Sunday, June 03, 2007

Pediatric Grand Rounds 2:4

This has been a very sobering week. A prolific and very much admired blogger, Flea, was unmasked in a very public way during his malpractice trial. There is a lot of talk going around on the medical and law blogs about this, most people agree that blogging about an ongoing trial is not a great idea no matter how anonymous you think you are. To me the saddest part of the whole thing is that there are two grieving parents who have a dead son and there is a Dr. Rob who could possibly loose his practice because he made a mistake (a definite blogging mistake and a possible medical mistake). It just does not seem fair to me that the lawyers are the only winners in this whole thing, they get to collect their paychecks and go on with life as usual.

The loss of Flea is a huge loss to the medical blogging community. He wrote out many evidence based posts on things that were being widely discussed about children's health. His series of posts on vaccinations are treasures that may never be replaced. His looks at alternative therapies and possible causes for Autism were also reoccurring themes in his blog. I especially loved how tried to empower parents by teaching them to take care of simple illnesses at home, keeping sick kids out of the doctor's office. I will never look at Neosporin the same way again.

Flea, you are gone and very much missed. Dr. Rob, I hope that you and your family are able to recover from this and hope that some day, some how we will be able to hear more from you.

Now on to Pediatric Grand Rounds!

Editor's picks

First off we have a new submitter, Dr Mike who blogs some but also has a great podcast called Pediacast that he produces weekly. He takes a critical look at some of the latest research and also answers listener questions. He gives us some summer water safety tips in Swimming: Fun Exercise or Dangerous Diversion? You decide!

Bryan Vartabedian at Parenting Solved tells of one of the many lengths that parents will go to to help a child with colic sleep,The Colic Kabuki Dance.

Ben Goldacre at Bad Science gives us a chilling tale of how television shows are really not all that into scientific facts and prefer to just scare people with mumbo jumbo. Here is a very simple diagram of the problem at hand.

The best of the rest

Judy tells us about a code she attended. It is sobering example of why drinking and teenagers do not mix, IV Therapy Escapades - Part V.

The Midlife Midwife gives us a story of a pregnant teenager that is not quite ready to fall into the teenage mother stereotype, I'm not stupid.

Is everything the way it appears to be when you are trying to diagnose a patient? Not all the time, as Clark Bartram points out in On Judging Book Covers.....

Flu does not always work alone, sometimes there are other diseases helping to kill patients. This is one reason why getting a flu shot is important. When Children Die From the Flu.

Dr Scott faces difficult choices where the treatment should be simple, Easy or Hard?. You decide.

Bigger is better when it comes to some things like the NICU. Dr. Gwen discuses the new findings, Having a baby? Think big.

Medgaget has an article about a child that went through treatment to help with his sensory processing dysfunction, Hacking My Kid's Brain: A Report at Wired . It truly is amazing how the brain is so very plastic in young children.

Laura discusses some of the down sides to letting older siblings into the NICU, good-bye and hello again. Also included is a little story about why children of people working in the medical field might not want to press for too many details of what that parents is doing while at work.

Autism is a a hot topic in pediatric medicine. It has now escalated to a new level, parents of children with Autism are heading to the courts to attempt to get some compensation for the "vaccine injury" caused by the mercury in vaccines. Orc goes over the details of the case in The mercury militia go to court.

Do'C (Dad of Cameron) dissects an article that was put out by an "Autism expert" written in response to an article in Slate magazine about the trial mentioned above. You Got Nothing

Advocates of chelation therapy are starting to change their tune as more parents become wise to their spurious claims. Prometheus wonders how parents can get the help they need with out being taken advantage of by quacks, The Next Revolution.

The HPV vaccine is another hot topic in the news. Arthur Allen shows how some groups are trying to find harm where there was none, Vaers and Veritas

Sandy Szwarc busts some ancient myths about sugar,Science of sweets . I must admit I had my mind blown when I read this one, it goes to show that the vast majority of the dieting gurus have no idea what the heck they are talking about. She follows up the post with some simple advice let your kid be a kid, Remembering what it’s like to be a child. She also has some great thoughts about the state of oral health. Some people are claiming that parents are rotting kid's teeth out by giving them too many sweet foods, the science says otherwise: It will rot your teeth out!

Shinga (with out whom this PGR would have been impossible) has a link to some animated educational videos about BrainPOP and Educational Films About Asthma, Allergies and the Immune System. She also searches for decent coverage of allergies in the media, R4's Allergic Reactions Was Spotty and Irritating in Parts.

Adding in because I completely forgot to put this one in: Sarah gives an interesting account of her son's surgery to have his squinty eye repaired. Eyes Right

That does it for this edition of PGR. I want to thank all those that submitted articles. PGR 2:5 will be hosted by Mousetrapper at Med Journal Watch. Submit here:

Clark is looking for hosts for future editions of PGR so come on and step up to the plate. The only way that this can continue to be as great as it has been in the past is if we all help out.


Anonymous said...

For Dr. Flea,

You'll be missed.

Unknown said...

Well done, Awesome!.

Dignified acknowledgement of what has been happening in the paeds blogging world.

Rregards - Shinga

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great job, Awesome Mom. And thanks for your kind words about Flea.

Anonymous said...

Great job!

But I beg you, for the sake of science, please remove the story called "Hacking my Kid's Brain."

This parent reported "miraculous results" in her child's sensory scores which unfortunately, show complete ignorance of the significance of normed, standardized test scores. She cites percentile changes as a result of "treatment":

from the 32 to the 47th percentile

from the 58th-to the 82nd percentile

and from the 70th to the 84th percentile.

As anyone who understands standardized testing knows by heart:

scores between the 16th and the 82nd percentiles fall within the normal range.

That's correct:

AS a result of "treatment," this child went from normal scores to normal scores.

I'm not going to argue this mom's subjective experience of improvement, and certainly wish her child well.

And I have no axe to grind against the treatment center she attended.

But as a rehabilitation professional who looks at standardized tests all day long, I must tell you, this doesn't fly.

Dr. Gwenn said...

Great PGR! Thanks for including me.

Anonymous said...

Correction to my earlier post--typing too fast:

Scores between the 32nd and 84th percentile are in the normal range.

Karen said...

Great PGR! I love the comments about each submission. Helps me to decide what to check out further!
And thanks for including, my husband. :)

Judy said...

Great job, and thanks for inviting me to participate!

Bryan Vartabedian said...

Awsome job Awsome - and some nice words on our Flea. Thanks on the pick

Overwhelmed! said...

Wow, that's a lot of information in one post. I don't know where to start. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for explaining what happened to our Flea. One day he was gone... I missed a post or so, from the article... or maybe I didn't read his earlier posts in enough detail to remember the content.
Thank you again, for shedding light and words on his departure.