Staying Up-to-Date on Pediatric Otolaryngologic Care

  • Sujana S. Chandrasekhar http://www.ears.nycAffiliations
    Consulting Editor, Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America, Past President, American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Secretary-Treasurer, American Otological Society, Partner, ENT & Allergy Associates LLP, 18 East 48th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA
    Clinical Professor, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra–Northwell, Hempstead, NY, USA
    Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA
    Co-Executive Producer and Co-Host, She's On Call
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Published:October 09, 2022DOI:
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      Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, MD, FACS, FAAOHNS, Consulting Editor
      Children are not just little adults. We all learned this at the very least on our Pediatrics rotations in medical school, when everyone relied on a well-worn handbook called The Harriet Lane Handbook, which is now in its 22nd edition, to ensure child-specific care. I had always imagined that the book was named for a pioneering female pediatrician, but it is, in fact, named for someone who was not a doctor. Harriet Lane was the niece of the 15th (and only bachelor) President of the United States, James Buchanan, and served as his hostess and the First Lady of the United States from 1857 to 1861, when she was in her 20s. She married a bit later in life at age 36, and unfortunately, lost her two young sons within a year of each other to rheumatic fever. At her death in 1903, she left money to endow The Harriet Lane Home for Invalid Children, which opened in 1912. This institution was the first pediatric hospital affiliated with an academic research institution, Johns Hopkins University, and heralded the development of Pediatrics and Pediatric Specialties in the service of the health care of children and their families. The Handbook comes from there, now called the Harriet Lane Clinic of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Of interest, “Hal,” as President Buchanan called her, who had been orphaned at age 11, was also a fierce advocate for Native American living conditions.
      Just as we somehow expect all of Pediatrics’ knowledge to fit into a lab coat pocket-sized handbook, we also look to a single issue such as this current issue of Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America to give us a comprehensive update on all of Pediatric Otolaryngology. And, just like The Harriet Lane Handbook, it shouldn’t be able to do that, but it does. Guest editors Drs Romaine Johnson and Elton Lambert have ensured that this issue, which happens to also fit into a lab coat pocket, covers the salient details of all that we currently need to know to be up to moment in this field.
      Many of the subjects covered in each of the articles merit (or have been covered in) full issues of Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America to themselves. The authors of each of these articles have synthesized the current information and presented it in an easily accessible format. You will see that the clinical subjects range from single-sided hearing loss to Eustachian tube dysfunction to sleep apnea, drooling, and cough. They go on to cover pediatric tracheostomy, including how to ensure maximal safety for the child while minimizing trips back to the health care system. Complex head and neck reconstruction, treatment of vascular anomalies, and tracheoplasty are also addressed. Unfortunately, nearly 3 years into the worldwide pandemic, we know that COVID-19 affects children differently than it does adults, and the article on that subject explains it in detail.
      And then there are some not exactly clinical but equally valuable articles. The article on 3D printing takes this option out of fantasy and places it squarely into reality, including outside of academic medical centers. Quality improvement is covered as a stand-alone subject and as part of ERAS (enhanced recovery after surgery). Lack of equity in health care encompasses different components for pediatric specialties compared with their adult counterparts, and appreciation of this as covered in that article is the only way to change it for the better. There is even an article on principles of adult learning from which we can all benefit.
      It is a challenge to cover such a diverse topic as Pediatric Otolaryngology updates in a single issue. Drs Johnson and Lambert and all of the authors in this issue have met that challenge beautifully. I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as I have, and please don’t forget to listen to our podcasts—there is one per issue—at or wherever you get your podcasts.