February 01, 2017
Many people start the new year with resolutions for improving their health and then, as January progresses, find themselves falling off the wagon. If this sounds like you, it might be worth starting over. Experts say you’re much likelier to stick to a resolution if it’s SMART: specific, measureable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
January 11, 2016
When assessing patients, the four routine measurements of their status include their temperature, blood pressure, respiration and pulse. Pain has been recognized as the “fifth vital sign,” since it also reflects a patient’s status and needs. For our pediatric patients, pain is assessed along with routine vitals and also as dictated by a patient’s specific medical circumstances.
June 22, 2015
On our Pediatric unit, we see a number of patients with Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis (UC). Some are well-established in their care, some are newly-diagnosed and just beginning treatment, and some are being seen by the doctor to explore if their symptoms warrant a definitive diagnosis of Crohn’s or UC. I interviewed one patient (referred to as our “Crohn’s Champion” for privacy) regarding his experience for the last 18 months since being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at 9 years old.
January 12, 2015
When your child is hospitalized, it’s understandable that family and friends will want to visit. This is often a help to both the patient and the parent at the bedside. To maximize the benefit of this support, keep the following guidelines in mind:
Visiting hours: Check with your nurse for the visiting hours and let your nurse know when you are able to visit. If there are extenuating circumstances for your family’s situation (e.g., a parent works night or swing shift and can only visit before or after), let the nursing staff know.
January 24, 2014
As a new parent, you’re understandably eager and excited to leave the hospital and settle into your new routine with your baby. Sometimes, that routine is delayed due to the baby’s blood test confirming hyperbilirubinemia, also known as jaundice.
Jaundice in newborns is caused by an excess of red blood cells. Jaundice is seen as a yellow color to the skin, appearing first at the head (skin and sclera – or “whites of the eyes”) then progressing to the feet. As it decreases, it lessens in reverse. Before birth, the placenta removes bilirubin from the baby’s system; after birth, the baby’s liver takes over. In breast-fed babies, an imbalance between mother’s milk supply and baby’s feeding can lead to a higher-than-expected bili level. In addition to ensuring the baby is feeding well and having enough wet/stool diapers, phototherapy or “bili lights” may be needed. Bili lights help speed up the process by breaking down the bilirubin i...
January 23, 2013
You may be familiar with “laughing gas” as something you find at the dentist’s office but did you know it can also be used when your child is a patient at Swedish? Laughing gas is a mix of nitrous oxide and oxygen, but you might hear your pediatric nurses just call it “nitrous.” In pediatrics, we use it to help a patient relax and feel more comfortable during certain procedures such as IV placement or urinary catheterization.
Once your doctor or nurse has determined that your child is a good candidate for nitrous (without any contraindications such as conditions where air may be trapped in the body, pregnancy, or impaired level of consciousness), your nurses and certified child life specialist (CCLS) will explain the process: Your child will choose a flavor for the in...