here about a teenager involved in a crash and how often do we here about an infant with SUID? If there was more awareness of this danger, it is likely that there would be more actions taken

Related posts:

Useful website: Charlieskids.org This website has a book called “Sleep Baby Safe and Snug” which incorporates updated recommendations on safe sleep practices.

Children should sleep in the same room but on a separate surface from their parents for at least the first six months of their lives, and ideally the first year. They say that this can halve the risk of SIDS…You can read the AAP’s full guidance here. These are a few more of the pediatricians’ recommendations:

  • Infants under a year old should always sleep lying on their backs. Side sleeping “is not safe and is not advised,” the AAP says.
  • Infants should always sleep on a firm surface covered by only a flat sheet. That’s because soft mattresses “could create a pocket … and increase the chance of rebreathing or suffocation if the infant is placed in or rolls over to the prone position.”
  • Any other bedding or soft objects, like pillows or stuffed animals, could obstruct a child’s airway and increase the risk of SIDS and suffocation, according to the AAP.
  • The pediatricians say breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS.
  • The same goes for pacifiers at nap time and bedtime, although the doctors say the “mechanism is yet unclear.” They add that “the protective effect is observed even if the pacifier falls out of the infant’s mouth.”
  • Smoking – both during pregnancy and around the infant after birth – can increase the risk of SIDS. Alcohol and illicit drugs during pregnancy can also contribute to SIDS, and “parental alcohol and/or illicit drug use in combination with bed-sharing places the infant at particularly high risk of SIDS,” the pediatricians say.

Preventing Sudden Infant Deaths -Latest Guidelines

Though sudden infant death syndrome and counseling is mainly in the realm of general pediatrics, subspecialists need to be familiar with the latest AAP recommendations as well.

A summary from NPR: Pediatricians Release New Guidance for Preventing Sudden Infant Deaths

Children should sleep in the same room but on a separate surface from their parents for at least the first six months of their lives, and ideally the first year. They say that this can halve the risk of SIDS…

You can read the AAP’s full guidance here. These are a few more of the pediatricians’ recommendations:

  • Infants under a year old should always sleep lying on their backs. Side sleeping “is not safe and is not advised,” the AAP says.
  • Infants should always sleep on a firm surface covered by only a flat sheet. That’s because soft mattresses “could create a pocket … and increase the chance of rebreathing or suffocation if the infant is placed in or rolls over to the prone position.”
  • Any other bedding or soft objects, like pillows or stuffed animals, could obstruct a child’s airway and increase the risk of SIDS and suffocation, according to the AAP.
  • The pediatricians say breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS.
  • The same goes for pacifiers at nap time and bedtime, although the doctors say the “mechanism is yet unclear.” They add that “the protective effect is observed even if the pacifier falls out of the infant’s mouth.”
  • Smoking – both during pregnancy and around the infant after birth – can increase the risk of SIDS. Alcohol and illicit drugs during pregnancy can also contribute to SIDS, and “parental alcohol and/or illicit drug use in combination with bed-sharing places the infant at particularly high risk of SIDS,” the pediatricians say.
2016 Pumpkin

2016 Pumpkin