• Answers to common parent questions about orthopedic care

    When an orthopedic patient is a child, the condition affects the whole family. That’s why we take a family-centered, personalized approach here at Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas. You can meet one of our pediatric orthopedic surgeons when you watch the accompanying video. He explains how he responds when parents ask him how he would treat his own child.

    Which orthopedic conditions commonly affect children?
    Pediatric patients can sustain broken bones and ligament strains just like adults. However, there are a number of orthopedic issues that can affect kids.

    • Clubfoot
    • Infant hip dysplasia
    • Scoliosis
    • Gait disorders
    • Juvenile arthritis
    • Growth plate injuries

    How is orthopedic care different for young patients?
    Contrary to the prevailing thought in centuries past, children aren’t “little adults.” They have a dynamic, constantly developing musculoskeletal system that requires a specialized approach to treatment. Children are also prone to developing orthopedic problems that don’t affect adults, such as greenstick fractures (when a child’s bone bends and breaks slightly).

    Because of the dynamic nature of a child’s musculoskeletal system, orthopedists who specialize in pediatrics are uniquely qualified to treat these young patients. Some orthopedic conditions require observance and care, with the understanding that a growing body can correct certain issues over time.

    Other orthopedic issues do require intervention to promote proper development. Pediatric specialists prefer to deliver nonsurgical treatment to their young patients whenever possible. If surgery is indicated, every precaution will be taken to safeguard the health of the child during the procedure.

    Should I get a second opinion?
    Parents should always feel free to seek a second opinion, and good orthopedic surgeons will always welcome the idea. Some situations in which parents may want a second opinion include the following:

    • Rare diagnosis
    • Complex or serious diagnosis
    • Complex treatment recommendations

    Additionally, parents may want a second opinion simply to become better informed about their child’s diagnosis and treatment options. Talking things over with another pediatric specialist can help parents understand the situation better.

    Sunrise Children’s Hospital is a modern medical center in Las Vegas that is designed to comfort children—from admittance to discharge. We even provide tricycles and motorized cars, so that our young patients can “drive” themselves to surgery. A registered nurse is available to speak with parents 24/7 at (702) 233-5437.

  • Finding the right care for a high-risk pregnancy

    High-risk pregnancies require attentive prenatal care to support the health of mother and baby. There are many factors that can place a pregnancy in this category, including maternal health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and autoimmune disease. Although the idea of having a high-risk pregnancy is troubling, many similarly affected women are able to have healthy pregnancies and babies, thanks to the exceptional care at Sunrise Children’s Hospital.

    Scheduling a preconception health appointment
    Women who have chronic medical conditions and those who have previously had a high-risk pregnancy can benefit from a preconception health visit. Doctors can help women plan the healthiest possible pregnancy by:

    • Getting medical conditions under control
    • Reviewing current medications and making any necessary changes
    • Providing healthy weight counseling
    • Providing substance abuse treatment referrals (including smoking cessation)

    Depending on their specific medical issues and lifestyle challenges, at-risk women who are planning a pregnancy may benefit from talking to any of the following specialists:

    • Registered dieticians
    • Endocrinologists
    • Physical therapists
    • Mental health providers
    • Cardiologists

    Undergoing additional prenatal tests
    During a pregnancy that’s considered high risk, women are often advised to undergo additional diagnostic tests and health screenings. They can also expect to schedule more frequent prenatal care visits with the obstetrician. Some of the tests and exams might include:

    • Targeted ultrasound
    • Amniocentesis
    • Chorionic villus sampling
    • Cervical length measurement
    • Biophysical profile

    Choosing the right maternity hospital
    Generally, doctors caution women against choosing home birth if they or their babies are at an increased risk of health problems. At a maternity hospital, families have access to 24/7, dedicated triage services, highly trained obstetricians and an attentive nursing staff. Expecting mothers can feel reassured to know that their baby has access to a world-class NICU, if needed.

    Knowing when to call the doctor
    Expecting moms may need to call their doctors or seek emergency care if they notice any potential signs of a serious problem during pregnancy. An obstetrician can provide a list of symptoms and guidance on what to do. Some of these may include:

    • Vaginal bleeding
    • Pain or burning during urination
    • Changes in vision
    • Decreased fetal movement
    • Lower abdominal pain or cramping

    Expecting mothers with a high-risk pregnancy need dependable, family-centered care they can count on to provide the best possible outcome for themselves and their babies. That’s why so many families in Las Vegas choose BIRTH Center at Sunrise Children’s Hospital , which features a fully staffed Level III NICU. A registered nurse is here to help—call (702) 233-5437.

  • Will your child inherit your risk of breast cancer?

    Every parent wants the healthiest possible start in life for their children. If breast cancer runs in your family, it’s natural to feel concerned about your child’s future risk of it. Although breast cancer does tend to run in families, the majority of women who develop it do not have breast cancer in their family medical history. You can always speak with the dedicated healthcare providers at Sunrise Children’s Hospital if you have maternity or pediatric health concerns. We’re here to help.

    Family history of breast cancer
    According to the American Cancer Society , the percentage of women diagnosed with breast cancer, who also had a family member affected by breast cancer, is less than 15 percent.

    However, having a first-degree relative with breast cancer nearly doubles the risk. A first-degree relative is a mother, sister or daughter. If a woman has two first-degree relatives with breast cancer, her risk is increased three-fold.

    Gene mutations associated with breast cancer
    It’s possible for a child to inherit gene mutations that can increase the likelihood of breast cancer. Most often, hereditary breast cancer is attributed to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. A child can inherit a gene mutation that affects one or both of these genes from either the mother or the father.

    The American Cancer Society notes that it’s possible to have these gene mutations and not develop breast cancer. However, about seven out of 10 women with the gene mutations will get breast cancer by age 80.

    Although the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations are the most impactful and common, other gene mutations may be passed down from parent to child. These genes include:

    • ATM
    • TP53
    • CHEK2
    • PTEN
    • CDH1
    • STK11
    • PALB2

    Women who are planning a pregnancy may wish to speak with their doctors about whether genetic counseling might be right for them. Genetic counseling is an evaluation of genetic issues that may be passed down to a child.

    Along with our world-class prenatal, labor and delivery care, Sunrise Children’s Hospital is committed to healthcare excellence in pediatric oncology services. As a modern, HCA-affiliated pediatric hospital in Las Vegas, our highly trained specialists follow best practices to give our patients the cutting-edge, family-centered care they deserve. A registered nurse is available at (702) 233-5437 to answer general healthcare questions.

  • How to protect your child’s eyes from lasting damage

    Injuries can happen in the blink of an eye, regardless of whether or not a parent is carefully watching the child. While parental supervision is important, your child’s safety also depends on the safety of his or her environment. At Sunrise Children’s Hospital, our family-focused pediatric specialists welcome questions from parents about preventing eye injuries in children.

    Identifying common causes of eye injuries
    Eye injuries can be minor, such as a black eye, or severe, resulting in blindness. Many injuries can be prevented. Children’s emergency care doctors identify the following hazards as being common causes of eye injuries:

    • Unsafe toys or misuse of toys
    • Misuse of everyday objects around the house
    • Exposure to harmful chemicals (cleaning products)
    • Car crashes
    • Falls (on stairs and from beds)

    Do a safety audit of your home, indoors and outdoors, and try to see common objects from your child’s perspective. Would he or she become curious about the garden shears leaning on the fence? Secure these objects in a safer place.

    Improving your child’s safety indoors
    The exact steps you’ll take to improve safety at your home will depend on your child’s age and physical abilities. In general, parents can:

    • Install and use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs
    • Install child safety devices on cabinets and drawers
    • Keep sharp objects out of reach of children
    • Keep toxic products out of reach of children
    • Install padding on sharp corners of furniture and fixtures

    Toy safety is a major concern for parents. Pediatric specialists recommend choosing toys that are:

    • Labeled for the child’s age range
    • Do not include projectile-firing or airborne components
    • Do not feature sharp points or edges
    • Won’t shatter into small shards
    • Are ASTM-approved

    Supporting injury-free outdoor play
    Active kids are healthier kids, but injuries can happen at any time. Regular eyeglasses don’t protect your child’s eyes from play-related injuries. If your child plays sports, a pediatric specialist can let you know which type of eye protection he or she needs.

    Around the clock, every day of the year, the children’s emergency care team is here for you. Sunrise Children’s Hospital is committed to providing superior medical care delivered by compassionate, comforting specialists who understand the sensitive needs of their young patients. Call 911 if your child has a medical emergency in Las Vegas, or call a registered nurse at (702) 233-5437 for general information.