1. RELIABILITY OF TRANSCUTANEOUS BILIRUBIN DEVICES IN PRETERM INFANTS: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
By Gaurav Nagar, MD, Ben Vandermeer, MSc, Sandra Campbell, MLS, and Manoj Kumar, MD, Msc; PEDIATRICS, Vol 132,November 2013, p. 871
The measurement of bilirubin by multiple heel sticks has been unpopular with parents. Yet, one cannot risk a high bilirubin level in the infant’s blood and the permanent potential brain damage kernicterus can cause.
The skin bilirubin meter has been shown, in most cases, to parallel blood tests and to be a safe method of following the infant’s jaundice; thus, preventing the high dangerous bilirubin levels. This has saved untold number of heel sticks.
This article supports the use of this method of following the blood level. When the skin bilirubin gets in the higher range or does not clinically seem to correlate with the infant’s condition the pediatrician may elect to get a heel stick blood level. This method of assessing bilirubin has saved many a tear from baby and parent alike.
2. DOES THE USE OF ANTIPYRETICS IN CHILDREN WHO HAVE ACUTE INFECTIONS PROLONG FEBRILE ILLNESS? A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS by Edward Purssell, PhD, and Alison E. While, PhD; JOURNAL OF PEDIATRICS, September 2013, p.822
As all parents should realize we give ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve pain and make the patient comfortable--not to lower the temperature. Elevated body temperature is an important part of the body’s defense mechanism. It not only enhances the ability of the white blood cells to kill bacteria, it also prevents viral replication.
If that be true, and we give antipyretics, will it decrease the body’s immune response by lowering body temperature? This article shows sick patients who received fever reducers did not have their illnesses prolonged.
In my experience, when the body has a serious infection these medications do not completely erase the fevers. The immune system knows better than parents and keeps body temperature elevated. I know the frustration of parents who call because the baby’s fever will not go away. Look upon these medications as pain and discomfort relievers. As our patient’s parents have heard so many times, “fever is our friend”.
3. INCREASING EXPOSURE TO ANTIBODY-STIMULATING PROTEINS AND POLYSACCHARIDES IN VACCINES IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH RISK OF AUTISM, by Frank DeStefano, MD, MPH, Cristofer S. Price, ScM, and Eric S. Weintraub, MPH, JOURNAL OF PEDIATRICS, August 2013, p. 56l.
Here is another article reiterating the fact that vaccines administered during the first two years of life are not associated with developing autism.
The brain damage avoided by preventing meningitis and whooping cough by these vaccines is beyond belief. Let’s protect our offspring’s nervous systems.