CHOC Conference Addresses Medical Complexities

With the number of children with complex medical needs expected to double in the next decade, an upcoming CHOC conference will provide important information for medical providers who are diagnosing and treating this patient population.

The Dec. 3 “Connecting the Dots … Diagnosing and Treating Children and Adolescents with Medical Complexity” will focus on commonly overlooked and under-diagnosed connective tissue disorders such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS); chronic pain syndromes; postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS); dysautonomia; and mast cell activation disorder.

The conference is recommended for community pediatricians, family practice physicians, and internal medicine physicians, as well as a variety of specialists, including gastroenterologists, cardiologists, neurologists, rheumatologists and pain specialists.

“These are multisystemic disorders with a variety of symptoms. If patients and physicians are not aware of some of these underlying diagnoses, patients may be experiencing diagnostic odysseys for years prior to an actual diagnosis being made,” says Dr. Neda Zadeh, a CHOC geneticist who will moderate the conference. “Earlier diagnosis is always better.”

Following the conference, attendees will gain new skills related to these conditions:

  • Recognizing the symptoms for some of the more common connective tissue disorders including EDS and hypermobility type, and referring accordingly to appropriate subspecialty.
  • Understanding the symptoms for POTS and how to assess for this in the outpatient medical setting;
  • Recognizing features of mast cell activation disorder, and understanding how this relates to certain forms of EDS;
  • Improving knowledge of chronic pain and connective tissue conditions in children and adolescents;
  • Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a possible underlying connective tissue disorders, as well as the resources and referrals available; and
  • Improving knowledge and treatment of chronic pain in children and adolescents.

Register for the conference on CHOC’s website.

A complementary conference Dec. 3 and 4 is dedicated to teen patients with connective tissue disorders and their parents. If you have a patient who would benefit from the conference, they can also find registration information on CHOC’s website.