The Winter Blues is fairly common in northern latitudes where the days become shorter and there is reduced sunlight. The Winter Blues is often characterized by feeling irritable or gloomy, having less energy, sleeping more but not feeling more rested, and eating more, often with cravings for carbohydrates. So what can one do to prevent the Winter Blues?
The Red Door campaign was established to ...
For most parents, the newborn period is a time of profound joy, incredible challenges, and LOTS of questions. As pediatricians, some of the questions we are frequently asked are related to a simple blood test done on all infants in Washington State. Commonly referred to as the “newborn screen” or “NBS”, “PKU”, or “newborn metabolic testing”, this test checks for several congenital disorders that are rare but can be life-threatening.
Often parents want to know:
What does the test involve? The newborn screen is done by pricking the heel of the infant at around 24 hours of age, then collecting a few drops of blood onto a piece of test paper. This is dried and then sent to the state lab, where the testing is performed. Because some of the conditions may take several days to show up, the test is repeated at 7-14 days old (usually by your primary care doctor; it can also be done in the hospital if the baby is still there for any reason).
Does it hurt? The needle prick is performed by trained nurses and is done quickly. It may feel similar to pricking your finger to test blood sugar. And you can significantly decrease the discomfort of the quick poke by breastfeeding your baby during or immediately after the test!
Why do we need this? The diseases we check for are typically rare, but if undiagnosed and untreated can cause a variety of complications, including blindness, poor growth, brain damage, and even death. The reason that testing every baby is essential is that babies with these conditions can look and act perfectly healthy even while the disease is damaging their bodies, until they get so sick they need to be hospitalized or have permanent damage. Starting treatment as early as possible can prevent many of the complications.
What are you testing for? The ...
College is a huge and exciting step in an adolescent’s development. Being prepared can help your teen stay healthy and know where to go when they’re not. Whether your child is staying close to home, or going across the country for school, here are a few tips to add to your college checklist:
Schedule a visit with your primary care physician. (See a list of local Swedish physicians who can see your teen here.)
Physicians can make sure your teen is up to date on immunizations that many colleges require. Teens commonly need influenza, Tdap, HPV, and meningococcal vaccines.
Ensure that your child has prescriptions (with refills) for all medications they routinely use. Even “as needed” medicines may become needed in college. These medicines should be kept in a locked box in your teen’s room, as many medications can be stolen or used illicitly.
Your teen should ...
The treatment for achalasia is ...
Can you believe the month of August has already arrived? Some may see the end of August as an end to summer, but it doesn’t mean the end of community events. Two particular events taking place toward the end of August are the American Cancer Society Relay for Life—Capitol Hill event and the Northwest Hope and Healing Alki Beach Run 5K. We are happy to announce the Swedish Cancer Institute will be supporting both!
On Saturday, August 23rd ...
Ultrasound technology has undergone a dramatic improvement in recent years providing clear and precise images without exposing the patient to any radiation. Thyroid nodules that are suspicious for malignancy can now be identified before they are large enough to be felt in the neck by the patient or health care provider.
When a ...
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