ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
Risks and Benefits of Pacifiers - Article
ABSTRACT: Physicians are often asked for guidance about pacifier use in children, especially regarding the benefits and risks, and when to appropriately wean a child. The benefits of pacifier use include analgesic effects, shorter hospital stays for preterm infants, and a reduction in the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Pacifiers have been studied and recommended for pain relief in newborns and infants undergoing common, minor procedures in the emergency department (e.g., heel sticks, immunizations, venipuncture). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents consider offering pacifiers to infants one month and older at the onset of sleep to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Potential complications of pacifier use, particularly with prolonged use, include a negative effect on breastfeeding, dental malocclusion, and otitis media. Adverse dental effects can be evident after two years of age, but mainly after four years. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that mothers be educated about pacifier use in the immediate postpartum period to avoid difficulties with breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend weaning children from pacifiers in the second six months of life to prevent otitis media. Pacifier use should not be actively discouraged and may be especially beneficial in the first six months of life.
Hyperbilirubinemia in the Term Newborn - Article
ABSTRACT: Hyperbilirubinemia is one of the most common problems encountered in term newborns. Historically, management guidelines were derived from studies on bilirubin toxicity in infants with hemolytic disease. More recent recommendations support the use of less intensive therapy in healthy term newborns with jaundice. Phototherapy should be instituted when the total serum bilirubin level is at or above 15 mg per dL (257 micromol per L) in infants 25 to 48 hours old, 18 mg per dL (308 micromol per L) in infants 49 to 72 hours old, and 20 mg per dL (342 micromol per L) in infants older than 72 hours. Few term newborns with hyperbilirubinemia have serious underlying pathology. Jaundice is considered pathologic if it presents within the first 24 hours after birth, the total serum bilirubin level rises by more than 5 mg per dL (86 micromol per L) per day or is higher than 17 mg per dL (290 micromol per L), or an infant has signs and symptoms suggestive of serious illness. The management goals are to exclude pathologic causes of hyperbilirubinemia and initiate treatment to prevent bilirubin neurotoxicity.
ABSTRACT: Hirschsprung's disease (congenital megacolon) is caused by the failed migration of colonic ganglion cells during gestation. Varying lengths of the distal colon are unable to relax, causing functional colonic obstruction. Hirschsprung's disease most commonly involves the rectosigmoid region of the colon but can affect the entire colon and, rarely, the small intestine. The disease usually presents in infancy, although some patients present with persistent, severe constipation later in life. Symptoms in infants include difficult bowel movements, poor feeding, poor weight gain, and progressive abdominal distention. Early diagnosis is important to prevent complications (e.g., enterocolitis, colonic rupture). A rectal suction biopsy can detect hypertrophic nerve trunks and the absence of ganglion cells in the colonic submucosa, confirming the diagnosis. Up to one third of patients develop Hirschsprung's-associated enterocolitis, a significant cause of mortality. Patients should be monitored closely for enterocolitis for years after surgical treatment of Hirschsprung's disease. With proper treatment, most patients will not have long-term adverse effects and can live normally.
ABSTRACT: Physicians should use a checklist to facilitate discussions with new parents before discharging their healthy newborn from the hospital. The checklist should include information on breastfeeding, warning signs of illness, and ways to keep the child healthy and safe. Physicians can encourage breastfeeding by giving parents written information on hunger and feeding indicators, stool and urine patterns, and proper breastfeeding techniques. Physicians also should emphasize that infants should never be given honey or bottles of water before they are one year of age. Parents should be advised of treatments for common infant complaints such as constipation, be aware of signs and symptoms of more serious illnesses such as jaundice and lethargy, and know how to properly care for the umbilical cord and genital areas. Physicians should provide guidance on how to keep the baby safe in the crib (e.g., placing the baby on his or her back) and in the car (e.g., using a car seat that faces the rear of the car). It is also important to schedule a follow-up appointment for the infant.
Why Can't I Get My Patients to Exclusively Breastfeed Their Babies? - Curbside Consultation
Vacuum-Assisted Vaginal Delivery - Article
ABSTRACT: The second stage of labor is a dynamic event that may require assistance when maternal efforts fail to effect delivery or when there are nonreassuring fetal heart tones. Therefore, knowing how to perform an operative vaginal delivery with forceps or vacuum is vital for family physicians who provide maternity care. Vacuum is rapidly replacing forceps as the predominant instrument, but each has advantages and disadvantages, including increased risk of maternal trauma with forceps and increased risk of neonatal cephalohematoma with vacuum. Use of a second instrument if the first one fails is associated with worse outcomes. Routine episiotomy in operative vaginal delivery is no longer recommended. The "ABCDEFGHIJ" mnemonic can facilitate proper use and application of the vacuum device and minimize risks, and practicing the techniques on mannequins can provide an introduction to the skills of operative vaginal delivery.
ABSTRACT: Recent innovations in medical technology have changed newborn screening programs in the United States. The widespread use of tandem mass spectrometry is helping to identify more inborn errors of metabolism. Primary care physicians often are the first to be contacted by state and reference laboratories when neonatal screening detects the possibility of an inborn error of metabolism. Physicians must take immediate steps to evaluate the infant and should be able to access a regional metabolic disorder subspecialty center. Detailed knowledge of biochemical pathways is not necessary to treat patients during the initial evaluation. Nonspecific metabolic abnormalities (e.g., hypoglycemia, metabolic acidosis, hyperammonemia) must be treated urgently even if the specific underlying metabolic disorder is not yet known. Similarly, physicians still must recognize inborn errors of metabolism that are not detected reliably by tandem mass spectrometry and know when to pursue additional diagnostic testing. The early and specific diagnosis of inborn errors of metabolism and prompt initiation of appropriate therapy are still the best determinants of outcome for these patients.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome - Article
ABSTRACT: Sudden infant death syndrome is the leading cause of death among healthy infants, affecting 0.57 per 1,000 live births. The most easily modifiable risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome is sleeping position. To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, parents should be advised to place infants on their backs to sleep and avoid exposing the infant to cigarette smoke. Other recommendations include use of a firm sleeping surface and avoidance of sleeping with soft objects, bed sharing, and overheating the infant. Pacifier use appears to decrease the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, but should be avoided until one month of age in infants who are breastfed. The occurrence of apparent life-threatening events does not increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, and home apnea monitoring does not lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Supine sleeping position has increased the incidence of flattening of the occiput (deformational plagiocephaly), but this condition can be prevented and treated by encouraging supervised "tummy time," meaning that when awake, infants should spend as much time as possible on their stomachs. All apparent deaths from sudden infant death syndrome should be carefully investigated to exclude other causes of death, including child abuse. Families who have an infant die from sudden infant death syndrome should be offered emotional support and grief counseling.