Children's Hospital Boston presents at the 2006 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference

October 7-10, 2006, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta

This year's American Academy of Pediatrics national conference will include about two dozen presentations from Children's Hospital Boston. Below are presentations of special interest. Media attending the meeting may register in the Press Room (Room B302, 404-222-6011); hours are Friday, Oct. 6, 12 noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 7 through Tuesday, Oct. 10, 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. All presentations are embargoed to the day of presentation (for specifics, consult with the AAP Press Room). For session locations, check with the Press Room or program book.

Making new parts for babies from their own cells: A step closer to reality

Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston are poised to begin clinical trials of the first use of tissue engineering to correct a birth defect, using stem cells extracted from the amniotic fluid before the baby is born. Using these cells, Shaun Kunisaki, MD and Dario Fauza, MD, at Children's Hospital Boston, have created a patch to close up a hole in the diaphragm, correcting a life-threatening condition known as congenital diaphragmatic hernia. The technique has proven successful in animals, and Drs. Kunisaki and Fauza now show that the cells can be grown reliably and safely without the need for animal serum bringing them a step closer to being able to study the technique in human babies. In the future, they hope to use fetal cells to fix other conditions such as tracheal defects, heart defects and spina bifida.

Presentation: Saturday, Oct. 7, 9:20-11:00 AM (session #H108) (eighth of 13 abstracts)

Acupuncture for pediatricians

Acupuncture has been practiced for more than 3,000 years and is making its way into hospital practice. Yuan-Chi Lin, MD, MPH, director of the Medical Acupuncture Service at Children's Hospital Boston, reviews the history and theory of acupuncture, reviews the mechanisms of and scientific evidence for its efficacy, and discusses its uses, such as reducing the need for narcotics after surgery, managing nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, treating acute pain (such as sickle-cell crises, abdominal pain, dental pain), and relieving migraines.

Presentations: Saturday, Oct. 7, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (session #W140); repeats from 1:30-3:30 (#W172)

Adolescent drug use revisited

Three presentations by John R. Knight, MD (director) and Sharon Levy, MD, MPH of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research at Children's Hospital examine trends in substance use and drug testing

  • Should teens get drug testing at school? Although drug and alcohol use is acknowledged to be a serious health problem, and the U.S. Supreme Court has declared it legal to require drug testing in students involved in sports and other extracurricular activities. Dr. Knight argues that questionnaires or interviews with trained personnel are more reliable and cost-effective method: drug users are very savvy about how to defeat testing, and few schools have the training to test properly and effectively. Presentation: Saturday, Oct. 7: 10:30-11:30 AM. (session #H116)

  • Is your teen abusing medications? Adolescents misuse prescription drugs more than any other drug but marijuana. A 2005 survey found that, in the prior year, 9 percent of 12th graders had misused prescription narcotics, 9 percent stimulants, and 7 percent benzodiazepines. Drs. Levy and Knight will brief pediatricians on the most recent data and explore the reasons for this disturbing new trend. They will review symptoms of prescription-drug abuse, discuss where teens are getting the medicine (including new Internet access), present sample cases to help pediatricians handle instances of suspected abuse, and offer suggestions for involving parents in preventing and recognizing medicine abuse. Presentation: Sunday, Oct. 8: 10-12 p.m. (session #S238); repeats from 4-6 p.m. (#S294)

  • Perils and pitfalls of laboratory testing of teens for drugs of abuse Drug testing is highly vulnerable to false-positive and false-negative results. Dr. Knight will brief pediatricians on the proper procedures for collection, validation, confirmation, and interpretation of laboratory tests for drugs of abuse, but argue that lab testing is not recommended as a way of screening for substance abuse.
Presentation: Monday, Oct. 9, 6:45-7:45 AM (session #X308)

Toilet training: Dealing with the toughest cases ("When stickers aren't enough")

Children are being toilet trained later and later, the average age now being about 3 years. Alison Schonwold, MD, of Children's Hospital Boston will review the effectiveness of various interventions that have been tried, describe her "Toilet School" for children aged 4 to 6 who remain untrained, and discuss do's and don'ts for parents.

Presentation: Tuesday, Oct. 10, 6:45-7:45 a.m. (session #X406)

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Founded in 1869 as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children's Hospital Boston today is the nation's leading pediatric medical center, the largest provider of health care to Massachusetts children, and the primary pediatric teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. In addition to 347 pediatric and adolescent inpatient beds and comprehensive outpatient programs, Children's houses the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries benefit both children and adults. More than 500 scientists, including eight members of the National Academy of Sciences, nine members of the Institute of Medicine and 11 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children's research community. For more information about the hospital visit: www.childrenshospital.org/newsroom.


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