Pulmonology Archives - Nemours Blog


Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month: Madelynn’s Story

Madelynn was 7 days old when the pediatrician called her mom, Rebekah, around 6pm in the evening (never a good sign). Rebekah knew right away that something was amiss. The pediatrician mentioned cystic fibrosis and said they should do some testing on baby Madelynn. She was 14 days old when she went for her first sweat test. Rebekah was petrified holding her newborn while electromagnetic currents were taped on Madelynn’s arm. Then, they had to sit in a hot room, hoping for Madelynn to produce enough sweat to test for sodium chloride levels. The waiting was awful. Early the next morning, they received a call from the pediatrician, stating they had a 3pm appointment with the pulmonologist. This is when Madelynn’s journey with CF began. When Madelynn was 7 years old, her family found out that one of her original CF doctors was retiring. Additionally, her family had recently moved to […]

Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month: Gray’s Story

Two days after his birth, Gray started having gastrointestinal complications. It was found that his lower intestine was in a knot and his meconium was so compacted, the surgeons’ tool couldn’t clear it out. Gray was immediately admitted to the NICU and taken in for emergency surgery, before his mother was even discharged from the hospital. Six days after he was born, “We ended up getting a call from Nemours Pulmonology confirming Gray’s diagnoses of Cystic Fibrosis. They told us that he has ‘double delta f508’ and that he has one of the most common genetic mutations for CF,” says Gray’s mother, Lauren. “The phone call was brief, and everything was a blur. We were told that his mutation qualified for really good treatments and that he would have a good prognosis!” “Gray was born with a common condition in children with cystic fibrosis called meconium ileus in which a […]

Palliative Care Month – Molly’s Story (Mother’s Words)

On her first day of kindergarten on September 20, 2010, Molly Katherine Dunne was a seemingly healthy girl until she collapsed as she arrived at school. She was taken to Nemours by ambulance. After some testing, she went home with plans to follow up on an out-patient basis. However, the next night her condition worsened so we returned to Nemours where she was admitted. After many tests, Molly was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension. Things happened quickly and we knew little of what this diagnosis meant. Molly underwent a cardiac catheterization to help determine a treatment plan and next steps. While in the catheterization lab, she had some complications followed by a cardiac arrest. She was revived but was not stable so she was placed on ECMO also known as heart-lung bypass. Over the next few days, attempts to wean from ECMO were unsuccessful. Molly was transferred to another children’s hospital […]

Trouble Breathing During Exercise -- It’s Not Always Asthma, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Trouble Breathing During Exercise — It’s Not Always Asthma

What Is Vocal Cord Dysfunction? When a pre-teen or teenager experiences trouble breathing while exercising or playing a sport, many doctors and parents are quick to diagnose the child with asthma. But in some cases, it’s not asthma at all — it’s vocal cord dysfunction, a condition that occurs when the vocal cords do not open correctly. The symptoms of the condition are very similar to asthma, with a child experiencing difficulty breathing or coughing and wheezing. The difference, however, is that vocal cord dysfunction doesn’t improve with a rescue inhaler or a prescription steroid. And for some children, the condition is never diagnosed because, frustrated and distressed, the child quits the activity. But the good news is that vocal cord dysfunction can be diagnosed and treated with the correct therapy. Understanding the Symptoms “Children with vocal cord dysfunction often describe tightness as you’d find in asthma, but opposed to […]

Asthma Flare-Ups and Kids: What They Are, What You Can Do, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Asthma Flare-Up and Kids: What They Are, What You Can Do

A recent survey by Nemours Children’s Health System, the Delaware Survey of Children’s Health (DSCH), showed that parents of 88 percent of children with asthma were educated by health professionals on how to recognize early signs or symptoms of asthma episodes in their child. Understanding what an asthma flare-up is and how to recognize the early signs or symptoms are key steps in improving the health of your child. Increasing the percentage of parents who are taught how to recognize their child’s early signs or symptoms of an asthma flare-up (also called an asthma attack) can help reduce the number of asthma-related hospital visits and improve the overall health of their child. What is an Asthma Flare-Up? During an asthma flare-up, the breathing tubes (also called bronchial tubes) in the lungs constrict — like a straw being squeezed — which triggers wheezing, coughing and tightness in the chest. Some kids […]

6 Common Pneumonia Questions Answered, by Kate Cronan, MD, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

6 Common Pneumonia Questions Answered

Pneumonia is a very common illness in kids. In fact, an estimated 156 million cases of pneumonia are diagnosed worldwide each year — and that’s just in children younger than 5 years old, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). So here’s what you need to know about this infection that’s all too common around this time of year. 1. What is pneumonia, anyway? Simply put, pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. It causes fever, coughing and sometimes trouble breathing. The good news is that most kids with pneumonia can be treated at home, and they usually get better in 1 to 2 weeks. However, in some cases, babies and children with certain other medical problems can get sicker and may need to be admitted to a hospital while they get better. 2. Is there a pneumonia “season?” Your child may be more likely to get pneumonia after having a […]

10 Asthma Questions Answered - Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Asthma: 10 Common Questions Answered

For most parents and kids, spring means sunny warm weather, outdoor sports and more outside playtime. For many others, spring also means more asthma flare-ups – more time outside means more exposure to asthma triggers, and more sports means more exercise-induced asthma. Although childhood asthma is common, many people really don’t know much about it. So we thought we’d answer some common questions about what asthma is and how it’s treated. 1. What is asthma, exactly? Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways in the lungs, called “breathing tubes” (or “bronchial tubes”). It’s actually the most common long-term childhood disease – the No. 1 reason kids chronically miss school. And flare-ups are the most common cause of pediatric emergency department visits due to a chronic illness. Those affected by asthma typically have swollen airways (which means that they swell and produce lots of thick mucus) most of the […]

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