Update from CHOC Physician-In-Chief, Dr. Nick Anas

I am very proud to be entering the new academic year as the recently named CHOC Children’s senior vice president and physician-in-chief (PIC). Our President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kim Cripe sees this as a natural progression from the pediatrician-in-chief position I have held over the past several years. My primary objective remains to further CHOC’s clinical and academic vision. In this newly expanded capacity, I will continue my focus on nurturing relationships, both internally and externally, clinically and academically. I look forward to working with you all to create a brighter future for our patients and their families.

CHOC Children’s Physician-In-Chief, Dr. Nick Anas

I take great pride in the level of care we provide to our patients, and I am honored to have spent the vast majority of my career at CHOC. Even in my expanded role, I will not step entirely away from the privilege of caring for our patients and families. You will continue to see me in the PICU and CVICU on a fairly regular basis as I continue my research efforts, as well as on-going teaching and mentoring of our residents and fellows.

This will be another exciting academic year, as we enter a new chapter in the growth of world-class programs. We recently opened our new private-room NICU, and look forward to the 2018 opening of our mental health inpatient center. We will continue growing our fellowship programs, increasing our emphasis on collaborative relationships, and striving toward innovative population health management strategies. Within the next 30 days, the CHOC Children’s and Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine Research Collaborative will launch two exciting projects. We are also preparing to begin the recruitment of our first ever chief scientific officer (CSO). And finally, I am extremely encouraged by the growth in philanthropy here at CHOC, and look forward to participating in our Transformational Venture Funding and our numerous Innovation Institute initiatives.

While I can’t possibly list all the exciting projects and program advancements happening on our hospital campuses, I would like to again say how proud I am to be in a position to work with you as we continue our focus on excellence in clinical medicine, teaching, research and innovation at CHOC Children’s.

Nick Anas, MD

CHOC Children’s Physician-In-Chief 

CHOC Children’s recognized as critical care leader

CHOC Children’s has again been recognized by an international consortium for its excellence in extracorporeal life support (ECLS), a special procedure that takes over the heart’s pumping function and the lungs’ oxygen exchange until a patient can recover from injury or illness.

The platinum-level Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) Award of Excellence in Life Support recognizes programs worldwide that distinguish themselves by having evidence-based processes, procedures and systems in place that promote excellence in ECLS. As a recipient of a platinum designation, CHOC is among the highest scoring institutions.

As an award recipient, CHOC has also earned another three-year designationas an ELSO Center of Excellence. CHOC is the only Orange County hospital offering ECLS, also known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

“This award validates CHOC’s efforts and commitment to providing exceptional, state-of-the-art critical care to patients and families, and can provide families with added assurance that CHOC is the right place to receive this special type of care,” said Dr. Joanne Starr, CHOC’s ECLS director and medical director of cardiothoracic surgery.

The ELSO Award of Excellence demonstrates an assurance of high-quality standards, collaboration, specialized equipment and supplies, defined patient protocols, and advanced education of all staff members. Additionally, the award is recognized by U.S. News & World Report and Parents magazine as one criterion for top institutions.

ELSO is an international consortium of health care professionals and scientists dedicated to the development and evaluation of novel therapies for support of failing organ systems.

An award ceremony will take place at the annual ELSO conference in Baltimore in September.

Learn more about CHOC’s extracorporeal life support program.

Physical Therapy’s Role in Wound Care

By Ruchi Bagrodia, physical therapist at CHOC Children’s

Did you know that the physical therapy team provides wound care for the kids at CHOC Children’s?

Part of their scope of practice, both physical therapists and physical therapist assistants complete coursework in wound management during their higher level education. Several PTs and PTAs at CHOC have received specialized training in wound care and many have gone on to receive board certifications in wound care. With this training, a therapist is able to evaluate wounds, decide on the best treatment, and create a comprehensive wound care plan in collaboration with the patient, family, and medical team.

Physical therapists are able to use their expert knowledge of anatomy, tissue healing, movement and positioning to develop an individualized plan of care that also aims to improve movement and function. Successful wound healing may allow a child to more quickly return to school, participate in gym class and enjoy a summer trip to the beach with their family.  The ultimate goal of physical therapy is to restore function and allow people to get back to the things they love doing!

How do PTs provide wound care at CHOC?

At CHOC, PTs and PTAs provide wound care services for kids on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. During an evaluation, a PT will decide how to best clean, dress, and protect the child’s wound, and also provide recommendations to the parent to encourage wound healing and to prevent complications.

Here are some tips to share with patients’s families when caring for their own minor wounds or skin injuries at home:

  • Keep dried scabs moist using a healing ointment or petroleum jelly for faster healing time. While it may be challenging, try your best not to pick at scabs!
  • If a wound is open (appearing wet, bleeding or draining liquid), cover it with some type of bandage. Leaving it open to air will increase the risk of infection.
  • Common signs of infection include redness, swelling, pain and warmth. Call your doctor if you notice an increase in signs of infection that are not already being treated.
  • When using over-the-counter antibiotic ointments for minor cuts and scrapes make sure to follow the dosage instructions. It is not recommended to use many of these ointments for more than seven days unless stated by your doctor. Many people have allergic reactions to triple antibiotic ointments. If you notice a wound is getting worse with an ointment, stop using it and talk to a health care professional.
  • Hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol are commonly used to clean wounds, although both are damaging to your healthy skin cells. Instead, simply use mild soap and water to clean a cut or scrape.
  • Different types of sandals, shoes, plus foot and ankle braces can all cause areas of redness caused by too much pressure to the skin. If the redness does not go away after 15 minutes upon removing the pressure, the fit needs to be modified to avoid further injury to the skin.
  • Nutrition makes a difference in wound healing! Incorporate foods that are high in protein, Vitamins A and C, and Zinc into your diet to help with healing. Learn more by visiting ChooseMyPlate.gov for tips on how to create a balanced diet.

 

CHOC Children’s Opens New NICU with All Private Rooms

CHOC Children’s Hospital has opened its new neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with 36 private rooms, a feature that will allow parents the opportunity to stay close to their newborns receiving intensive care.

A patient room in CHOC’s new NICU

The 25,000-square-foot unit nearly triples the size of the hospital’s previous Level 4 NICU, which included an open layout that grouped patients in pod-style beds.

The new unit, located on the fourth floor of CHOC’s Bill Holmes Tower, creates a homey atmosphere with sleeping quarters and storage space outfitted in warm colors and wooden accents to help parents feel more comfortable while their infants receive highly specialized care for extended periods of time.

“CHOC is proud to offer private rooms to our smallest patients and their parents,” said Dr. Vijay Dhar, medical director of CHOC’s NICU. “No one’s vision of parenthood includes a NICU stay, but our new unit will provide parents with the space and privacy to get to know their new baby, and reassurance that they’ll be nearby while their newborn receives the highest level of care.”

Private NICU rooms are a new standard for improved patient outcomes. Benefits for babies cared for in single-family rooms include higher weight at discharge and more rapid weight gain. Also, they require fewer medical procedures and experience less stress, lethargy and pain. Researchers have attributed these findings to increased maternal involvement.

A nurses station in CHOC’s new NICU

A private-room setting provides space and privacy sought by parents to breastfeed, practice skin-to-skin bonding, and be more intimately involved in their baby’s care. Further, individual rooms allow parents to stay overnight with their newborn, and give staff more access and interaction with the family and patient.

In addition to private rooms, the new space includes other features that will enhance patient care. Should an infant need a sudden surgical procedure, three rooms within the unit can quickly be converted into space for surgeries. The unit will also include a life-saving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) unit. Rooms that adjoin can be used to accommodate triplets.

Safety features include same-handed rooms, wherein equipment is positioned in the same location among all rooms to reduce human error; room-adjacent nursing alcoves; and an in-unit nutrition lab for the preparation of breast milk and formula.

CHOC’s new unit also features a family dining space, a room dedicated for siblings, a lactation room and other amenities to ensure the comfort of the entire family.

The CHOC Children’s Foundation has raised $4,381,984 toward the new NICU, including lead gifts from the Argyros Family Foundation, Credit Unions for Kids and philanthropist Margaret Sprague.

For several decades, CHOC has served infants requiring the highest level of care. With the unit’s opening, CHOC’s neonatal services now include 72 beds at CHOC Orange and the CHOC Children’s NICU at St. Joseph Hospital, and 22 beds at CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital. In addition, a team of premier CHOC neonatologists care for babies at hospitals throughout Southern California.

A room dedicated for NICU patients’ siblings

A suite of specialized services comprises the CHOC NICU: the Surgical NICU, which provides dedicated care to babies needing or recovering from surgery; the Small Baby Unit, where infants with extremely low birth weights receive coordinated care; the Neurocritical NICU, where babies with neurological problems are cohorted; and the Cardiac NICU, which provides comprehensive care for neonates with congenital heart defects.

Visit www.choc.org/nicu to learn more about CHOC’s neonatal services.

 

 

CHOC Sleep Center Receives American Academy of Sleep Medicine Accreditation

CHOC Children’s Sleep Center has recently received a five-year accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) for both Orange and Mission campuses, demonstrating CHOC’s commitment to the highest quality of patient care.

Accreditation by the AASM is the gold standard by which the medical community and the public evaluate sleep medicine facilities. CHOC joins an elite group of centers nationwide who have met the AASM’s rigorous standards in safety, patient evaluation and care, staffing and education, policies and procedures, quality improvement, facility and equipment, among other standards which incorporate the latest advances in sleep medicine.

“We are thrilled for this distinction. Our entire team is dedicated to the highest standards of care provided in our two state-of-the-art facilities, where patients and their families can have confidence that they are receiving quality diagnostics,” says Teresa O’Sullivan, CHOC’s director diagnostic and rehabilitation services.

CHOC’s sleep center focuses on identifying the physical or behavioral factors that affect sleep, from obstructed airways and breathing issues, to conditions including apnea and narcolepsy. The program’s mission is to help patients and their families understand a child’s sleep disorder and provide specialized treatment, sleep studies and close follow-up care.

The center’s multidisciplinary team includes board-certified pulmonologists, sleep medicine specialists and neurologists, as well as psychologists and specially trained sleep technologists.

CHOC Orange currently performs more than 950 sleep studies a year at its three-bed center, while CHOC Mission, which opened in fall 2014, performs more than 720 sleep studies a year in its three-bed center.

Learn more about CHOC’s pediatric sleep center services.

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