Weekend On-Call: A Glimpse Into The Life Of A Busy Pediatrician - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Weekend On-Call: A Glimpse Into The Life Of A Busy Pediatrician

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Dr. Lauren and an adorable 4 month old Dr. Lauren and an adorable 4 month old

Welcome to my first My Fox Parents Blog. When I was thinking about what it is I should talk about in the blog I was wondering, should I discuss the flu, vaccines or respiratory infections? Those are important topics but then I decided my first blog should give you a glimpse into what a pediatrician's day is like.   First, I'd like to clear up something about the job of a pediatrician: I do not deliver babies. Obstetricians have that wonderful job.  I am fortunate to then take over for the care of the little ones until the age of 21.   Now, there are pediatricians that work solely in private offices and those that work only in hospitals.  I do both, though the office is where I am mainly based. On a normal weekday, I see newborns or hospitalized older children at the hospital in the mornings, and then I go to my office where I spend the rest of the day  and see both sick kids and perform physical exams.

This past weekend was my turn to cover Friday to Sunday. I answered the urgent calls starting from when we closed on Friday evening. Most calls were for children of various ages vomiting, some with fever and some without, and some with diarrhea as well. It's common that many calls are for the same issue which tells me that there is, in this case, a viral intestinal infection going around.  That tends to be pretty popular this time of year.  I provided detailed advice and reassurance, the most important of which is not to worry if your child didn't eat that day or keep down food. What is extremely important is to make sure the child is hydrated, and I gave tips on how to achieve this by slowly hydrating with a teaspoon of an electrolyte containing fluid every 10-15 min. I also advised on what to look for and give criteria regarding when to call back.

After doing my hospital rounds Saturday morning, I went to the office. I truly saw a gamut of illnesses, everything from that intestinal virus to Hand, Foot and Mouth disease, dehydrated newborns to sinus infections, colds to asthma.   I love interacting with the families, and I really love being able to help the kids, to treat them with medications when necessary or to give advice on how to get through an illness that requires time to overcome, not medication.

When we closed for the day on Saturday, I continued to answer calls from parents throughout the day and through the night. Some nights the overnight calls are light and some they are hourly. This past Saturday night, one of the overnight calls was from some very concerned new parents about their 3 week old who was vomiting a lot. After solving that problem, I received a call at 2 a.m. about a 2 year old with croup.   It was a very busy night but everyone got through it safely, and no one had to visit the Emergency Room which is always a good thing.

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