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Pain – The Fifth Vital Sign

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.

New year's resolutions: The science behind them

January 04, 2016
Ringing in the New Year is often a time of joyful celebration marked with annual traditions, including New Year’s resolutions. Many of us don’t achieve our resolutions, but there is hope. Here are some tips for success with resolutions in 2016.

Cell based therapies - hematopoietic stem cells

January 04, 2016
James Bowen, M.D., medical director of the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center, was fortunate to be able to attend the International Conference on Cell-based Therapies for MS in November. This conference brought together about 70 of the world’s experts on using cells to treat MS. These cells are actually stem cells, and the treatments fall into three categories: hematopoietic, mesenchymal and pleuripotent stem cells. This post is Part 1 of 3, and discusses hematopoietic stem cells.

Seeing the 'amazing' in every child!

November 30, 2015
“Sesame Street,” the beloved children’s show whose viewers stretch across generations and cultures, is making huge strides in bringing awareness to autism, inclusion and the celebration of differences in all of us. Pediatric Therapy Services at Swedish couldn’t be more thrilled.

Introducing solids to your baby

October 26, 2015
Being a pediatric dietitian, I had pretty lofty ideals when it came to my own son’s introduction to solid foods. I had dreams of making everything from scratch with my baby food steamer/processor using only organic foods. I also intended to introduce foods one at a time, with only one new food every 3 days. It quickly became apparent that my ideals were not practical or realistic to do 100% of the time as a full time working mom. Making food from scratch takes time. Also knowing that between 4-6 months old is a window of time to introduce foods to prevent allergies, I realized there are a lot more foods to introduce than can be fit into a 3 month window using that system. Easier said than done!

Here are a few things I learned from my own experience, combined with my expertise as a pediatric dietitian:

Latest mammography guidelines continue to cause confusion - understand your risk

October 23, 2015
Multiple respected experts and organizations have issued mixed recommendations regarding mammogram screening, resulting in confusion for many women. We believe that mammogram screening needs to be individualized based on the patient’s personal and family history and values. All experts who have evaluated mammogram screening agree that screening mammography in women starting at age 40 is associated with a reduction in breast cancer deaths across a range of study designs. Data from Swedish Cancer Institute shows that annual screening mammography can reduce the need for chemotherapy and more extensive surgical treatment. However, it is also clear that increased screening can lead to additional testing. Consequently, it is important for women and their providers to weigh the benefits and the risks.

What do you know about Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC)?

October 09, 2015
Unless your family has been touched by Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), it’s possible you’ve never heard of this rare genetic disorder. Here’s what you should know about TSC and how you can help raise money and awareness to find a cure.

Trying "medical play" at home

September 28, 2015
When a child hurts it is upsetting to everyone. It is natural for the first response to be alarm and fear. New pain in a child needs to be investigated with tests and examinations. There are times a clear reason for the pain is found. Other times, the reason for the pain is not well understood. In both cases, a child that is hurting is important and deserving of care.

One of the hardest elements of pediatric pain is to know how to support the child.

Why we're "walking now" for Autism Speaks

September 21, 2015
A team from the Pediatric Neuroscience Center will proudly represent Swedish at Walk Now for Autism Speaks, Saturday, September 26, at the Seattle Center. Our entire staff will be there – doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, medical assistants and patient care coordinators.

We know we’ll see many familiar faces walking for a common cause: to improve the care and quality of life for children and families living with autism.

"Life goes on" despite multiple sclerosis

September 03, 2015
Ed. Note: This blog post was written by Ed Johnson about his experiences before and after being diagnosed with MS.

I miss coaching college and high school volleyball. I was a college volleyball coach for 15 years with various schools. Perhaps the high point was when our Missouri Valley College men’s team was ranked number two in the entire nation. We were so good that year that many bigger-name schools refused to play against us, fearing embarrassment if our smaller school won. That was before M.S.