I've only been at Texas Children's for a few short weeks, but this past weekend, I had the chance to experience something very special.
Everyone wants to save money, particularly with the current state of the economy. Coupons are available everywhere — newspapers, grocery stores, grocery store rewards programs, food magazines, phone books, daily/weekly mail circulars, you name it.
Imagine for a moment that you have a toothache, and need help. The problem is you can only make one sound, and it's the same sound you make for everything else that you need. All you can do is make it louder or softer, but it's still only one sound. How hard would it be to let someone know using only verbal communication that your back molar was causing shooting pain, and that you were absolutely miserable? And how frustrating would it be for someone who wanted to help you, but couldn't understand what you needed?
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a serious blood disorder that is passed down through families. When children inherit SCD from their parents who have sickle cell trait, the red blood cells form an abnormal crescent (sickled) shape. As a result, the blood doesn't flow well, causing anemia, pain and damage to the internal organs. In the United States, all babies are tested for SCD at birth, which allows them to receive early care and treatment. As a result, most children with SCD in the U.S. will live into adulthood with an opportunity to lead productive lives.
A young mother sits in the pediatrician's office with her child. As the doctor begins to explain the immunizations the child will receive, the mother interrupts and says, "Ok, but not the MMR vaccine. I've heard it causes autism." Despite numerous reassurances and 30 minutes of discussion, the child leaves without receiving the vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella.
It's a scene that has played out in countless numbers of pediatric offices across the globe. After all, it's just one vaccine, right?