ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
ABSTRACT: Although the cause or causes of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) remain unknown, the incidence of SIDS is on the decline in the United States and other countries. This decline has been accomplished largely through public education campaigns informing parents about several important factors associated with an increased risk of SIDS. These factors are prone and side infant sleeping positions, exposure of infants to cigarette smoke and potentially hazardous sleeping environments. Risk-reduction measures such as placing healthy infants to sleep in the supine position, avoiding passive smoke exposure both before and after birth and optimizing crib safety are beginning to lower the SIDS rate in this country. Through patient education, family physicians can further reduce the incidence of the number one cause of death in infants one week to one year old.
ABSTRACT: Esophageal atresia, with or without tracheoesophageal fistula, is a fairly common congenital disorder that family physicians should consider in the differential diagnosis of a neonate who develops feeding difficulties and respiratory distress in the first few days of life. Esophageal atresia is often associated with other congenital anomalies, most commonly cardiac abnormalities such as ventricular septal defect, patent ductus arteriosus or tetralogy of Fallot. Prompt recognition, appropriate clinical management to prevent aspiration, and swift referral to an appropriate tertiary care center have resulted in a significant improvement in the rates of morbidity and mortality in these infants over the past 50 years.
ABSTRACT: Medical problems associated with prematurity are frequently complex, and a multidisciplinary approach is often required. Some common problems include the following: (1) anemia, which can be reduced by iron supplementation, (2) cerebral palsy or mental retardation as a result of intraventricular hemorrhage or periventricular leukomalacia, (3) respiratory problems, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia and apnea, (4) visual problems, such as those associated with retinopathy of prematurity, (5) gastroesophageal reflux and (6) surgical problems, including inguinal or umbilical hernia and cryptorchidism. Monitoring of growth and development includes recording the infant's head circumference, weight and length on a growth chart for premature infants. Nutritional status should be assessed at each visit, watching for hyperosmolar problems in infants receiving high-calorie formulas. Consultation with other specialists may be required if abnormalities are identified during follow-up care in the office.
ABSTRACT: Neonatal group B streptococcal infection is the primary cause of neonatal morbidity related to infection. It can often be prevented by identifying and treating pregnant women who carry group B streptococci or who are at highest risk of transmitting the bacteria to newborns. Increasing evidence and expert opinion support intrapartum treatment of women at relatively high risk of delivering an infant with group B streptococcal infection. Such women can be identified through the use of an anogenital culture for group B streptococci obtained at 35 to 37 weeks of gestation and by the presence of at least one of many risk factors associated with neonatal infection. These risk factors include preterm labor or rupture of the membranes at less than 37 weeks of gestation, previous delivery of an infant with invasive group B streptococcal disease, group B streptococcal bacteriuria during the present pregnancy, maternal intrapartum fever of 38 degrees C (100.4 degrees F) or higher and rupture of the fetal membranes for 18 hours or more. The recommended agent for intrapartum chemoprophylaxis is intravenous penicillin G; clindamycin is used in penicillin-allergic women. The use of risk markers alone to guide the administration of intrapartum antibiotics is much more cost-effective than other preventive strategies, but it exposes more women and infants to antibiotic-associated risks. Management of the infants of treated mothers is empiric and is currently guided by expert opinion.
The Eye in Childhood - Article
ABSTRACT: Normal visual development is rapid during the first six months of life and continues through the first decade. Young children are uniquely sensitive to conditions that interfere with vision and visual development. Amblyopia, or functionally defective development of the central visual system, may be caused by common vision problems such as strabismus, uncorrected refractive errors and deprivation secondary to occlusion. Prematurity is especially associated with eye pathology, including retinopathy of prematurity, amblyopia, strabismus and refractive errors. When detected early, amblyopia and many other childhood vision abnormalities are treatable, but the potential for correction and normal visual development is inversely related to age. Since many affected children are asymptomatic, early detection of abnormal visual function requires effective screening throughout early childhood. Special considerations apply to screening examinations of children born prematurely.
ABSTRACT: Gastroenteritis in children is a common reason for visits to family physicians. Most cases of gastroenteritis have a viral etiology and are self-limited. However, more severe or prolonged cases of gastroenteritis can result in dehydration with significant morbidity and mortality. This is often the scenario in third-world countries, where gastroenteritis results in 3 million deaths annually. A proper clinical evaluation will allow the physician to estimate the percentage of dehydration and determine appropriate therapy. In some situations, laboratory studies such as determination of blood urea nitrogen and serum electrolytes may be helpful. Stool studies are indicated if a child is having bloody diarrhea or if an unusual etiology is suspected, such as Escherichia coli O157:H7 or Cryptosporidium. Most children with gastroenteritis can be treated with physiologically balanced oral rehydration solutions. In children who are hypovolemic, lethargic and estimated to be more than 5 percent dehydrated, initial treatment with intravenous boluses of isotonic saline or Ringer's lactate may be required. Children with severe diarrhea need nutrition to restore digestive function and, generally, food should not be withheld.
ABSTRACT: Screening programs relying primarily on physical examination techniques for the early detection and treatment of congenital hip abnormalities have not been as consistently successful as expected. Since the 1980s, increased attention has been given to ultrasound imaging of the hip in young infants (less than five months of age) as a possible tool for improving patient outcomes. Although ultrasound examination may not provide advantages over careful repeated physician examination for universal screening, a growing body of evidence indicates that ultrasound surveillance of mild abnormalities can reduce the need for bracing without worsening outcomes. Radiographic documentation of hip normality after the femoral nucleus of ossification has appeared (at three to five month of age) is still appropriate to rule out hip dysplasia.
ABSTRACT: When a toxic newborn or young infant presents with fever and lethargy or irritability, it is important to consider the diagnosis of meningitis even if the classic localizing signs and symptoms are absent. Cerebrospinal fluid should be obtained (unless lumbar puncture is clinically contraindicated) to enable initial therapy to be planned. Initial results of cerebrospinal fluid testing may not conclusively differentiate between aseptic and bacterial meningitis, and antimicrobial therapy for all likely organisms should be instituted until definitive culture results are available. Comprehensive therapy, including antibacterial and antiviral agents, should continue until a cause is identified and more specific therapy is initiated, an etiology is excluded or the patient improves considerably and the course of antimicrobial therapy is completed. Group B streptococcus is the most common bacterial etiologic agent in cases of meningitis that occur during the first month after birth. Etiologies of aseptic meningitis include viral infection, partially treated bacterial meningitis, congenital infections, drug reactions, postvaccination complications, systemic diseases and malignancy. Long-term sequelae of meningitis include neuromuscular impairments, learning disabilities and hearing loss. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential to improved outcome.
ABSTRACT: The blood sample for phenylketonuria (PKU) screening should be obtained at least 12 hours after the infant's birth. Newborn screening for PKU has largely eliminated mental retardation caused by this disease. If the first phenylalanine test demonstrates positive results, a repeat test should be performed. Treatment to prevent sequelae from this disorder is best carried out in cooperation with an experienced PKU center. Dietary care is expensive, and financial assistance may be necessary for many families. A phenylalanine-restricted diet should be started as soon as possible. Occasionally, cases of PKU are missed by newborn screening. Thus, a repeat PKU test should be performed in an infant who exhibits slow development.
ABSTRACT: Timely passage of the first stool is a hallmark of the well-being of the newborn infant. Failure of a full-term newborn to pass meconium in the first 24 hours may signal intestinal obstruction. Lower intestinal obstruction may be associated with disorders such as Hirschsprung's disease, anorectal malformations, meconium plug syndrome, small left colon syndrome, hypoganglionosis, neuronal intestinal dysplasia and megacystis-microcolon-intestinal hypoperistalsis syndrome. Radiologic studies are usually required to make the diagnosis. In addition, specific tests such as pelvic magnetic resonance imaging, anorectal manometry and rectal biopsy are helpful in the evaluation of newborns with failure to pass meconium.