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In the News: Podcasts, Vaccinations, Golf Cart Injuries, COVID-19, NIH Funding
shafere1 [at] chop.edu (By Emily Shafer)title="Email Emily Shafer"
Start off this edition of In the News by listening to a podcast featuring the Research Institute's Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Susan Furth. Find out how dangerous golf carts can be, and how the COVID-19 pandemic affected both vaccination rates and length of hospital stay after birth. Read about two CHOP researchers' new funding for "High Risk, High Reward" projects. Round out your reading with news about persistent respiratory symptoms in children after COVID-19.
Dr. Susan Furth Featured on Becker's Women's Leadership Podcast
Susan Furth, MD, PhD, chief scientific officer of CHOP Research Institute, joined the Becker's Women's Leadership podcast, where she discussed the top issues in the pediatrics realm, highlighting how a number of pediatrics issues — particularly mental health, vaccines, and health disparities — were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Furth also discussed the gender divide in academic medicine, and what she's most excited about in pediatrics.
"The knowledge that we have about underlying biology and contributors to diseases in children, and our opportunity to design new therapies to treat those diseases, has really accelerated," Dr. Furth said.
Listen to the podcast here.
Researchers Find Dramatic Drop in Vaccinations During Early Pandemic
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a dramatic drop in vaccinations among both children and adults, according to CHOP researchers. The findings, which appeared in the American Journal of Public Health, highlight the indirect effect of COVID-19 on primary care and prevention services.
The researchers analyzed data from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry from 2018 to September 2020. The greatest decrease in vaccination rates occurred in April 2020, and adolescents saw the greatest drop, an 85.6 percent decrease.
"As we strive to achieve pre-pandemic levels of routine vaccines, it is vital to ensure catch-up vaccination of doses missed throughout the pandemic to stem outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles," said first author Angela K. Shen, ScD, MPH, visiting research scientist in the Vaccine Education Center at CHOP.
Read more about the study in the CHOP press release.
CHOP Researchers Find Golf Carts Injure More than 6,500 Children Annually
There are more than 6,500 golf care-related injuries in children per year according to researchers at CHOP. More than half of those injuries occur in children younger than 12. The researchers presented the findings at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The researchers analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database from 2010 to 2019. Over the 10-year study, there were 63,503 golf cart-related injuries among children younger than 21. The number of injuries per year increased steadily from 5,490 in 2010 to more than 6,500 in the last three years of the study (2017, 2018 and 2019).
"As motorized golf carts have become more widely used at a variety of events, including sports games, festivals, and concerts, so too have golf cart-related injuries in children," said study author Theodore J. Ganley, MD, director of the Sports Medicine and Performance Center at CHOP. "This research highlights the need for safety education around the risks golf carts post to children of all ages, so that we can prevent such injuries from happening in the future."
Read more about the study in a report on Healio.
CHOP-led Study Finds Healthy Newborns Had Shorter Hospital Stays During COVID-19 Pandemic with No Change in Readmissions
Healthy full-term infants born during the COVID-19 pandemic had shorter hospital stays than infants born before the pandemic, and there was no change in hospital readmissions after discharge, according to researchers from CHOP. The study, which appeared in Pediatrics, suggest that shorter hospital stays may be safe outside of the pandemic.
The researchers analyzed data from 35 health systems and compared short hospital length of stay and infant rehospitalization within a week of discharge between the COVID-19 era and the pre-pandemic era. The proportion of infants with a short hospital stay increased from 28.5% to 43% from the pre-pandemic era to the COVID-19 era. There was no association between short length of stay and infant rehospitalization after discharge.
"The COVID-19 pandemic forced hospitals to change policies and procedures around childbirth, including expediting discharges for healthy term infants, which provided a natural experiment that allowed us to compare outcomes before and during the pandemic," said first author Sara Handley, MD, MSCE, attending neonatologist at CHOP. "These findings suggest that shorter hospital stays after birth among healthy term infants may be safe with respect to infant rehospitalization, though examination of additional outcomes is needed."
Find out more about the study in the CHOP press release.
Two CHOP Researchers Receive NIH Funding for "High Risk, High Reward" Research
Two researchers at CHOP are among a group of researchers who will receive funding through the National Institutes of Health's Common Fund's High-Risk, High-Reward Research program. This program is designed to support highly innovative, "Outside the box" research proposals that may struggle to receive funding in the traditional peer-review process.
Mustafa Mir, PhD, assistant professor in the Center for Computational and Genomic Medicine at CHOP, received a NIH Director's New Innovator Award. Dr. Mir will be developing new live imaging technologies to follow the dynamics of protein molecules that regulate gene expression within live developing embryos.
Peter S. Choi, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, also received a NIH Director's New Innovator Award. Dr. Choi will be focusing on the regulation of splicing by chromatin, structures in DNA and proteins that help control the flow of genetic information.
Read more about the projects in the CHOP press release.
CHOP Clinicians Closely Monitor Lingering Effects of COVID-19
Researchers in the Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine recently published findings from a study they conducted looking at respiratory symptoms in pediatric patients after infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The study, which appeared in Pediatric Pulmonology, included 29 patients with persistent respiratory symptoms after infection.
Among these patients, the symptoms persisted from 1.3 months to 6.7 months after infection. Shortness of breath was seen in almost all (96.6%) of the patients. About half had chronic cough and exercise intolerance. Fatigue was reported in 13.8% of the patients.
"With more children becoming sick due to the delta variant of COVID-19, more research is urgently needed to determine the prevalence of the symptoms observed in this initial study," said lead author Shoshana Leftin Dobkin, MD, pediatric pulmonary medicine fellow at CHOP. "We will need to follow patients like these over a long period of time to determine the long-term consequences of infection and what treatment options we may be able to offer."
Learn more about the findings in the CHOP press release.
Catch up on our headlines from our October 1 In the News:
- Researchers Develop Novel Method to Diagnose Aplastic Anemia
- CBTN Discusses Novel Approaches to Understanding Oligodendroglioma Biology
- CHOP Neurologist Discusses Boricua Mutation on Univision
- Multi-institute Study Shows Effect of Whole Genome Sequencing on Precision Care for Critically-ill Infants
- Exposure to Gun Violence Associated With Higher Rates of Mental health-related ED Visits
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