Pediatrix Clinicians in the News

May 21, 2024 | by Jennifer Gutierrez
Pediatrix Clinicians in the News

In addition to the highly specialized care our clinicians provide to patients across the country every day, many also serve as go-to expert sources for top national and regional media outlets. Pediatrix® clinicians regularly contribute to news articles, sharing their expertise to help educate readers on a wide variety of popular topics related to women’s and children’s health, as well as unique stories of innovative patient care.

Here’s a roundup of some of the latest stories:

Karen Keough, M.D., pediatric neurologist and practice medical director, spoke with Parents about a new study that found that acetaminophen use during pregnancy is not associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, contradicting some prior reports. "This study is a very important response to concerns from the previous studies," said Dr. Keough. As a pain reducer and anti-fever agent, acetaminophen can be important in pregnancy as other pain and fever medications like ibuprofen or naproxen should not be taken, she said. "Fever, in particular, can be dangerous to the developing baby’s brain and should be controlled, especially in early pregnancy, and pain relief might be essential for many situations."

Jenelle Ferry, M.D., neonatologist and director of feeding, nutrition and infant development, spoke with Fox News about toddler milk, which is marketed with claims of improving brain development or immune function. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently warned that it is "unnecessary and potentially harmful to young children." "For healthy toddlers without a specific medical diagnosis, there is no evidence of a need [for] or benefit from toddler milk," said Dr. Ferry. When children need extra nutrition because of a medical condition — such as failure to thrive or an intestinal or metabolic disorder — they should receive specialty liquid nutrition rather than products marketed as toddler milk, she noted.

Kyle Graham, M.D., obstetrician-gynecologist and practice medical director, spoke to The Bump about twin pregnancy. He shared that symptoms are typically felt earlier in the first trimester, noting that symptoms of nausea and vomiting can be severe. “Sometimes symptoms of pregnancy occur sooner than expected because the pregnancy hormone levels rise higher and faster in twin pregnancies,” said Dr. Graham. Twin pregnancies also come with a higher risk of certain complications. “Some of the most important differences include the risk of having a preterm delivery, the risk of having a Cesarean section and let’s not forget the postpartum period where the patient will be managing two newborns.”

Minal Patel, M.D., sleep pediatrician, spoke to Sleepopolis about a new study that found that sleep apnea could be increasingly common in young children ages two to six years old, possibly due to increasing childhood obesity rates and air pollution. Dr. Patel shared that obesity may cause altered muscular tone, which can result in a collapse of the upper airway, and an increased load on the chest wall can cause slow or shallow breathing. Air pollution’s link to sleep apnea can be explained by “upper airway inflammation, edema and subsequent narrowing,” said Dr. Patel. She noted that sleep apnea can be difficult to spot in children as the symptoms may be slightly different than those presented in adults. “Children with sleep apnea often present with behavioral issues, inability to focus/hyperactivity and depressed mood as compared to daytime sleepiness in adult patients.”

Puji Jonnalagadda, M.D., developmental-behavioral pediatrician, spoke to SheKnows about early signs of autism in infants and toddlers. Autism is typically diagnosed at age five, but experts say it should be earlier. There are several signs to watch for, including lack of direct communication. Dr. Jonnalagadda shared that a child exhibiting early signs of autism might struggle with nonverbal gestures, including pointing, showing or reaching for things. In babies, it can also “look like decreased or absence of joyful expressions such as smiling,” and inability or difficulty maintaining eye contact, she said.

Todd Zimmerman, M.D., pediatric emergency medicine physician and practice medical director, spoke with Care about delayed drowning in kids. “The key here is that inflammation and subsequent damage may evolve over a period of time — hours or possibly days — and what you may see is either delayed respiratory symptoms and/or slowly evolving respiratory symptoms,” said Dr. Zimmerman. While symptoms can be difficult to recognize, experts advise having a child evaluated if there are any concerns whatsoever. “Any time there is a non-fatal drowning incident, one should have a very low threshold to seek medical attention,” he said.

To view additional stories, visit the Pediatrix newsroom.


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