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Using Machine Learning to Make Ventilator Support Safer for Children

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Robinder Khemani, MD, MsCI, Attending Physician in Pediatric Intensive Care at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has received a $3.4 million grant from the National Institute of Health to examine to improve outcomes of children put on ventilators.
« Using Machine Learning to Make Ventilator Support Safer for Children

Newswise — LOS ANGELES — Critically ill children on ventilator support can experience a mismatch between their breathing efforts and) the rhythm delivered by the ventilator. This mismatch, called patient-ventilator asynchrony (PVA), is difficult to detect and can worsen patient outcomes. PVA is commonly associated with longer stays on a ventilator for adults and can raise the risks of infection, lung injury and brain damage. However, little is known about PVA in children, where it could be just as, if not more, common. Robinder Khemani, MD, MsCI, Attending Physician in Pediatric Intensive Care at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, is using machine learning to improve the outcomes of children put on ventilators.

A CHLA research team led by Dr. Khemani has received a $3.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to examine the frequency and risk factors for common types of PVA in critically ill children. Working with hospitals in Canada and the Netherlands, the researchers will investigate whether PVA is independently associated with poor clinical outcomes and determine the effects on the body when breathing doesn’t match the flow of air provided by the ventilator.

Children can need ventilator support for multiple reasons, including severe pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), when infection or trauma causes swelling, inflammation and fluid buildup in the lungs. The body’s response to the initial injury can harm the lungs even more than the infection or trauma itself.

“Many of these very sick patients can develop unexpected complications from the very procedures that we use to help them,” says Dr. Khemani. Ventilator-induced lung injury can lead to heart and kidney damage, or can increase vulnerability to future lung disease, asthma or sleep-disordered breathing.

“Brain function can also be impaired by all the medications, anesthetics and sedation patients receive to help them to tolerate the ventilator,” says Dr. Khemani. “We weigh the risks and benefits to minimize potential harms and hopefully get them off the ventilator as soon as they are ready.”

Measuring patient-ventilator mismatch
“There are many types of PVA, but we still don’t know which PVA subtypes are most harmful or are the most frequent,” says Dr. Khemani. “We need to develop a common set of definitions and measurements, especially for pediatric patients.”

Mismatches between patient breathing and the rhythm the ventilator provides can occur in different ways, as children’s breathing varies according to their weight, size and age. Respiration patterns can also change during the course of a child’s stay in the pediatric intensive care unit. But existing studies use different definitions for PVA subtypes and no study so far has been large enough to evaluate the relationship between different types of PVA and patient outcomes, or has yet focused on the highest-risk patients.

Automating ventilator-patient breathing
“It takes a very highly trained human to recognize PVA,” says Dr. Khemani. “But computers can do this very well. Our colleagues at the Virtual Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (vPICU) here at CHLA have been working with us on this project for a few years and have developed machine-learning algorithms that can identify different types of breathing asynchronies in children on ventilators.”

The study team will collect measurements from 200 children and combine this data with the analysis of 350 children in other studies, including a clinical trial that is testing a novel ventilator strategy. “By the end of this project, we hope to have developed these algorithms and validate that they work in three different hospitals using data from many different children,” says Dr. Khemani. “Simultaneously we will build a tool to automatically detect PVA by analyzing ventilator data through machine-learning algorithms. We will test how well the tool helps providers to identify the minute-to-minute changes in patients and potentially alert the bedside team that an adjustment to the ventilator may be needed.”

To minimize the risks of ventilator support, medical teams want to keep patients participating in breathing for themselves as much as possible. “So that’s where this study really comes into play, by constantly tracking the interaction between the child and the ventilator to ask if the ventilator is supplying just the right amount of help, precisely when needed,” says Dr. Khemani.

About Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Founded in 1901, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is the largest provider of hospital care for children in California. Renowned pediatric experts work together across disciplines to deliver inclusive and compassionate health care to one of the world’s most diverse populations, driving advances that set child health standards across the nation and around the globe. With a mission to create hope and build healthier futures for children, the hospital consistently ranks in the top 10 in the nation, No. 1 in California and No. 1 in the Pacific U.S. region on U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll of Best Children’s Hospitals. The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles supports the full continuum of child health research and is among the top 10 pediatric academic medical centers for National Institutes of Health funding, meaning physicians and scientists translate discoveries into treatments and bring answers to families faster. Home to one of the largest pediatric training programs in the United States, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles graduates a new class of physicians each year who have learned world-class children’s health care at the forefront of medicine. And as an anchor institution, the hospital strengthens the economic health of surrounding communities by fighting food insecurity, enhancing health education and literacy, and introducing early careerists to health care. To learn more, follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedInYouTube and Twitter, and visit our blog at CHLA.org/blog.

Source: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles 

Child Health

Time is Running Out: Life Time’s 3 Key Tips for Choosing a Summer Camp

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CHANHASSEN, Minn. /PRNewswire/ — With summer creeping closer, parents are now on the lookout for engaging activities to fill their kids’ days once school is out. Life Time (NYSE: LTH), which serves more than 31,000 children aged 5 to 12 annually at its summer camps across North America, offers these tips from its Kids experts to guide parents in selecting a camp this year.

Life Time’s summer camps are designed to give children an unforgettable experience full of adventures, sports, activities, and friendships, all while keeping them active through the summer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, active children tend to have better grades in school, improved concentration and better cognitive performance.

  1. Look for Unique Activities – Consider a summer camp that engages kids in new active experiences, helps them learn different skills and encourages them to be healthy. Every Life Time Summer Camp includes weekly themes, from science experiments to outdoor exploration, giving kids an opportunity to learn and try something new every day. Two electives are included every week including art, STEAM activities, sports, athletic training, dance, coding, cheer and pickleball. There are also weekly Friday field trips to museums, zoos, aquariums, waterparks, amusement parks and other local attractions.
  2. Is the Summer Camp Flexible? – Parents are busier now than ever before. Be sure to check that your summer camp start and end times work for everyone. Many camps have forced times for drop-off and pick-up, creating extra challenges. Life Time has extended hours to accommodate parents’ busy schedules. Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Before care (7-9 a.m.) and aftercare (4-6 p.m.) are included in the cost of camp. Additionally, consider asking about flexible payment options. At Life Time, parents can pay in full during registration, or choose a flex payment plan for the same total price.
  3. Save Time with Swim Lessons – Summer is a great time to get kids started with swim lessons. Why not cross two things off the list with a summer camp that includes swim lessons? Registration for Life Time’s summer camps includes twice weekly swim lessons supervised by lifeguards and trained professionals, ensuring parents’ peace of mind regarding water safety throughout the season.

Life Time’s Kids Camps are designed to give children an unforgettable experience full of adventures, sports, activities, and friendships, all while keeping them active through the summer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, active children tend to have better grades in school, improved concentration and better cognitive performance.

“What truly sets our summer camps apart at Life Time is the quality and variety of content your child will be experiencing. Each day has a unique lesson plan, so kids never get bored,” said Samantha Stark, Senior Director of Life Time’s Kids Programming. “If you add in our unique offering of electives and swim lessons, kids at Life Time’s camps will be well-equipped to have a healthy, happy summer.”

Busy families at Life Time looking for an exciting way to keep their kids healthy and active this summer can now register for the Life Time’s 2024 Summer Camps. For more information about camps near you and to register, visit the Life Time Summer Camps website.

About Life Time®
Life Time (NYSE: LTH) empowers people to live healthy, happy lives through its portfolio of more than 170 athletic country clubs across the United States and Canada. The Company’s healthy way of life communities and ecosystem address all aspects of healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment for people 90 days to 90+ years old. Supported by a team of more than 37,000 dedicated professionals, Life Time is committed to providing the best programs and experiences through its clubs, iconic athletic events and comprehensive digital platform.

SOURCE Life Time, Inc.

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Know as They Grow: How birth defects affect each stage of life

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(Family Features) Birth defects, structural changes that affect one or more parts of the body, are the leading cause of infant mortality. A baby is born with a birth defect every 4.5 minutes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

Birth defects most often develop during the first three months of pregnancy, when a baby’s organs are forming. Not only can they affect mortality, but they can also cause problems for a baby’s overall health and how the body develops and functions. Common birth defects include congenital heart defects, cleft lip, cleft palate and spina bifida.

Genetics, behaviors and social and environmental factors can impact the risk for birth defects, and not all birth defects can be prevented. To help improve the lives of people living with birth defects, consider this information from the experts at March of Dimes, who aim to provide knowledge about what birth defects are, how to prevent them and their impact across all stages of life.

Pregnancy
Although not all birth defects can be prevented, people can increase their chances of having a healthy baby by managing health conditions and adopting healthy behaviors before becoming pregnant.

When planning a pregnancy, see a health care professional and start prenatal care as soon as possible. Talk about taking any medications you’re currently taking (or might need during the pregnancy), including vitamins. Most doctors recommend women take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day before and during pregnancy to help prevent birth defects.

Also discuss vaccinations (including COVID-19, since pregnant women are at elevated risk for severe COVID-19 illness) and other medical concerns, such as how to manage diabetes. Avoid overheating and treat fevers and infections promptly. Avoid alcohol, smoking cigarettes and marijuana or other drugs during pregnancy.

Infancy
If your baby is diagnosed with a birth defect during pregnancy, or born with a birth defect or other health condition, he or she may need special care to aid growth and development. Many children with birth defects lead long and happy lives. However, birth defects remain critical conditions that can cause lifelong challenges.

Advancements such as improved newborn screening and early detection of birth defects can help pinpoint potential problems and ensure the baby begins receiving supportive care for better survival rates and quality of life. Examples include newborn screenings for critical congenital heart defects and monitoring bladder and kidney function in infants and children with spina bifida.

Childhood
Meeting the complex needs of a person with birth defects involves the whole family and can be challenging at times. Finding resources, knowing what to expect and planning for the future can help. Early intervention services and support include special education, speech therapy and physical therapy. These can have a significant impact on a child’s ability to learn new skills, overcome challenges and increase success in school and life.

Some babies born with birth defects may also have physical and intellectual disabilities. The exact ages of developmental milestones are different for each child. Families, educators and health care providers can work together to set meaningful goals and create a plan to help children living with birth defects reach their full potential.

Adolescence
Adolescents and young adults living with birth defects may face unique challenges as they transition from childhood to adulthood. They may need to navigate changes in insurance and transition from a familiar pediatric specialist to a new adult doctor. It’s important for people with birth defects and their families to begin planning for this transition during childhood so they can lead healthy, independent lives as adults.

Other areas of focus might include medications, surgeries and other procedures; mental health; social development and relationships within and outside the family; physical activity; and independence.

Adulthood
With every pregnancy, a woman starts out with a 3% chance of having a baby with a birth defect, regardless of underlying health conditions or lifestyle factors, according to the CDC.

Many women with birth defects and other health conditions have healthy, uneventful pregnancies. However, women with birth defects may be more likely to have a baby with a birth defect. People living with birth defects should talk with their health care providers before becoming pregnant about how a pregnancy might affect them and their baby.

Having someone in your family with a birth defect also increases your chances of having a baby with a birth defect. To learn more about your genetic risk of having a baby with a birth defect, talk with a clinical geneticist or a genetic counselor.

Learn more about birth defects by following #EveryJourneyMatters and #BirthDefects on social media and visiting marchofdimes.org/birthdefects.

Tips to Prevent Birth Defects
Not all birth defects can be prevented, but you can help reduce the risk and increase your chances of having a healthy baby by following these steps.

  • Get a preconception checkup before you start trying to get pregnant.
  • Ensure your vaccinations are up to date. Some vaccinations protect you from infections that can cause birth defects and updating certain vaccinations may mean you need to wait before trying to become pregnant.
  • Take a vitamin supplement that includes 400 micrograms of folic acid every day.
  • Learn about your family health history. If you, your partner, your children or someone in your families has a birth defect, you may want to see a genetic counselor to learn more about your risk.
  • Work with your health care provider to manage chronic health conditions, such as diabetes.
  • Talk to your health care provider about medicines you take, including any prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, supplements and herbal products. Certain medicines may increase your baby’s risk of a birth defect.
  • Reach a healthy weight. Being obese can increase your baby’s chances of having birth defects like neural tube defects, heart defects and cleft palate.

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock


SOURCE:
March of Dimes

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Canada’s First Egg Bank Launches, Recruiting Ethnically Diverse Donors for Enhanced Donor Conceived Outcomes

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TORONTO (Newswire.com) – Egg Bank Canada (EBC) proudly announces its official launch as Canada’s first egg bank, dedicated to providing immediate access to donor eggs while prioritizing the best outcomes for donor-conceived individuals, their parents, and the donors themselves. With a focus on diversity and a unique known donation option, EBC aims to revolutionize the landscape of assisted reproductive services.

Led by renowned fertility experts Dr. Clifford Librach and Dr. Abdul Munaf Sultan Ahamed, EBC has completed numerous donor cycles, solidifying its commitment to exceptional patient care and fulfilling the urgent need for accessible donor eggs in Canada. One of the cornerstones of EBC’s mission is to recruit ethnically diverse donors, recognizing the importance of offering a wide range of options to prospective parents seeking genetic diversity. By actively seeking donors from various ethnic backgrounds, EBC ensures that more individuals and couples can find a suitable match, increasing the chances of successful outcomes and fulfilling their dreams of parenthood.

EBC distinguishes itself through its commitment to empowered decision-making. The egg bank offers multiple options for donor-recipient relationships, including known, semi-known, and open ID arrangements. This enables donors and recipients to choose the level of contact and involvement they are comfortable with, fostering a sense of choice and control throughout the process.

However, what truly sets EBC apart is its additional legal agreement between all parties involved. By ensuring that patients and their donors fully understand their legal rights and obligations, EBC creates a supportive and transparent environment that safeguards the interests of all individuals involved in the donation process.

Dr. Clifford Librach, a pioneer in the field of fertility, expresses his excitement about the launch, stating, “Egg Bank Canada is dedicated to providing exceptional care and support to our patients while prioritizing the well-being of the donor-conceived individuals and their families. We firmly believe that we can help more individuals and couples achieve their dreams of building a family through our innovative approach and commitment to diversity.”

Dr. Abdul Munaf Sultan Ahamed, the IVF Scientific Director of EBC, adds, “Our team is thrilled to bring Canada’s first egg bank to life. We are committed to advancing the field of assisted reproductive services and ensuring that our patients receive the best possible care. With our emphasis on diversity and known donation options, we are confident that EBC will make a lasting impact on the lives of many.”

Egg Bank Canada invites individuals and couples seeking donor eggs and those interested in becoming donors to connect with them to learn more about their innovative approach to assisted reproductive services.

https://www.newswire.com/news/canadas-first-egg-bank-launches-recruiting-ethnically-diverse-donors-22175122

www.canadaeggbank.ca

info@canadaeggbank.ca

416-586-1648 ext. #5

Source: Egg Bank Canada

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