Friday, August 18, 2017

Car seat and car safety website

     I became aware of a very nice, accurate website recently. It is maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It has lots of resources regarding proper car seat use, safety tips for teen driving, and other safety information regarding cars. The website can be found at the Safer Car website.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Nationwide Children's Dublin Urgent Care has reopened.

     Due to staffing issues, Nationwide Children's Hospital's Dublin urgent care was temporarily closed for some months. As of August 2nd, 2017, it has reopened.
     We recommend using Nationwide Children's Hospital facilities when your child needs an urgent care or emergency room.
      The hours for the Main Campus (downtown) and Lewis Center Emergency Departments are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Hilliard and Dublin (the two closest to our office) Urgent Cares are open Mon.-Fri. 3-10 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. 12-8 p.m.
     Laboratory and x-ray services are available as walk-ins with a doctors orders at both the Hilliard and Dublin locations. Laboratory hours are Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. - 8 p.m., and Sun. 12-8 p.m. X-ray services are available at both locations Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. 12-8 p.m. Of note: patients needing TB screenings (often for volunteering, work, or college) can be seen from 3-7 p.m. everyday with no appointment needed at either the Dublin or Hilliard Close to Home Centers.
     As always, further information is available at www.nationwidechildrens.org

Monday, August 14, 2017

The flu vaccine has arrived!

     The influenza vaccine ("flu shot") has arrived for the 2017-2018 season. We received hundreds of doses. We will receive further doses in the future months.
     There are 4 strains of influenza in the vaccine and one is a new strain this year. Each year, scientists predict what strains are most likely to be in the communities for the coming season. For the '16-'17 season, the protection was only fair. On average, for every year like last year, we will have two years where the protection is much better.
     We agree with the recommendation that all children 6 months and above routinely receive the vaccine each year. This provides the best protection against influenza and it's complications, including dehydration and pneumonia.
     The only influenza vaccine we will stock this year is the flu shot. Although the "flu mist" is back on the market after concerns about its effectiveness, we want to make sure that it provides equal or better protection versus the flu shot before potentially recommending it in the future.
     Although the flu shot contains a small amount of chicken egg protein, the majority of egg-allergic patients can safely receive the flu shot. If a child has a history of anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) to eggs, we should further discuss the issue. Some of these patients will see the allergist to receive the vaccine at their office.
     For those patients receiving the vaccine for the first time AND before their 9th birthday, two doses of the vaccine are needed one month apart. This supplies them with the best protection for that season. All other children need one dose each year.
     The flu shot cannot "give you the flu". In other words, if you or your child felt ill soon after receiving the vaccine, it was just a coincidence. Mild local reactions including soreness, redness, or swelling at the site are common. Less common are fever, achiness, headache, or nauseousness.
     We will soon schedule walk-in flu shot clinics. These have typically been scheduled on select Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings in the Fall. We will announce on our Facebook page and on our website (www.hilliardpeds.com) when we know the schedule.
     One thing we are often asked about: Is my child too sick to receive the flu vaccine? The answer is "It depends". Mild cold and coughs, mild diarrhea, and low grade temperatures 100.4 degrees and below are not reason to postpone the vaccine. In fact, it has been shown that it is still safe and effective to receive the vaccine if someone has active asthma or croup and will need a steroid -or- has recently been on a steroid.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Menveo vaccine back in stock.

     As of last week, our office received the previously back-ordered Menveo vaccine. We are contacting by phone the families whose children had been in the office and had not received the vaccine due to the shortage. We have a good supply of the vaccine now and anticipate being able to vaccinate on-time the patients who need the vaccine.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Meningitis Vaccine for 7th and 12th graders on back order.

     The Menveo meningitis vaccine is recommended by the CDC and AAP for prevention of bacterial meningitis. It is required for Ohio schools to be received before starting 7th and 12th grades. We have consistently given to 11 year olds and 16-17 year olds in our office.
     We were recently informed that the vaccine was on back order by the manufacturer. Soon afterwards, we ran out of our supply of the vaccine. As of this morning, we do not have any further doses of the vaccine. Many pre-teens and teens have appointments with us in the weeks before school who will be due for the vaccine. What to do?
     When this happens, we typically are not informed when we will receive further doses of the vaccine. This is true now. We anticipate receiving more vaccine before school starts. Since we ran out of the vaccine, we are keeping track of those who needed the vaccine at a visit but did not receive it. We plan to contact those families when the vaccine arrives. In addition, we will post on Dr. Tim's Hilliard Pediatric page on Facebook when the vaccine is available. When it arrives, those patients will be able to be promptly scheduled for a nurse-only vaccine visit.
     In the unlikely event that the vaccine is still unavailable to us when the school year begins, we can provide a note to the school detailing the situation.
     We will keep you informed!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Testing for Food Allergies -- a great article by Dr. Stukus

     Food allergies and the testing for them can be befuddling for many families (and their doctors). We very often use the expertise of an allergist in these cases. Testing for food allergies can be a challenge (yes, that is a pun). Dr. David Stukus, M.D., pediatric allergist at Nationwide Children's Hospital here in Columbus, Ohio has an excellent discussion of testing for food allergies. Here is the article.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Testing for Strep Throat in Our Office

     I have been practicing pediatrics since 1994. When I started in practice, a rapid strep test was done in the office and an culture test was done on the negative (no strep found) rapid tests to confirm whether strep was there or not. This culture took 1-2 days to get the results. A few years ago, we and most practices in Central Ohio switched to doing the over-night tests at Nationwide Children's Hospital that was completed by the next morning, so we would know for sure if the child has strep by the start of the next office day. One of the on-going issues with the Nationwide Children's test has been the expense.
     As of April 4th, 2017 we are now doing an in-office DNA probe test for strep. It takes a few extra minutes, we swab the throat in the same way (although the swabs may be a little different), and it eliminates the need to do an overnight test. We believe the insurance coverage will be good, and in fact it will be cheaper if the previous overnight test would be needed. We like that the results are available right away, where for years we have called families the next day to tell them the overnight test was positive for strep. This delayed getting back to school (and parents back to work). Now we will know a definitive "Is it strep or not?" in about 8 minutes.