Week 2: Pediatrics

This week at Dr. Dyson’s office was so fun! Each day, about 17 patients arrived in the morning. I have loved getting to sit in the office and watch the behind-the-scenes of a doctor’s work. This week most patients were newborn babies, sick toddlers, and children with wellness checks.

I was able to watch 2 circumcisions this week! And, I did not even flinch this time! I was able to stand closer and watch more closely. The baby boys are strapped into a plastic holder on a table and are receive several shots for numbness. The mother is instructed to dip the baby’s pacifier in sugar water and put it in the baby’s mouth every time the baby cries. Apparently, when the baby tastes the sugar water, signals are sent to the brain like a drug would and cause relaxation.

There was also a little boy that came in this week and needed a helmet for his head. Babies can get completely flat heads, or have heads that are flat on one side. Plagiocephaly is a condition when the head is flattened on one side, whereas brachycephaly is when the back of the head is flat. This can be caused by babies sleeping on the same side of their head, which is why it is important for babies to be put to sleep on opposite sides every night. Another cause of this is neck tightness in babies. If their neck is tight, it is harder for the babies to turn their heads, so one side may have more pressure.

Several babies have come into the office for checkups and have needed advice on breastfeeding and weight gain. Because babies are supposed to gain one ounce a day until they are six months old, it is important for babies to eat about 2 to 3 ounces of milk every 2 hours. I have seen the same baby boy and his mother come into the office 3 times after their baby would eat two to three ounces of milk every two hours, but could not gain weight. Dr. Dyson is unsure of why this is happening, but the patient will be back in to the office in a few days.

Another strange thing that I learned is that many babies have jaundice. Jaundice is a term that describes newborn babies yellowish skin tone and eyes. This is caused by an excess amount of bilirubin in their blood. Dr. Dyson checks this by blood tests. To get rid of this yellowish skin tone and eyes, Dr. Dyson has advised the parents to place their babies in indirect sunlight (the windshield of the car, a window in their home) to flush out the yellow coloring. He also said that the color will die down when the baby eats and then goes to the bathroom.

The most interesting thing that I saw this week was a little girl that came in that is about 2 or 3 months old. When she began to grow, she grew breasts! As a baby, she is producing milk. I got close to her and saw Dr. Dyson press on her chest and saw milk coming out! This was so interesting to me because I never knew this could happen. This is caused by hormones in the newborn.

Several children have come in this week with coughs, fevers, and runny noses, so they are given viral swabs of the nose. If the patients throat is red, they can either have a throat culture or be strep tested. Patients may be given anti-biotics depending on how long they have been sick and how severe their sickness is.

I am very excited to continue shadowing Dr. Dyson! Stay tuned for my next blog!

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