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PCCSF Recognizes National Certified Nurses Day

In honor of National Certified Nurses Day, we’d like to cast the spotlight on Jennifer Highfield, DNP, ARNP, CPNP-AC. Jennifer became PCCSF’s first advanced registered nurse practitioner almost a year ago, and she’s been a wonderful addition ever since!

Prior to becoming an ARNP and joining PCCSF, Jennifer worked as a CVICU/PICU nurse for several years at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, but a strong desire to make more of an impact on her patients’ care motivated her to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. In her new role at PCCSF, she works alongside physicians and physician assistants to manage pediatric patients in the critical care setting.

Day in and day out, Jennifer is most inspired by the stories of her individual patients. Their strength, perseverance and ability to maintain a positive outlook despite the severity of their medical challenges, is something Jennifer truly admires.

Outside of PCCSF, Jennifer is a Pediatric Advanced Life Support instructor. For the past two years, she’s been teaching physicians and new graduate nurses the algorithms necessary to ensure critically ill pediatric patients receive the best care during an emergency.

Jennifer is also part of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. As a member of these organizations, she has access to continuing education opportunities, up-to-date research, and has the ability to collaborate with other members in her field. Being a member of AANP also gives her the ability to influence the future laws that govern the practice of ARNP’s.

Over the past year, Jennifer has enjoyed taking on her new role: being a mom. She enjoys traveling and exploring new places with her family and looks forward to having more of these experiences. Her goal for this year is to travel more and attend more pediatric conferences where she can expand her knowledge and provide better care for her patients.

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On the Front Lines of Flu Season With Fatherly

Like so many other specialists throughout the country, we are seeing a greater number of pediatric flu cases this flu season. This year has been so much more intense than we’ve seen in the past five to 10 years, not just in the number of patients, but how sick the patients are who come in for the flu.

The most common reason for a child with the flu to be admitted to Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida is dehydration and high-grade fever.

Dr. Allan Greissman shared his experience on the front lines of this flu season exclusively with Fatherly.

The year’s flu is, per the CDC, on track to be one of the deadliest in nearly a decade. In California alone, 100 people have died and only three of them were over the age of 64. All told, 37 children have died. Nationally, the CDC expects to see 2.2 percent of outpatient visits in this season to be flu-related. During the week of January 14th to January 20th, the actual percentage of flu-related doctor visits was three times that rate at 6.6 percent. Thirty-nine states reported high “influenza-like-illness” activity and the spread in 49 states and Puerto Rico has been reported as “widespread.”

Dr. Allan Greissman, a pediatric critical care specialist at Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, has compared this year’s outbreak to only one, infamous predecessor: the swine flu. Greissman works exclusively on the most severe cases of pediatric illnesses and surgeries, and every year expects to see an uptick in patients who visit due to dehydration or high-grade fever from the flu. But this season is far more severe than even he ever imagined.

Dr. Greissman talked to us about the worst cases he’s seen, why the flu needs to be taken more seriously, and why it’s still not too late to get your flu shot.

To read the full story, visit Fatherly.

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Discussing Tamiflu’s Safety with Motherly

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report reported a total of 84 pediatric deaths this flu season.

Tamiflu is still the best bet for treating the flu-positive patients. With no other treatment otherwise, Tamiflu is used to lessen the duration and severity of the flu, as well as a preventative treatment.

PCCSF’s Dr. Allan Greissman spoke with Motherly and shared details on the medication’s safety.

This year’s flu season is already the worst North America has endured in a decade—which is, of course, a concern for parents of young children, who are more likely to experience serious complications from the illness.

If you or your children are struck by the flu, your health care provider is likely to write up a prescription for Tamiflu: If taken within 48 hours of symptom appearance, the antiviral drug may lessen the duration and severity of the flu. This application is recommended by both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use in infants as young as 2 weeks old.

It is also approved for preventative treatment, meaning it may help other members in the household avoid the flu if a member of the family has already been diagnosed with the illness.

For parents of young children or those at higher risk for flu complications, this makes Tamiflu a particularly good option, says Allan Greissman, MD, a pediatric critical care specialist at Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida.

“Unfortunately this year we are seeing a large number of flu-positive pediatric patients having a very serious strain of the flu. We are also seeing many more deaths from the flu and many kids with other significant problems related to the flu,” Greissman tells Motherly. “So for that reason, getting a flu shot and treatment with Tamiflu should strongly be considered.”

To read the full story, visit Motherly.

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PCCSF Patient Success Story: South Florida Toddler Survives Deadly Flu Season

The 2017-2018 flu season is being considered one of the worst ones in nearly a decade. Every state except for Hawaii is dealing with flu cases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 53 pediatric deaths in its latest Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report.

The most common reason for a child with the flu to be admitted to Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida is dehydration and high-grade fever. The intensity of this flu season has not only increased the number of patients we’re seeing but also how sick they are. Three-year-old Michael is one of those cases.

Michael came to PCCSF at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital suffering from a rash, fever and joint pain. Tests eventually showed the toddler had an aggressive form of the flu, which then affected his heart, kidneys, lungs and liver.

PCCSF’s Dr. Allan Greissman shared Michael’s story exclusively with WPLG Local 10. We’re happy Michael is back home with his family after making a full recovery.

Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida Featured on Local 10 2-2-18 from Diana Somarriba on Vimeo.

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How to Raise Heart-Healthy Kids

The road to heart disease begins in childhood. Chronic illnesses such as Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure are now common in many overweight and obese children.

Healthy eating habits and physical activity can reduce the risk for heart disease. Parents can do a lot to help reduce their child’s risks and help them develop habits that can last a lifetime.

Although you and your pediatrician are the best authorities on your child’s health, the following are some general guidelines that can help you raise heart-healthy kids:

Water – Water is vital for bodily functions and is the best way to quench thirst. Children should drink water throughout the day and drink additional water during physical activities or sports. Buy a portable, reusable bottle that can be regularly filled for on-the-go trips. Add lemons, oranges or other fruits for added flavor.

Vegetables and Fruits – Your child’s doctor will indicate how many servings of fruits and vegetables they should be eating for their age group and activity level. As a general rule, each meal should contain at least one fruit or vegetable. Parents can get creative by adding fruits and vegetables to just about everything, including cereal, toast, pancakes, omelets, yogurt, sauces, lean meats, beans and soups.

Treats – Rich desserts, cookies, cakes, candy and sodas should only be eaten in moderation and as occasional treats.

Snacks – Prepare a bag of heart-healthy snacks to eat on-the-go, such as low-fat granola bars, trail mix, nuts, carrots, celery, bananas, fresh fruits, low-fat cheese, yogurt, low-fat chocolate milk and dark chocolate.

Get Kids Cooking – Children who learn to prepare healthy meals will be less likely to overindulge once they understand what they are eating.

Food Labels Teach kids how to properly read food labels and read them together when preparing food or shopping. Once kids understand what they are eating, they are less likely to want sugary, fatty, and high-calorie foods.

Family Involvement – Heart-healthy habits should be a family matter that will help motivate everyone to make and keep healthier choices. Get others, such as caretakers and other family members, involved if they are also caring for your children.

School Lunches – Find out what your children are eating at school. When possible, review their menu options and help them choose the most appropriate, nutritious foods. When packing their lunch, pack the most nutritious foods you have available.

Exercise – Children need at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day and 60 minutes is ideal. Exercise builds muscle, powers the brain, increases the amount of healthy cholesterol, lowers blood pressure and helps the body control stress.

Smoking – Teens who smoke have a higher chance of getting cancer, heart disease, stroke, emphysema, bronchitis and pneumonia. More immediately, teens can experience malnutrition and asthma. Talk to your children early on about the dangers of smoking so they won’t start.

Sleep – Sleep plays an important part in heart health. Lack of sleep has been linked to obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure. The amount of sleep that your child needs depends on their age, make sure that they start developing good sleep patterns now.

When visiting your child’s physician, any questions or concerns you may have regarding your child’s weight or health habits should be brought up. These topics may be sensitive or uncomfortable and their doctor may not bring it up themselves.  Once your child has been thoroughly evaluated, any actions that need to be taken should be followed-up as indicated.

Posted by lavandosky