A Hearing Center Can Diagnose Pediatric Audio Loss

Within the last decade the United States has witnessed a revolution in the identification of audio loss and rehabilitation services offered to children with permanent or partial impairment. These pediatric services are now an integral part of the comprehensive diagnostic procedures that are used at a quality-hearing center. The facts that have been discovered about this problem are that 3 in 1000 babies born in this country have impairments with sound recognition. These statistics make it one of the most common birth defects in America. This number translates into approximately 12,000 children affected each year by moderate to severe audio loss. It has also been noted that those children that are properly diagnosed and begin early rehabilitation and intervention services have significantly brighter outcomes than those children who wait. This early diagnosis is extremely important as audio loss in a child plays a significant role in not only their social development but also their educational development. Left undetected, impairment in a child can result in delayed speech and language skills, emotional or behavior problems, and delays in academic achievement.

Impairment is all too common in high-risk children. Some children are commonly identified as high-risk because they were either born prematurely, had a family history of audio loss, or were taking some form of high-risk medication in the hospital. However, it has been discovered that if only the high-risk children are screened as many as 50% of the infants with audio loss slip through undetected. This is why that it is important to have a child tested at a hearing center regularly. This is also one of the reasons why the United States established the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program. This program makes it mandatory to test all newborns birthed in hospitals for audio function. Up until 1990, children born with mild to severe sound impairment would have been left undiagnosed for up to three years on average. Since the inception of EHDI this program has helped tens of thousands of children with early detection and rehabilitation that would have normally remained untreated.

The other reasons that early detection and treatment is vital for parents are the additional costs involved in delayed detection and rehab services. This added cost is also an important factor for the state to consider because of additional tax revenue that has to be spent to rehab the child. When detection of impairment is delayed it is generally not identified until the child reaches school age. In the majority of these cases when an audio loss is finally discovered the child is generally placed into special education classes. These classes, on average, cost taxpayers an additional $420,000 and have a lifetime additional cost of approximately $1,000,000. The other factor is the additional costs to the parent as children with social and learning disabilities just cost more raise. These costs also carry over into the child’s life as hearing impaired children have been shown to earn between 30%-50% less money over a lifetime than their unimpaired peers.

Because not all audio loss is diagnosed early and because of the risks involved in problems developing in the toddler’s early years, it is always a good idea to have your children’s audio function tested at regular intervals at a quality hearing center.

Pediatric Cardiac Surgery – Understanding Congenital Heart Defects

Congenital heart defects are a malformation in one or more structures of the heart or blood vessels that occurs before a child is born, during the development of the fetus. This developmental defect can affect approximately 8 out of every 1000 children and stems from a variety of causes. While some expectant mothers will fault their own actions when this occurs, fearing the worst for their children, modern technology has brought us to a point where traditional treatments using medication and pediatric cardiac surgery are able to correct most heart defects.

Pediatric Heart Surgery – The Underlying Cause of Congenital Heart Defects

In the majority of patients, the cause for their congenital heart defect is not directly or readily known. Through research however, pediatric specialists have discovered a number of factors that can contribute to or are associated with an increased chance of a child developing a congenital heart defect. This includes:

* Genetic abnormalities or abnormalities in the chromosomes (e.g. – Down syndrome)

* Alcohol or recreational drug use/abuse during pregnancy

* Taking certain prescription medications during pregnancy

* Viral infections during the first trimester of pregnancy, such as rubella

In cases where there is a family history of heart defects, a child has double the chance (16 in 1000) of being born with a defect that may require corrective pediatric cardiac surgery or some other form of treatment.

Defining Congenital Heart Defects

There are several defects that are detected and treated early on in infancy.

Heart Valve Defects – Any one or more of the valves in the heart may malfunction through narrowing or stenosis. Also, complete closure of a valve that impeded/prevents blood flow can occur. Other heart defects include leaky valves that don’t close. This reduces the pressure, forces the heart to work harder and allows blood to leak backwards as the chambers of the heart compress.

Patent Ductus Arteriosus – This defect allows blood to bypass the lungs as it circulates, forcing unoxygenated blood back through the body. This starves the body of oxygen and as a result the heart must work harder to oxygenate the tissues of the body.

Transposition of Greater Vessels – Blood from the left and the right side of the heart intermix because the arterial connections in the heart are incorrect.

Aortic Coarctation – This is a pinched Aorta. The narrowing of the Aorta can increase pressure and reduce circulation through the body, creating a variety of symptoms including a failure to thrive. It may also be present with no symptoms.

Pediatric Cardiac Surgery – Diagnosing Congenital Heart Disease

It’s important to note that while congenital defects typically develop early on, they can be diagnosed before birth, after birth, throughout childhood later in life when the patient is an adult. For some adults, they live with a heart defect and present with no symptoms or issues. Depending on the patient, the assumed defect, the age of child and other factors, a number of tests can be ordered to check for and confirm a diagnosis. This includes:

* Echocardiogram

* Cardiac Catheterization

* Chest X-ray

* Electrocardiogram


Pediatric Heart Surgery & Other Treatments for Congenital Heart Defects

It’s typical for congenital heart defects in children to require pediatric cardiac surgery or some kind of interventional procedure in order to repair the defect. To ensure the heart is able to recover and grow normally after birth, children are often treated with medication to help improve the function of the heart after surgical repairs are complete.

How Safe is the Latest SSRI Drug on Children and the Elderly in the Treatment of Depression

SSRI drugs – that is, drugs belonging to the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor class of drugs – are used in the treatment of depression and generalized anxiety disorders. The latest such drug to enter the US market is Lexapro, whose active principle is escitalopram oxalate. Available in the US since 2002, Lexapro is superior to older SSRI drugs by way of smaller dosage, quicker onset of action, and milder side-effects in most cases. Yet, it is not without side-effects altogether and therefore requires expert medical attention during the treatment. This is particularly true in the cases of child and elderly patients.

Children and adolescents: Though the potential side-effects of Lexapro on children and adolescents is the same as for adults, the younger patients require special attention because they may not thoroughly understand their medical condition and the effects of the anti-depressants, especially an SSRI, with which they are being medicated.The side-effects manifest in pediatric treatment more quickly than in adults. These side-effects include: panic attacks; agitation; aggressive or irrational behavior; increase in worry, anxiety and/or depression; suicidal thoughts; insomnia; unusual excitation; or any abrupt changes in behavior.

These side-effects arise in the first few days to about three weeks of the start of treatment and taper off thereafter, though exceptions have been noted.Parents must make it a point to report to the doctor every sign of abnormal behavior in their child taking Lexapro. The doctor is the only person to decide the course of action – which may be a reduction in dosage, or administration of an additional medicine to cope with specific side-effects, or a change of medication, or simply an advice to live with the side-effects through the first few weeks. In any event, children and adolescents need constant attention from parents or guardians to ensure that they do not end up doing something drastic as the side-effects run their course.

Elderly patients: The pleasant information concerning Lexapro is that its side-effects on elderly patients are much less than that of other SSRI drugs such as Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft. The specific side-effect on which Lexapro scores above the other SSRIs is: suicidal tendency. Since elderly patients usually have the thought of death in their mind, aggravation of their depressive or anxiety disorder (as an initial side-effect of SSRI treatment) can be understood to fuel suicidal tendencies.

But a research in Canada has shown that elderly patients taking Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft are nearly five times more likely to commit suicide in the first month of treatment than those talking Lexapro or other classes of anti-depressants. As for side-effects other than the suicidal thought, they are of the same nature but higher intensity in elderly patients than in younger patients. This is because the body system of the elderly is less adaptable to the physiological changes caused by Lexapro and other anti-depressants, even though these changes are temporary. Therefore, as with children and adolescents, elderly patients too need close medical attention and family care to avoid self-harm in the course of their treatment.

Important Reasons Why Your Child Should Visit a Chiropractor

Chiropractic is commonly viewed as a therapeutic treatment for neck and back pain. It has proven to be very effective. So effective that many of its other health benefits are overlooked. Simply stated, chiropractic care is much more than a pain reliever.

The basic tenet of chiropractic is that the central nervous system controls and coordinates every function of your body. This central nervous system includes the brain, spinal cord and the millions of nerves that extend to every cell and tissue in your body. Your delicate nervous system is protected by the spinal column. Your spinal column is comprised of 24 freely moveable bones called vertebrae. These vertebrae may become misaligned causing interference to your nervous system. This minor misalignment of a vertebrae is termed subluxation.

A recent study of over 1200 infants revealed that 95% of those evaluated were found to have from mild to severe spinal issues. Symptoms of these issues included hyperactivity, sleeplessness and vomiting. The authors note that chiropractic adjustments were beneficial. Many of the infants stopped crying, became quieter, showed signs of muscle relaxation and sleepiness. This study also concluded that, if left untreated, these spinal issues called subluxation, can lead to impairment of motor skills and the central nervous system resulting in a lower resistance to many infections and viruses especially those affecting the ears, nose and throat.

You may ask yourself how a child’s vertebrae could become misaligned. The first potential for misalignment is the birth process. Breach presentation, forceps delivery and prolonged labor place a significant amount of stress on a newborn’s spine and nervous system. Other events include falls while learning to walk, sports injuries, etc. The list goes on and on. All of these seemingly mild traumas have a cumulative effect and may result in subluxation.

As an adult you are able to discuss with your chiropractor any symptoms or health issues you notice. Infants and young children don’t as readily express themselves in words. They express themselves in other ways. They cry, become irritable and don’t eat properly. When your child is seen by a pediatric chiropractor they will be expertly evaluated for the presence of subluxation. They want to make sure that your child begins life with the best possible potential. Whether your child presents with symptoms or for a check-up, a thorough history of the birth and labor process is taken. This is followed by a thorough physical examination that includes orthopedic, neurological and movement testing. If subluxations are detected, a proper treatment program will be explained.

To review, we have talked about how the brain and central nervous system control and coordinates all functions of the body. Minor misalignments of the vertebrae are called subluxations. Subluxations are caused from a difficult birth process, falls, sports injuries, etc. These subluxations interfere with the proper functioning of the nervous system resulting in a loss of health. Chiropractors are specially trained to identify and correct subluxations, thereby alleviating symptoms and restoring health.

So why should your child or infant to a chiropractor? So that they reach their full potential. To give them the best start in life. Because they are worth it.