SUMMER 2006 NEWSLETTER


THE PEDIATRIC GROUP WELCOMES NEW DOCTOR

helenThe Pediatric Group is proud and excited to announce the hiring of a new pediatrician, Helen M. Rose, M.D. Helen received her undergraduate training at Westchester University in Pennsylvania and obtained her MD degree at Temple University Medical School. Helen completed her residency in Pediatrics at New York University Medical Center and is Board Certified in Pediatrics. For the past six years, Helen served the community of Harrisonburg, Virginia in a group pediatric practice. She served as President and Treasurer of the Board of Citizens Against Sexual Assault in Harrisonburg and as Medical Director of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. Helen is fluent in medical Spanish and is a big advocate of reading to children. She has a special interest in infants and enjoys coaching parents through the difficulties of middle and high school. She has served in the past as research assistant and technician, teaching assistant and moonlighting physician.

Helen is the oldest of five children and the only girl. She has two children, a girl 13 months and a son 3-1/2 years old. Her husband, Bruce, is an internist who will be working with the Princeton Medical Group beginning in January. Helen enjoys quilting, reading, sewing and cooking.

Helen will be joining us in January 2007. We hope you are as impressed with her as we are. Please join us in welcoming her to our practice.

 

NEW LOGO CONNOTES COMMITMENT TO SERVICE

You probably noticed the new logo that adorns the top of this Newsletter and will begin to appear on our publications and letterhead. The doctors of The Pediatric Group, together with Artissa LLC, designed the logo to reflect the policies and sentiments of the Group. The bright orange background reflects vibrancy and life, a state of health we wish for all of our young patients. The children in the center show the passing of ages as our children grow to young adulthood, reflecting our mission to care for children through college graduation. Finally, the open hands symbolize our commitment to caring -- being available for urgent problems all day and night, as well as for routine question during office hours; offering early morning office hours and weekend hours for our patients' convenience; attending high risk deliveries and providing emergency room care. The bottom of the logo shows the year of our founding, 1955, representing more than fifty years of devotion to the greater Princeton Community.

 

NOW CERVICAL CANCER CAN BE PREVENTED BY A VACCINE!

All cervical cancer starts as a Human Papilloma Virus infection. Papilloma viruses are extremely common. Spread sexually, the virus currently infects more than 80% of Americans by 50 years old, mostly acquired during adolescence and young adulthood. Longitudinal studies have shown that 10% of adolescent girls will become infected within weeks of their first sexual experience and 40% will have cervical infection within three years, despite having only one partner.

Just two strains of papilloma virus, types 16 and 18, are responsible for 70% of cases of cervical cancer in the USA. A vaccine, Gardasil®, that is 100% effective in preventing infections by these two papilloma viruses was newly approved in June 2006. The FDA concluded that this vaccine, studied over four years in over 5000 females is both efficacious and safe. The vaccine is recommended for all girls ages 10- 12 years, but may be given to any female between the ages of 9 and 26 years.

Gardasil® is a synthetic non-living vaccine. Side efects include brief soreness at the injection site (<10%) and a low grade fever for 24 hours or less (<2%). The schedule is 3 doses over 6 months.

Our recommendation: vaccinate. Let us protect our daughters from cervical cancer!

If you have any questions about this vaccine, please call your child's doctor.

 

NEW PATCH DELIVERY SYSTEM APPROVED FOR ADHD MEDICATION

Shire Pharmaceuticals has received FDA approval to market methylphenidate (the same active ingredient as in Ritalin®, Concerta® and Metadate® products) in a transdermal patch. The advantages of this system include not having to swallow medication, the ability to shorten the length of time the medication is in the child's system by simply removing the patch and fine-tuning the dose a child receives. The disadvantages include possible skin irritation. The patch system has been demonstrated to be as effective as oral medication in ameliorating the symptoms of ADHD and is purported to be able to adhere during sports, swimming and bathing. The maximum suggested duration of wear is 9 hours, which provides 12 hours of symptom relief. However, longer and shorter duration if use is possible.

The patch is applied to the hip about 30 minutes before it should start working. Once it is removed, the medication is no longer absorbed and the effect gradually wears off. After removal, the patch can not be reapplied. Under the direction of your child's physician, the dose can be fine-tuned to suit your child's needs. For children who have varying medication requirements, or prefer not to have to take oral medication, this system could be beneficial.

If this is an option you wish to explore for your child, please contact one of the physicians to arrange a conference.

 

BRIEFLY NOTED

New Vaccines for Teens

If you noticed that there are more and more vaccines, you are correct -- there are! The rationale for more vacciens is simple: vaccines are effective in prolonging a healthy life. Vaccines are "natural" products in the sense that they are made from the germs they are preventing, but vaccines are improved by modern technology -- made safer and more effective. Despite the increased number of vaccines, the challange to the immune system is less than either the older vaccines or the actual infection with the real germ. Newer vaccines contain only one to five or six antigens (the proteins that induce immunity), while germs contain hundreds. Considering that the researchers who develop these vaccines have families and children, too, they conscientiously strive to develop vaccines that are effective and safe; and these vaccines are never approved until they are demonstrated to be less risky than not getting them. Given that the three major factors that have positively impacted the health of humans in the last 150 years are indoor plumbing for waste disposal, antibiotics and vaccines, we should always be educated about new advances, and applaud the technological achievements that that allow us to live longer and healthier lives.

New Schedule:

Tdap: at or after 11 years old; this is the adolescent/adult booster that contains diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, previously given as dT only at 15 years old.

HAV: at or after 11 years old; this is hepatitis A vaccine, previously given to travelers to foreign countries.

HPV: at or after 10 years old; this is human papilloma virus vaccine, described above.

Meningitis: at or after 14 years old, previously given to patients just before college, this revised edition confers long term immunity, allowing us to protect children earlier.

 

Flu Vaccine 2006

The CDC and the AAP have always recommended influenza vaccine for high-risk children (day care attendees, children living in dormitories, children with pulmonary, cardiac, neurologic or metabolic conditions, and also children who will be 6 months to 2 years old between October and April). This year, all children 2 to 5 years old are recommended for influenza vaccine. If you are uncertain as to whether your child qualifies as high-risk, please speak to one of the doctors. In order to maintain enough influenza vaccine for our high-risk children, we will immunize only these children until October 30, 2006. Other children who are not high-risk, as well as immediate family members, may then be immunized. The vaccine will be available in our office weekdays from 9 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. and 2 P.M. to 4:30 P.M., and Saturday mornings beginning early to mid-October. No appointment is necessary. Please contact our office if you have any questions.

 

Tetanus Booster Changes

Recommendations for adolescent and adult tetanus boosters have been revised. Because of the resurgence of whooping cough (Pertussis) in the older child and adolescent population across the country, the old vaccine (dT) has been modified to include acellular pertussis, much the same as the infant DTaP. The new vaccine, called ADACEL®, is recommended for anyone between the ages of 11 and 64 years old who has not had a tetanus booster for at least 5 years. Boosters continue to be recommended every 10 years thereafter. The goal is to protect the recipients from pertussis, but also to reduce the reservoir of the germ on the adolescent population. We support this new recommendation.

 

Prolonged Office Visits

We now offer the option of a prolonged visit for an annual check up and health supervision examination. If you have a child with a complex problem or you feel extra time is necessary for a longer discussion, please let us know at the time of booking the appointment so we can schedule appropriately.