• Understanding Meningitis and Its Risk Factors


    Meningitis is an infection that attacks the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord called the meninges. When meningitis occurs, it may be a somewhat mild viral infection or a much more serious bacterial infection, though the symptoms for each are very similar. Because the symptoms are so alike in the different types of meningitis, symptoms should be addressed in an emergency room right away. Early treatment of bacterial meningitis can be lifesaving, and early treatment of viral meningitis may greatly reduce the chances of complications and shorten the length of the illness.

    Meningitis symptoms

    Meningitis is most common in children and adults under the age of 30. It may present sudden symptoms of fever, stiff neck, rapid breathing, decreased alertness, sensitivity to light, and severe headache. Since these symptoms may be present in bacterial and viral meningitis, you should always seek care for yourself or your child when they appear.

    Exams and diagnosis

    When you visit the ER with symptoms of meningitis , an examination and spinal fluid sample will be used to determine if meningitis is present. Early diagnosis of bacterial meningitis is the most reliable way to prevent neurological damage and reduce the chances of death resulting from this condition.

    Treatment options

    Viral meningitis often clears up on its own within about two weeks, but bacterial meningitis requires immediate treatment with antibiotics. There are also some vaccinations that protect against certain forms of meningitis, and these are recommended for children between ages 11 and 12, college freshmen living in dorms, and individuals traveling to other countries where meningitis is more common.

    With the kid-friendly ER at Sunrise Children’s Hospital , you will always have a place to turn when healthcare emergencies like meningitis arise. To see the current wait times in our ER, visit our website or call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 233-5437. 

  • What All New Parents Should Know About Infant Immunization


    When you welcome your child to the world, one of the first steps in his or her pediatric care will be immunization, which begins at birth with vaccinations continuing through infancy and childhood. Parents often have a number of questions about infant immunization and its effectiveness, so this article will offer some insight on childhood vaccines to help you plan your child’s early care.

    Vaccines follow rigorous safety standards

    Vaccines are incredibly safe , because they are held to high standards for quality and effectiveness, which keeps potential side effects limited to very minor conditions like low-grade fever. The schedule of infant immunization is able to begin birth because there is such a low chance of side effects. This early start ensures that babies will be protected from potentially life-threatening diseases from their very first moments.

    There is no proven link between infant immunization and autism

    The notion that immunization causes autism is not founded in scientific data, and several studies have confirmed that there is no link. There has been a rise in the prevalence of autism over the past several decades, but this coincides with an improved understanding of autism to facilitate more diagnoses.

    Multiple vaccine doses are necessary for complete protection

    Your baby may have several vaccines at once, and several doses may be needed to build full immunity. This is the case because vaccines only contain a very small number of antigens, which is also why receiving multiple vaccines at once does not carry a risk of overloading a baby’s immune system.

    If you have a baby on the way, you can learn everything you need to know about newborn care and find exceptional accommodations for your labor and delivery at Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas. To find out more about our services for moms and babies , call us at (702) 233-5437 or visit our website. 

  • A Look at the Facts of Autism


    Autism spectrum disorders are behavioral disorders characterized by difficulties in communication and social activities , which can significantly hinder a child’s development. While autism is not an indicator of intelligence, it can be a cause for trouble in school and poor academic performance. Below, you will see some of the basic facts about autism and related disorders on the spectrum to help you understand the prevalence of these conditions.

    Boys are more likely than girls to have autism

    Autism is five times more likely in boys than in girls, and about 1 in 42 boys are affected. Overall, 1 in 68 children are affected by autism. The reason for higher prevalence in boys is that mutations related to the X-chromosome are a marker for autism spectrum disorders. Because boys only have one X-chromosome, and girls have two, they are less shielded from developing autism or intellectual disabilities.

    Autism prevalence is on the rise

    The number of individuals with autism in the United States is growing, and there are many factors that may drive this increased prevalence. Perhaps the most significant factor is the increased awareness and understanding of autism that has led to more diagnoses.

    Early intervention is the best route for treatment

    There is no cure for autism, but there are strategies that can improve social skills and help children function in the classroom once they reach school age. With these strategies, early intervention is ideal over a wait-and-see approach. If your doctor does suggest waiting on the further development of behaviors following the observation of key autism warning signs, you might benefit from a second opinion from a pediatrician who can provide you with the resources your child needs.

    If you have noticed the warning signs of autism in your child, contact Sunrise Children’s Hospital at (702) 233-5437 for a physician referral. We provide a wide range of pediatric services in our kid-friendly Las Vegas facilities.

  • How Organ Donors May Help Kids in Need


    Of the 123,000 people currently awaiting organ transplants from organ donors around the country, about 2,000 of these individuals are children. Finding suitable matches for these patients is particularly difficult, because young patients need organs of smaller sizes. Still, it is possible for adult donors to help children in need with organ and tissue donation , so you might consider these young patients as you make the decision to become an organ donor. During National Donate Life Month this April, consider how your choice to donate could give a sick child a chance to play among his or her peers and experience a normal childhood. Keep reading to learn more about the process of organ donation and transplantation with pediatric patients and the possibility for teens to become organ donors.

    Organ transplants and children

    There are many success stories of pediatric transplants facilitated by organ donation. With the gift of life given through donors, children may have opportunities that would not otherwise be possible with other medical treatments. Not only is organ donation a lifesaving gift, but it can also ensure a higher quality of life for children. It does not cost anything to be an organ donor, and almost anyone can become a donor.

    Young donor consent

    While it is true that people under the age of 18 cannot legally be added to the state donor registry, young people may still be able to become organ donors with parental consent. Teens who wish to be organ donors in the event of their death may express these wishes to their parents, who can provide consent for donation at the time of death. Parents who suffer the death of young children may choose to begin resolving their grief by allowing organ donation that could save the lives of several other children.

    At Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas, we are dedicated to providing the best possible care for children with programs in cardiac care, robotic surgery, oncology, and trauma. To explore more details about the pediatric-focused care we provide, visit our website or call us at (702) 233-5437.