It's one thing to be aware that patients with type 1 diabetes in vulnerable communities often face hurdles to care. It's another to hear these patients' frustrations, in their own words.
That's what David Maahs, MD, PhD, a Stanford Medicine professor of pediatrics, and his colleagues found when they moderated a series of 16 focus groups -- eight each in rural northern California and Florida -- to illuminate barriers to diabetes care and technology use among underserved communities in the United States.
The wildfires that annually burn hundreds of thousands of acres in California don’t just scorch the land; they also pump toxic smoke into the air. Pediatrician Lisa Patel, MD, an expert on the health effects of climate change, is worried about that smoke harming children, especially as the peak of wildfire season coincides with the beginning of the school year.
But Patel, a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine, sees an opportunity in the confluence of two public health crises. The global COVID-19 pandemic prompted state and federal governments to fund upgrades to schools’ ventilation systems. Thanks to the new Action Lab for Human and Planetary Health program hosted through the Stanford Center for Innovation and Global Health, Patel is working in collaboration with Mary Prunicki, MD, senior research scientist at Stanford’s Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research, and Michael Wara, JD, a senior research scholar with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, to help school districts take advantage of the funds.
Clinical trials underway now are testing the safety, efficacy, dosing, and timing of mRNA vaccines for kids between the ages of 11 years and 6 months; about 4,500 children are in Pfizer’s trial, and about 7,000 in Moderna’s. A Pfizer official said in June that the first request for emergency authorization should be sent to the FDA in September or October. (Johnson & Johnson is only now beginning trials in teens and has not yet included younger kids.)
Those trials are scattered across medical centers in the US and several European countries—more sites than were initially planned for, according to several principal investigators, because the companies feel it’s urgent to gather data and move toward approval as rapidly as possible. That's because, now that adults can get vaccinated, children make up a larger proportion of those getting sick from Covid.
"It's really hard to tell in most cases whether something is COVID or just a regular cold or just allergies," said Dr. Anne Liu, an infectious disease doctor with Stanford Health Care.
Several infectious disease doctors in the Bay Area we spoke with say this July, colds are coming back with a vengeance as people come together again.
"Rather than wonder whether you have COVID, if you have symptoms, the easiest thing is just to go ahead and get tested and put that question to rest," said Dr. Liu.
When it comes to covid, kids have largely been spared. They can get infected and spread the virus, but they have little risk of becoming seriously ill or dying. Yet, just like adults, they can have symptoms that persist well beyond the initial infection. This condition, officially known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), is often referred to as “long” covid.
It needs to be taken seriously, says Alok Patel, a pediatrician at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. “Even though even though covid itself—the acute infection—presented less severe in children, long covid is very debilitating, isolating and scary for families.”
'U.S. News & World Report' Once Again Names Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford Among Top 10 Children’s Hospitals in the Nation
STANFORD, Calif.—Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has once again been named among the top 10 children’s hospitals in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report 2021–2022 Best Children’s Hospitals survey, published June 15.
This is the 17th consecutive year that Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report surveys. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2021, the hospital is the youngest institution among the top hospitals, the rest of which have been in operation for 70 to 165 years.