Children’s Doctor News and Updates: Summer 2019

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Children's Doctor

CHOP anesthesiologist to chair FDA Advisory Committee

CHOP anesthesiologist Ronald S. Litman, DO, ML, was recently appointed chairperson for the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee. The committee is responsible for reviewing and evaluating the safety and effectiveness of drugs used in anesthesiology and surgery. It also reviews abuse-deterrent opioids and issues related to opioid abuse and advises the Commissioner of Food and Drugs.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve on the committee,” says Litman. “It’s my hope that we can help quell the opioid epidemic in the United States by reviewing these medications and voicing our concerns before they end up in patients’ hands.”

U.S. News recognizes CHOP’s excellence — yet again

Children’s Hospital continued its 15-year streak of being ranked as one of the top U.S. children’s hospitals. CHOP was ranked No. 2 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 Honor Roll of Best Children’s Hospitals.

CHOP was listed among the top 7 programs in each of the 10 ranked specialties for 2019-20, and 7 specialties are ranked first, second, or third.

Caregivers hold many inaccurate believes about influenza vaccination, study finds

An American Academy of Pediatrics Pediatric Research in Office Settings (PROS) network study examined vaccine beliefs among caregivers of children who received the first of 2 required influenza vaccine doses. It found caregivers may be still be vaccine hesitant and have false beliefs about the flu vaccine and disease. The study was led at CHOP by Ekaterina Nekrasova, MPH, and Alexander Fiks, MD, MSCE.

A telephone survey conducted during the 2017-18 flu season, reaching 256 caregivers, found caregivers held the following false beliefs:

  • Child will be protected with “only one flu shot” — 94%
  • “Flu shot causes the flu” — 57%
  • “Flu is just a bad cold” — 40.2%
  • Children cannot “die from the flu” — 32%

New drivers with ADHD 37% more likely to crash

A study of newly licensed, young drivers with ADHD by CHOP’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) and the Center for Management of ADHD found evidence those drivers are at significantly higher risk than their non-ADHD peers for crashes and traffic violations.

Researchers, led by Allison E. Curry, PhD, MPH, compared crash outcomes and traffic/moving violations of drivers with and without ADHD. They found: 

  • Crash rates were 37% higher for young drivers with ADHD regardless of licensing age for the first 4 years after licensure compared to their non-ADHD peers. Thus, guiding families of teens with ADHD to simply delay licensure may not be enough to reduce their crash risk.
  • Adolescent drivers with ADHD also experienced higher rates of traffic and moving violations, including speeding, nonuse of seat belts, and electronic equipment use. Specific guidelines are needed to help teens change these preventable risky driving behaviors.

You can direct your families to for research-based information on helping lower teen crash risk (search “adhd”).

Decelerating development may be clue leading to earlier diagnosis of autism

Some autistic children’s communication and motor skills begin to decelerate between 9 and 18 months — years before the average age of diagnosis, according to a study of more than 30000 children.

Researchers from CHOP’s Center for Autism Research (CAR) analyzed answers to a questionnaire filled out by parents at well visits, the Survey of Well-being of Young Children, and reported that children who had slowing development (20%) were 10 times more likely to be diagnosed as on the autism spectrum than the children whose development progressed normally (2%).

“If we screen more frequently between 9 and 18 months, we might be able to identify this at-risk pattern even earlier,” says CAR’s Whitney Guthrie, PhD, who presented the results at the 2019 International Society for Autism Research annual meeting.

CHOP Care Network expanding

Children’s Hospital announced plans to build a new specialty care and urgent care center in Abington Township, Pennsylvania. The Abington Specialty Care Center has a planned February 2021 opening. It will span 37000 square feet and include 20 to 30 exam rooms and a gym for developmental, physical, and occupational therapies. It also will house various ancillary services, including audiology, speech therapy, radiology, and electroencephalogram testing.

Outpatient services will initially include cardiology, orthopaedics, ENT, neurology, pulmonology, endocrinology and diabetes, and gastroenterology and nutrition. An urgent care center will offer after-hours and weekend care for children with mild or moderate illnesses and injuries.

On June 1, CHOP opened its newest CHOP Urgent Care Center, located in the same building as CHOP Primary Care, Haverford on Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Other Urgent Care Centers are located in Chalfont, Glen Mills, and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Next Steps
Provider Priority Line: Dial 800-TRY-CHOP and Press 2
Central Fax Line (844-FAX-CHOP)