CHOC Children’s to host educational dinner about infantile spasms

Health care providers and family members are invited to learn about infantile spasms at an educational dinner hosted by CHOC Children’s on Oct. 25, 2016, at 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., on CHOC’s Orange campus (Harold Wade Education Center, 1201 W. La Veta Ave.)

Undiagnosed infantile spasms can develop into intractable epilepsy, a very common, but debilitating disorder. Each year, 150,000 children and adolescents in the country will have a single, unprovoked seizure, and 33 to 45 percent of these children will develop epilepsy. Infantile spasms are easy to miss for a pediatrician, as they can mimic common symptoms and conditions, such as sleep disturbances, gastroesophageal reflux, startle and shuddering attacks.

The onset for infantile spasm is usually between 4 to 8 months of life, and is characterized by clusters of flexion or extension of upper and lower extremities, occurring for five to 10 seconds every 10 to 20 minutes. Early recognition of this and other epilepsy syndromes is of critical importance in determining a treatment plan. The consequences of intractable epilepsy are multiple and can be very detrimental – including psychosocial and academic effects.

There is a four to six-week window of opportunity to treat infantile spasms most successfully. If infantile spasms are suspected, an urgent appointment with a board certified pediatric neurologist is recommended.

Evening Agenda

Following arrival and dinner, from 6-6:30 p.m., the following schedule is planned for the evening:

6:30-6:45 p.m.           Introduction and case presentation

6:45-7 p.m.                 What are infantile spasms and why the urgency to treat?

7-7:20 p.m.                 Treatment and management

7:20-7:40 p.m.           Latest research

7:40-8 p.m.                 Real stories from the O.C.

8-8:30 p.m.                 Q & A

Expected outcomes for attendees include:  recognizing the presentation of infantile spasms; knowing how to promptly and appropriately refer to a pediatric neurologist; and recalling current research endeavors about infantile spasms.

To register, visit


CHOC Children’s leads the way in fetal cardiology and fetal echocardiography, and recently shared its expertise at its first “Pacific Coast Fetal Cardiology 2017: An Interactive and Case-based Education Symposium.” Held at the Marriott Hotel, Newport Beach, the conference brought together nurses, sonographers, physicians, trainees and health care professionals from 50 different organizations across the country.

Led by Dr. Wyman Lai, medical director of echocardiography and co-medical director of the CHOC Children’s Heart Institute, and Anita Moon-Grady, from University of California, San Francisco, the event provided vital education on how to detect serious heart defects during pregnancy, and how to discern when to refer to a fetal cardiology specialist for further testing, counseling and intervention. Additionally, education was provided on  the current International Society for Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG) and American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) guidelines, including: how to improve screening efficacy; acquire the ability to rule out or assess for selected complex anomalies during fetal cardiology screening; diagnose obstructive left heart lesions and counsel families on treatment options and prognoses; use key features reviewed to diagnose heterotaxy syndrome; counsel patients on the benefits and limitations of early fetal echocardiography; and diagnose tetralogy of Fallot, its variants and when to refer to a pediatric cardiologist for treatment.

More than a dozen cases were presented by various speakers and featured obstructive left heart lesions, Heterotaxy syndromes, early fetal echocardiography and variants of tetralogy of Fallot. Keynote speakers included Dr. Wayne Tworetzky from Boston Children’s and Dr. Lynn Simpson from Columbia.

Dr. Neda Zadeh, CHOC geneticist, presented, “Understanding Fetal Screening for Chromosomal Abnormalities.” No screening test can detect all birth defects, she explained; however, diagnostic testing is the “gold standard”for prenatal diagnosis of a chromosomal abnormality. CHOC pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Pierangelo Renella, provided an in-depth clinical presentation, “Coarctation of the Aorta versus Interrupted Aortic Arch.”

A major highlight of the conference was a live demonstration of a fetal echocardiogram performed by Dr. Wyman Lai on a pregnant patient with a fetus who presented with tetralogy of Fallot. As he demonstrated the procedure on the large screen, attendees were enthralled with Dr. Lai’s presentation and diagnosis.

Learn more about CHOC’s Heart Institute and fetal echocardiography program

Find upcoming conferences and events: CHOC’s Continuing Medical Education

Join Us For CHOC Charity Golf Classic on May 15

An annual golf tournament, “CHOC Charity Classic” benefiting CHOC Children’s is set for Monday, May 15, at the Pelican Hill Golf Club in Newport Beach.

Presented by Cigna, the popular event attracts leading business leaders and golf enthusiasts in support of our community’s children and the future of their health and well being.

Participants will enjoy 18 championship holes on Pelican Hill’s north and south courses, continental breakfast, box lunch, raffle, and a barbecue reception.

Click here for the entry form, sponsorship opportunities and more.

NeoHeart: Cardiovascular Management of the Neonate Conference, March 22-25

With the growing number of neonates with congenital heart disease, an upcoming CHOC Children’s conference will provide critical information for medical providers who are diagnosing and treating this complex patient population.

The NeoHeart: Cardiovascular Management of the Neonate conference, held on March 22-25, 2017 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, will cover pre- and post-operative management of complex heart disease, latest in the management of pulmonary hypertension, neonatal myocardium and hemodynamics, among others topics.

“The intent of the conference is to advocate for a team approach between the NICU, cardiac ICU, cardiology, and cardiac surgery for state-of-the-art cardiovascular management of the neonate, with the focus entirely on the patient,” says Dr. Amir Ashrafi, cardiac neonatologist at CHOC, and conference co-chair.

The anticipated event is expected to draw over 500 attendees from more than 11 countries. This includes top experts in the field, such as keynote speaker, Dr. William I. Norwood, Jr., founder of the Norwood procedure – a three-stage heart surgery that creates a new functional systemic circuit in patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. A special dinner with Dr. Norwood on his legendary career is slated for March 22.

The dynamic, TED-style talk conference will emphasize group discussion, says Dr. Ashrafi. He invites physicians, physician’s assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, fellows, residents, and other allied health professionals who specialize in neonatology, pediatric cardiology, pediatric intensive care, and cardiothoracic surgery to attend.

After the conference participants will be able to:

  • Follow suggested pre and post-operative management guidelines for the neonate with complex heart disease.
  • Determine treatment options in the premature in the premature neonate with congenital heart disease.
  • Use suggested state-of-the-art management of pulmonary hypertension.
  • Consider neonatal mycocardium and hemodynamics of shock.
  • Follow updated protocols for feeding the neonate with CHD.
  • Review current controversies of the ductus arteriosus.
  • Employ suggested strategies for optimizing long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes.

Given the outcomes and interest surrounding the conference in the last few years, Dr. Ashrafi and his colleagues launched the first international neonatal heart society. The group plans to work closely with other professional organizations such as The Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society.

To register for NeoHeart: Cardiovascular Management of the Neonate, visit CHOC’s website.  

CME credit is available.


CHOC Doctors’ Day Celebration

In recognition of Doctors’ Day, we would like to take the opportunity to recognize CHOC Children’s physicians for their dedication to the patients and families we serve. Each day they offer hope and healing through their compassionate and world-class care.

CHOC Children’s Hospital

Friday, March 31, 2017

A “Roaring 20s” themed luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., at CHOC Children’s Hospital, in the Wade Center, located on the second floor of the CHOC West/Clinic Building.

A recognition ceremony will begin promptly at noon.

Please RSVP by Friday, March 24 to CHOC Business Development, at or or 714-509-4291.

A photographer will be available on site to take professional head shots. To schedule a time, please email Mindy Mahoney, marketing specialist at CHOC, at

CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A special lunch and physician social will be held at 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the tent outside Tower #2.  No RSVP is required.

Lab tests, as well as professional photos, will be provided at 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., in the Pavilion Conference Room.

For questions about Mission Hospital’s event, please call the medical staff office at 949-364-7756.