PGI experts discuss ailments in children

On the second day of a Pediatric CME, several experts from the Advanced Pediatric Centre, PGI spoke about common day-to-day issues that concern pediatricians and parents alike.

Prof Meenu Singh, head of the Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Unit at PGI, spoke about the treatment of asthma in outdoor patients. She said that the symptoms of asthma are repeated episodes of cough, breathing difficulty and a wheezing sound from the chest.

Dr Mandeep Walia, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at PGI, spoke about recurrent wheezing in preschool children. Wheezing is a whistling sound that comes from the chest. Dr Walia emphasized that not all wheezing is asthma and that a third of all children will have had at least one episode of wheezing before their third birthday. Viral cough and cold, regurgitation and accidental inhalation of a foreign body into the airway are common causes.

Prof Praveen Kumar, head of the Newborn Unit at PGI, spoke about jaundice in newborn babies. He said that approximately 75 per cent of all full-term babies and almost 100 per cent of all premature babies develop visible jaundice in the first week of life, but only a small proportion of them have serious jaundice. Severe jaundice in newborns can cause permanent brain damage or hearing loss.

Dr Venkataseshan Sundaram, assistant professor in the Newborn Unit, spoke about the selection of the correct antibiotics for treating infections in newborn infants. Prof Sunit Singhi, Head of the Pediatric Intensive Care unit in PGI, spoke about the treatment of brain infections in children, the most common of which is meningitis. He said that it is important to rapidly diagnose and treat meningitis in children because it has a high mortality rate and up to 30 per cent survivors are left with serious long term handicaps such as paralysis, deafness, blindness and retardation.

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