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PCCSF’s Dr. Allan Greissman Discusses the Dangers of Inhaling Helium with Local 10

At some point, most people have sucked helium out of a balloon to make their voices squeaky. The seemingly harmless party trick – which is especially popular among children – is anything but.

When someone inhales helium, their body cannot absorb oxygen which causes asphyxiation. Helium toxicity is not a common problem, but when it does happen, the results can be serious and even life-threatening.

Nine-year-old Tuesdai Joyner learned the dangers of this activity first-hand while at a birthday party last month. After inhaling helium to make her voice squeaky, she collapsed and suffered a seizure. Dr. Allan Greissman of Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida shared Tuesdai’s story, and the dangers of inhaling helium, with Local 10.

Hear what he had to say here.

The Positive Effects of Good Storytelling

Former Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida patient Xander Nunez has a special place in our hearts. A heart transplant recipient at just four months old, we shared his incredible survival story with the Sun-Sentinel earlier this year in honor of National Heart Month.  The South Florida media channel showed interest in his story and proceeded to interview his mother and our client Dr. Gerald Lavandosky. His story ran in the paper’s print and online versions in February.

Michele McCauley, owner of BurgerFi in Boca Raton Pointe, reached out to the Hopkins-Nuñez family and offered to host a fundraiser for them after reading the article. As a registered nurse, she knows how high healthcare costs can get. But McCauley was able to relate to the family’s story on a more personal level as well.

“I also had a baby who had a heart defect that passed away and I know the stress you’re going through,” she said.

On April27,  a week before Xander’s first birthday, BurgerFi hosted the day-long fundraiser.

“When there’s something wrong with a child, your whole world falls apart and the stress is just insurmountable, and you would change places with that child to make that issue go away. So I always try to reach out to people, if I read it in the Sun Sentinel or see it on TV, I try and reach out to them,” she said.

This recent case study is just one example of how the power of storytelling and visibility can have a meaningful impact on someone’s life.

PCCSF Treats Baby With a Congenital Heart Disease

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Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida
 recently cared for Xander, a South Florida baby born with a congenital heart disease called critical aortic stenosis. PCCSF provided pre- and post-operative round-the-clock care ensuring that Xander’s condition remained stable before and after his heart transplant.

Pregnancy brings many wonderful moments: announcing the news to family and friends, baby showers, nesting and picking out cute outfits for the little one.

But for some couples, these happy moments are overshadowed by fear and uncertainty when they found out their baby faces a serious medical problem.

Alyssa Hopkins and Ray Nunez, of Boca Raton, was one such couple. They were happy to find out a son was on the way and the pregnancy seemed to be going well with the 20-week anatomic ultrasound appearing normal.

Though there was no indication of a problem, Hopkins decided to have another ultrasound at 34 weeks because “I was gigantic and thought he was going to come out 10 pounds. Little did I know at the time, it was a message from God because my results came back abnormal.”

To read the full article, visit the Sun Sentinel.

PCCSF’s Dr. Duncan Joins Women in Medicine Panel Discussion at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital

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Three decades ago, just over a third of medical students were women. Today, women make up roughly 50 percent of medical students, which means women could make up 50 percent of the physician population in the near future.

To talk about this positive growth, FHI Communications invited PCCSF’s Dr. Teresa Duncan and two other leading female healthcare professionals to be a part of its 5th annual Women in Medicine Discussion: Celebrating the Legacy, Embracing the Future hosted at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital on Tuesday, October 16th.

Dr. Duncan was and the panelists shared their unique story of the challenges they had to overcome and the opportunities that lie ahead for women in medicine.

“As women, we need to support each other,” said Dr. Duncan. “We benefit by openly talking to each other and understanding where we come from and where we’re going.”

Dr. Duncan began her training with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from West Virginia University. She then obtained her doctor of medicine degree and continued her matriculation at Marshall University, also in West Virginia. Meanwhile, she was also completing her Pediatric Residency, where she served as chief resident.

Dr. Duncan went on to move to South Florida to complete a fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care at Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami. She enjoyed living and working in Miami so much that she remained a “local” and has practiced critical care with Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida since 2003. Her interests include the care and transport of children who require specialized critical care needs and volunteer outreach services for the under served.

With more women like Dr. Duncan entering the field, it provides a new perspective, and proves that women are just as talented and capable in the medical profession.

PCCSF’s Dr. Gerald Lavandosky Gives Insight On When to Call 911

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Emergencies are hectic and can often times be confusing. Is medical attention needed within minutes of the incident? Or can it be resolved at home or the following day with your primary physician? Dr. Gerald Lavandosky of Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida weighed in on when you should and shouldn’t call 911 on Reader’s Digest.

You should call when you or someone else is experiencing a severe allergic reaction. If anyone begins showing signs of a severe allergic reaction – increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, swelling tongue – call 911. Severe allergic reactions can lead to death quickly – in under an hour – so you may not have enough time to get to the emergency department. Emergency responders can give immediate treatment with epinephrine.

“Parents and caregivers are not trained medical professionals, so making a medical decision as to whether an allergic reaction is 911-worth can be challenging,” says Gerald Lavandosky, MD a pediatric critical care doctor at Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida.

To read the full story, visit Reader’s Digest.

 

PCCSF’s Dr. Greissman Discusses Meningitis with HealthyWay

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What may seem as a normal cold or flu could instead be the potentially life-threatening infection, meningitis. Because it’s important to act quickly, patients should understand the telltale signs of meningitis and take the appropriate medical action. Dr. Allan Greissman of Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida shared with HealthyWay what symptoms patients should look out for.

Everyone gets sick from time to time. But sometimes, what we think of as a normal cold or flu might actually be far more dangerous. With flu season fast approaching, it’s important to understand and recognize the difference between normal illness and more serious conditions.

If flu-like symptoms come on and escalate quickly, it may mean you or a loved one has actually contracted meningitis. Meningitis is an infection that causes our meninges—the membranes that provide a protective barrier for the brain and spinal cord—to swell.

Meningitis is a serious condition that requires immediate attention from a medical professional. It can be life-threatening if left untreated, so it is important to understand the telltale symptoms. When you can spot symptoms early on, you can quickly seek out medical attention that can mitigate the negative effects of the disease.

Understanding the Types of Meningitis

There are a few different types of meningitis, but bacterial and viral meningitis are the two most common.

Bacterial meningitis is the most severe form of meningitis and can be fatal, especially if treatment is delayed. There are many types of bacteria that can cause meningitis, including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Group B Streptococcus, and Listeria monocytogenes.

Thankfully, the introduction of and increased access to safe and effective vaccines resulted in a steady decrease in bacterial meningitis cases since the 1990s. However, cases that do occur are dangerous and can be fatal if left untreated.

Bacterial meningitis is treated with oral or IV antibiotics, and treatment can last between 10 and 21 days, according to Allan Greissman, MD, of Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida.

The second most commonly experienced meningitis is viral meningitis. Although there is no vaccine for viral meningitis, you can be vaccinated against some of the viruses that could cause meningitis, like measles, mumps, or influenza.

It helps to think of viral meningitis as a potential complication of these other viruses. This means that, although you might catch measles, mumps, or the flu from someone with viral meningitis, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will also develop viral meningitis.

“Viral meningitis will run its course and should not [be], and is not, treated with IV antibiotics,” says Greissman. He notes that one exception is a form of viral meningitis caused by the herpes viruses, which is treated with an antiviral medication.

To read the full story, visit Healthy Way.

PCCSF’s Dr. Allan Greissman honored with JDCH Circle of Friends Award

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Dr. Allan Greissman of Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida was recently honored by Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Circle of Friends for his outstanding work as a pediatric intensivist.

JDCH’s Circle of Friends is part of the hospital’s giving societies. The award recognizes physicians that exemplify the spirit and mission of the hospital and provide extraordinary care for JDCH patients, families and community.

As a senior member of Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida since 1994, Dr. Greissman develops procedural sedation programs, the care of the chronically ventilated patient and community outreach. He actively lectures throughout the South Florida community on various topics related to pediatrics.

Congratulations Dr. Greissman and thank you for your work!

PCCSF’s Dr. Greissman Weighs in on the Truth About Tamiflu

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Dr. Allan Greissman of Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida discussed with Motherly Tamiflu’s safety. As the only treatment for the flu, it’s important for parents to be aware of the medication’s potential side effects, especially during this deadly flu season.

This year’s flu season is already the worst North America has endured in a decade—which is, of course, a concern for parents of young children, who are more likely to experience serious complications from the illness.

If you or your children are struck by the flu, your health care provider is likely to write up a prescription for Tamiflu: If taken within 48 hours of symptom appearance, the antiviral drug may lessen the duration and severity of the flu. This application is recommended by both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use in infants as young as 2 weeks old.

It is also approved for preventative treatment, meaning it may help other members in the household avoid the flu if a member of the family has already been diagnosed with the illness.

For parents of young children or those at higher risk for flu complications, this makes Tamiflu a particularly good option, says Allan Greissman, MD, a pediatric critical care specialist at Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida.

“Unfortunately this year we are seeing a large number of flu-positive pediatric patients having a very serious strain of the flu. We are also seeing many more deaths from the flu and many kids with other significant problems related to the flu,” Greissman tells Motherly. “So for that reason, getting a flu shot and treatment with Tamiflu should strongly be considered.”

To read the full story, visit Motherly.

PCCSF Treats South Florida Toddler for the Flu

Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida’s Dr. Allan Greissman shared with Local 10 News the story of Michael, a 3-year-old Ft. Lauderdale boy who recently underwent critical treatment for the flu.

During this deadly flu season, the CDC is reporting 53 child deaths and is warning that we have not seen the worst of it yet. According to Dr. Greissman, the most common reason for a child with the flu to be admitted to PCCSF is high-grade fever or dehydration. Michael, like many patients who are admitted to PCCSF, began to suffer from “end-organ disease” as he fought off the flu.

Michael is a reminder of how dangerous this flu season is and the importance of getting the flu shot.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Michael celebrated his 3rd birthday at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, the pediatric unit of Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood.

His mom said he first got a rash and complained of joint pain. Then he had a fever. Eventually, tests showed the toddler was infected with an aggressive form of the flu.

“Michael had a lot of what we call ‘end organ disease.’ It affected his neurological status, it affected his heart,” Dr. Allan Greissman said. “It affected his kidneys, it affected his lungs and it affected his liver.”

Greissman, a pediatric critical care specialist at Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida at the hospital, said Michael is recovering, but Dylan Winnick was not so lucky. The 12-year-old from West Palm Beach is among the 53 other children who have died of the flu around the nation. The Centers for Disease Control had bad news again Friday. The flu season has intensified and there are more weeks of suffering ahead.

One of every 14 visits to doctors and clinics were for fever, cough and other symptoms of the flu. That’s the highest level since the swine flu pandemic in 2009. Last week, 42 states reported high patient traffic for the flu, up from 39.

Hospital stays because of the flu also increased.

To read the full story, visit Local 10 News.

Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida Featured on Local 10 2-2-18 from Diana Somarriba on Vimeo.

PCCSF Specialists Discuss the Importance of Flu Vaccinations

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Last year, the incredible team of doctors at Joe Dimaggio’s Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida helped save the life of a teen who nearly died from complications of the H3N2 strain of influenza. As the peak of the 2017 season approaches, experts emphasize the importance of getting the vaccine.

Vanika Idnani lived across the globe in Australia, but the 3-year-old’s death could be a harbinger for the coming flu season in the U.S.

The little girl is the most recent victim of a virulent strain of flu well-known to doctors everywhere.

And that strain is already showing up this flu season in America. How the U.S. responds depends on how influenza-experts engineered this year’s vaccine and whether residents get a flu shot — which can be done on a quick trip to the grocery or drug store.

Convincing people to take advantage of that opportunity is another story.

“It’s sort of odd. One country’s experience doesn’t always mean it will be our experience,” said Lynnette Brammer, an epidemiologist in the influenza division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Flu is just really hard to anticipate what it is going to do. There are a lot of factors.”

For instance, while Australia, Hong Kong and Southern China had a bad flu season, New Zealand did not, she said. Still, in Australia, more than 50 people have died from the flu this year, including little Vanika. The culprit is the H3N2 strain of the flu which has already surfaced this summer.

Loxahatchee teenager Jenny Spell knows all too well the danger of this strain. The Palm Beach Post earlier this year chronicled Spell’s near-death struggle with the flu that forced her onto a heart-lung machine for five days and required a kidney transplant and nearly a year-long rehabilitation.

Spell encourages everyone to get a flu shot because it is unknown whose immune system might be the one that can’t fight it off. “If you won’t do it to protect yourself, do it to protect the people you love,” said Spell, now a college student at the University of Florida.

Dr. Alina Alonso, director of the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County, echoes Spell’s sentiments: “You might not only be protecting yourself you will be protecting a young baby or an elderly person who may be next to you.”

Even if someone comes down with a flu strain not included in the vaccine, he or she will get less sick than if they didn’t get the shot, she added.

Dr. Allan Greissman, a specialist at Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida in Hollywood, said he is concerned about the myths about the flu vaccination. Few excuses for not getting the flu shot carry any weight, doctors say.

Healthy people who live a gluten-free life can get the flu as easily as someone who lives on Twinkies. There are options for pregnant women or people with allergies. Few people ever have an adverse reaction to the vaccine. Putting it off is not wise since it takes two weeks for the vaccine to take full effect.

Also, the vaccine carries a dead virus so that it can’t give anyone the disease.

“We are very concerned about the upcoming flu season especially because of all the bad publicity the flu shot has been getting,” Greissman said. “Our practice has seen an upswing in the number of influenza positive patients; I strongly urge the community to get vaccinated this season.”

Read the full story on the Palm Beach Post.