Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding in Newborns

In recent years, I have noticed increased hesitancy and even plain refusal from new parents to allow their babies to receive Vitamin K intramuscular injection at birth. This anxiety has initially started in 1992, after a study done by Golding et. al. have shown 2.65-fold increase in leukemia associated with intramuscular Vitamin K injection. The finding has not been replicated by any other subsequent studies. Unfortunately, much public anxiety remains to this day.

Newborn infants that do not receive Vitamin K at birth have increased risk of developing Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (VKDB). VKDB can be further categorized into 3 groups based on the time of presentation as early, classical or late.

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Puberty, Adolescents and Sleep

Puberty is a complex physiological, cognitive and psycho-social cascade of changes. Sleep disturbances can arise during this essential time, which may adversely affect growth, health and development. Most of you who have adolescents at home are well aware of these complex changes; well so am I. My great sleeper, who used to fall asleep the minute his head would hit the pillow around 9, now walks the hallways till 11 or midnight at times, unable to fall asleep. I have decided to look deeper into this common phenomenon that affects so many teens to see what suggestions I can find in literature.

To start off, we need to dive into basic physiology of sleep.  Sleep is regulated by two body systems: sleep/wake teens-sleep-patternhomeostasis and the circadian rhythm. The sleep/wake homeostasis lets our body know when it needs to rest. The circadian rhythm, regulate the time period of sleepiness and wakefulness. Changes in the circadian rhythm occur during adolescence as part of physiological process. This natural shift is called sleep phase delay. Teen who used to go sleep around 8-9 pm at night before puberty, now won’t be able to fall asleep till 10 or 11 pm. Since most adolescents have early school start, this sleep phase delay can make it difficult for the teenagers to get recommended 9 hours of sleep. For adolescents the strongest circadian “dips” tend to occur between 3-7 am and 2-5 pm.

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Organic vs. conventional food

I like food!!

I like to eat and cook, and whenever I can, I prepare meals from a scratch. I cook for my whole family, trying to satisfy everyone’s cravings, especially the toughest critics – my kids. That is why, I pay special attention to ingredients.

For many years now, I have been slowly progressing towards organic food. I usually use mostly organic ingredients, unless I cannot find the once that answer my requirements, at which time I turn to conventional products. The other day, we had friends over for dinner and got into conversation about organic vs conventional food. To my great surprise, I realized that many people choose to omit eating certain products for a sole reason – not organic. I decided it was time for me to re-visit organic food vs conventional food and its effect on children.

First, let’s start off with defining what organically-grown foods mean. Organically-grown foods are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Organic food is not necessarily is 100% made of all organic ingredients. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), mandates for all ingredients to be organically certified for a product to be labeled “100 percent organic”. “Organic” labeled food usually consist of at least 95% certified organic ingredients. Products with at least 70% certified organic ingredients are labeled as “made with organic ingredients”.

So, what is being looked at when organic food gets compared to conventional? Food related illness, such as gastroenteritis. Food usually becomes contaminated by raw manure fertilization, crops irrigation with contaminated water, or fecal contamination during processing and handling. The risk of contamination with bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics is higher in conventionally grown products, but overall risk of bacterial contamination is not different. To minimize the food-borne illnesses, always follow this simple rules:

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Common Cold

As the tree leaves succumb to fall and temperatures drop, the dreaded common cold season begins. Sneezing, rhinorrhea (runny nose), coughing, sore throat, general malaise (feeling ill), low grade fever are some of the symptoms of the common cold. It’s an acute viral, self-limited illness. It requires no antibiotics and the treatment of care is supportive. I thought it would be a good idea to remind about some of the recommendations that may help to get back on feet quickly and remain healthy.

Common cold (also known as viral infection), is usually caused by various respiratory viruses. It is an acute illness, whose symptoms usually peak on 2nd or 3rd day of illness and gradually improve over time. In general, in infants and young children, the symptoms may last over 10-14 days. In older children and adolescents, symptoms usually resolve within a week or less.

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Influenza and vaccines

My longtime friend has asked me to write a bit on influenza and vaccination guidelines.  As medical provider, I always strive to provide my patients with as much information as possible to allow them to make the best educated choices for their children based on the latest American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Centers For Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.

In order for us to understand why the flu vaccine may prevent majority of flu illness in some years and be somewhat less effective in others, I will quickly go over the fascinating flu vaccine evolution.

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Hurricane Joaquin – Be Ready

With Hurricane Joaquin threatening to hit East US coast area, as soon as this weekend, now would be a good time to review “Disaster-ready essentials for parents with children”.  Apart from stocking up on the most essential things (food, water, batteries, flashlights, candles, etc), having your car fully filled up with gas, here are few things that you may want to consider:

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