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Sep 16

Why It's Important to Know About Sepsis

By: Orlaith Staunton

Staunton_Family.jpgSeptember is Sepsis Awareness Month. Although sepsis is the leading cause of children’s deaths globally, the majority of Americans have never heard the word. In the Unites States alone, sepsis kills more than 250,000 annually. For that reason, it is imperative that people, particularly parents, know about sepsis and its signs.

Sep 14

Looking back on Family Advocacy Day with Kate Pecora


Above, Kate Pecora (left) and her family pose for a photo with  U.S. Representative Seth Moulton (D-MA)

Kate was one of two Boston Children's patients who travelled to Washington D.C. this summer to represent the hospital at Family Advocacy Day. This piece was originally published on Boston Children’s Today.

by Kate Pecora

This past June, my family and I were asked by Boston Children's Hospital to attend Family Advocacy Day in Washington DC, sponsored by the National Children’s Hospital Association. The main purpose of making the trip to Congress was to speak about the excellent level of care that I have received and what can be done to make every child have equal access to the same care. Though speaking to the members of Congress was an important part of the trip, there were many other moments that I will be able to take with me and hopefully pass on to other children’s health advocates.

Sep 14

Pediatric Sepsis: A First-Hand Account with Two Different Outcomes

Matthew Wright is the Director of Advocacy and Mobilization with the Children’s Hospital Association. He oversees the Speak Now for Kids community.

baby_picture.jpgI was an unplanned baby. My birth mother was a teenager who hid the pregnancy from her parents to the point where she stayed with friends to avoid potential condemnation from family members. Despite her circumstances, my birth mother was committed to proceed with the pregnancy and offer me for adoption.

With no health insurance and limited access to prenatal care, my birth mother didn’t receive timely treatment for a number of health issues throughout her pregnancy. One of her most serious health conditions was sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection.

Sep 10

Looking back on Family Advocacy Day with Deyven Ferreras


Above, Deyven Ferreras (left), his mother and his sister take a walk near the Lincoln Memorial.

Deyven was one of two patients from Boston Children's Hospital who traveled to Washington D.C. this summer to represent the hospital at Family Advocacy Day. This piece was originally published on Boston Children’s Today.

by Deyven Ferreras

Family Advocacy Day experience was nothing like what I expected it to be.

Aug 27

August is SMA Awareness Month

CureSMA_Logo_CMYK.JPGSpinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a disease that robs people of physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to walk, eat, or breathe. The most severe form of the disease—SMA type I—is also the most common, making SMA the leading genetic cause of death for infants.

SMA is caused by a mutation in the survival motor neuron gene 1 (SMN1). In a healthy person, this gene produces a protein that is critical to the function of the nerves that control our muscles. Because individuals with SMA don’t produce this protein at high enough levels, those nerve cells cannot properly function and eventually die.

Aug 12

Pediatrician Remembers Measles Patients at Louisville General in the 1960s

MedicineBeforeVaccinesLogo.jpegIn recognition of National Immunization Awareness Month, Speak Now for Kids will be sharing articles from Medicine Before Vaccines, a new series from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

By: Olson Huff, MD, FAAP

In 1962, during my senior year in medical school, I worked at the evening clinic at Louisville General Hospital. By 6:00 pm the waiting room was full, and it was not hard, even for a medical school student like me at the time, to diagnose the many measles cases that awaited treatment as coughs filled the air and many children presented with the distinct rash and red eyes that are common with measles patients.

Aug 05

Pediatrician Remembers Measles & Diphtheria in Charleston

medbeforevaclogo.jpgIn recognition of National Immunization Awareness Month, Speak Now for Kids will be sharing articles from Medicine Before Vaccines, a new series from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

By: William R. Purcell, MD, FAAP

As a practicing pediatrician for 36 years, I often worked with patients suffering with diseases that have since been widely prevented by immunizations. During my internship in 1956, we still had patients in iron lungs because of paralysis from polio.

In the early days of my pediatric training and practice and prior to newer vaccines, I personally helped care for seven children who unfortunately died from complications occurring with measles. There was no treatment for measles and its complications, as is true today, so all that we could do was provide symptomatic and supportive care.

Jul 30

Celebrating 50 Years of a Vital Program for Kids

medicaid-50th-twitter-506x253-v2.jpgFifty years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the federal and state health care partnership called Medicaid.

Jul 20

Celebrating 50 Years of Medicaid on Wellness Wednesday


Moms Rising will be hosting a “Wellness Wednesday” Twitter chat to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Medicaid on Wednesday, July 22. The chat will focus on the importance of Medicaid and discuss many questions people have about the Medicaid program.

Jul 16

A Family's Journey With Juvenile Arthritis

July is Juvenile Arthritis (JA) Awareness Month. Charity, a mother of two children with the disease, shares her family's experience when a lump on her daughter's leg was diagnosed as a type of JA

JA_blog_1.jpgExactly a year ago, we were preparing for a fun day on our friend's boat. Full ice chest, swimsuits, and great friends. As we were getting ready to swim, we noticed a strange, lumpy discolored texture going from Tessa's hip down to her knee on her right leg. After nearly 6 years of Isabel's arthritis, I knew this was concerning. After the holiday weekend, we made appointments with her doctor and we were referred to dermatology. Our appointment was in August, a few days before her birthday. Between July 5 and The August appointment, I lost track of how many times we heard, "wow, I've never seen anything like that!" Not reassuring to hear that from your doctor!

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