Media Briefings

Children's Experts Note Uptick in Respiratory Virus Infections

Monday, September 5, 2014

State and Federal Health Officials Studying Whether Illnesses Are Related to EV-D68

Oklahoma City—Experts at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center are reporting an increase in the number of hospitalizations from respiratory viruses while state and national health officials are Dr Curtis Knoles, Children's Hospital at OU Medical Centertrying to identify if those illnesses are related to a virus that has sickened more than 1,000 children across the Midwest. 

From Aug. 1-28 this year, 115 patients have tested positive for rhinovirus/enterovirus illnesses compared to 75 during the same time last year. Most of those patients were at The Children’s Hospital, though some were also at OU Medical Center, the adult hospital. Some of those patients were sent to the pediatric intensive care unit at Children’s. 

Health officials in Oklahoma are currently testing samples from Children’s patients to determine if any are Enterovirus 68, or EV-D68, a viral illness that has been identified most recently in Missouri, where it sickened more than 300 children, sending as many as 15 percent to the intensive care unit at a pediatric hospital in Kansas City. 

Family Structure Impacts Obesity Risk in Children

Thursday, August 27th, 1 p.m.

OU research details how parents and siblings affect behaviors that can lead to obesity

The family structure in which a child is raised is significantly associated with behaviors that put him or her at risk for obesity, according to a study by researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Childhood obesity is a growing issue in the United States. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show that obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Despite this, few studies have examined the relationship between family structure, environment and behaviors linked to obesity, said principal investigator Susan Sisson, Ph.D., an assistant professor of behavioral nutrition in the OU College of Allied Health.

“Before the study we did not know if one size fit all, but we now know some kids are at a higher risk for obesity-promoting behaviors because the risk is not equally distributed among all the family structures,” Sisson said.

Back to School Boosters

Friday August 1, 2014

With resurgence of whooping cough, concerned parents, doctors and health officials urge boosters

Parents of an Elk City toddler hospitalized as an infant with severe symptoms of a potentially deadly disease have joined doctors and health officials in urging widechildren, pregnant women and other adults to join a different sort of booster club this year.


This club has nothing to do with sports and everything to do with protecting infants from a potentially fatal illness – pertussis, also commonly known as whooping cough.


Pertussis is a bacterial infection characterized by fits of coughing, followed by a “whoop” sound from the attempt to inhale.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saw a 24 percent increase in reported cases of pertussis in the first six months of this year compared to the same time period last year with 9,964 cases reported in 50 states and Washington, D.C. between January 1 and June 16 of this year.


11 Year Old Girl Seizure Free Following Brain Surgery

Friday July 11th, 1 p.m.

The Surgery Was Among the First Ever to be Performed in the State on a Pediatric Patientep brief wide web

Oklahoma City- They ranged from small, nearly unnoticeable twitches to terrifying and life-threatening grand mal seizures, and for nearly her entire life, seizures have been a near-daily event for 11-year-old Hermoinee Lorett.

But following one of the first pediatric surgeries ever performed in Oklahoma attaching electrodes directly to the brain’s surface, Hermoinee had a successful epilepsy brain surgery at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center. She’s been seizure free since May.

Hermoinee’s mother, Deena Lorett, said her little girl is improving in leaps and bounds. She’s laughing more, her personality is blooming. Hermoinee is learning, developing and growing cognitively as an 11 year old should.  

Telemedicine Aids Early Detection of Eye Disease in Premature Infants

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Oklahoma City – A new study shows telemedicine provides an effective strategy to screen babies born prematurely for a potentially blinding disease. mg 0027 web

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and 13 other sites nationwide participated in the study funded by the National Eye Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health.

“Babies born prematurely face many health risks, and one of those is the risk of retinopathy of prematurity or ROP, a debilitating eye disease that can rob a baby of vision,” said R. Michael Siatkowski, M.D., professor of pediatric ophthalmology at the OU Health Sciences Center, who cares for his young patients at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center and the Dean McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma City. Siatkowski and fellow ophthalmologist Lloyd Hildebrand, who directed the study’s information technology arm, led the research effort at OU.


E-Cigarettes Pose Potentially Deadly Danger

Monday, June 23, 10 a.m.

They’re supposedly a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes, but electronic cigarettes may actually pose a serious and even deadly danger to others in your home — particularly children.e-cigs briefing 2  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports e-cigarettes as currently sold are a threat to small children and emergency room physicians at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center as well as experts at the Oklahoma Poison Control Center agree.

“The main concern that we have relates to the risk associated with nicotine in the liquid in e-cigarettes,” said Dr. Ryan Brown, Children’s Hospital emergency room physician. “Liquid nicotine is toxic and potentially fatal, especially in small children. The liquid contains very high concentrations of nicotine. In fact one 15 milliliter container – that’s about 3 teaspoons of liquid - at a concentration of 18 milligrams per milliliter contains enough nicotine to kill three grown men.”

New Technology Introduces Miniaturized Pacemaker to Heart Care

World’s smallest pacemaker implanted in patient at OU Medical Center

Oklahoma City, Okla. – Imagine a pacemaker the size of a large vitamin. It’s not the stuff of imagination anymore. In fact, OU Medical Center new tech 1implanted the world’s smallest, minimally invasive pacemaker in a 65-year-old Oklahoma man’s heart as part of a worldwide clinical trial.

It marks only the third such device implanted in the United States.

“Mostly, I was just feeling like I had no energy and had a hard time breathing. Then I was having episodes where I was blacking out,” said Ray Haggard of his condition prior to receiving the pacemaker.

Haggard was diagnosed with an arrhythmia and told he would need a pacemaker. His doctors at OU Medicine told him about a new option – a smaller, wireless pacemaker that could be placed without an incision in the chest. Haggard decided it was the best option for him.

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