Teen travels from Greece to Ann Arbor for vascular surgery at U-M’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital

After missing nearly a year of school in Crete for severe stomach pain, 14-year-old girl with complex, rare vascular disease finds treatment at Mott

After a year of living in pain, high schooler Niki Karpouza is back to herself and enjoying her summer in her home country Greece.

After a year of living in pain, high schooler Niki Karpouza is back to herself and enjoying her summer in her home country Greece.

The stomach pain 14-year-old Niki Karpouza was experiencing was so excruciating, she couldn’t eat, had to give up gymnastics and ultimately missed 350 days of school in her hometown on the island of Crete, Greece.

The culprit: a rare vascular condition that had led to the narrowing of multiple intestinal arteries and their branches, preventing blood from flowing to her intestines like it was supposed to.

Several doctor visits and medications in Greece didn’t help. Doctors there reached out to the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital that has one of the leading multidisciplinary programs for comprehensive treatment of vascular disease. The program is an international referral center for children with complex vascular disease and handles approximately 80 percent of cases requiring surgery in the U.S.

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What you need to know about measles

mott blog - measles symptoms preventionMeasles was declared eliminated from the U.S. in 2000, but in recent years we have seen measles reappear primarily as a result of people bringing the virus to the U.S. from other countries. During the last decade, we have seen approximately 100 cases of measles per year in the U.S. However, in 2014, there were 644 cases reported, and already this year there have been over 100 cases.  Many of this year’s cases are connected to a large, multi-state outbreak linked to an amusement park in California. To date, there has been one case in Michigan (an adult). With all the news stories about measles, it’s easy to be concerned, but knowing the facts can ease your mind.

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3-stars for pediatric heart care

Mott Children’s Hospital awarded highest quality rating by our peers

3-star STS ratingWhen it comes to making decisions, the sad truth is it may seem easier for parents to choose a car seat, a refrigerator, even a house – than it is to feel like they’re making an informed decision about where to seek health care.

Making a decision about a hospital to literally entrust with your child’s heart can feel especially intimidating.

That’s why we’re particularly proud of having been awarded the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ highest designation for pediatric heart surgery programs – the prestigious 3-star rating.

What does the 3-star designation mean?

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Is Miralax safe for kids?

Is Miralax safe for children?A recent New York Times article about the safety of Miralax and similar generic products used to treat children with constipation has struck an alarming chord with many parents.

Miralax and its generic equivalents are one of our first-line-of-defense tools for managing chronic, severe constipation. The ingredient called into question is polyethylene glycol 3350, or PEG 3350. There has been a tremendous amount of investigation into the safety of PEG 3350. In fact, it’s probably one of the most thoroughly studied molecules in our field. The available research provides a strong justification for PEG 3350 as a treatment for childhood constipation, considering both the safety and efficacy of this molecule relative to other medicines sometimes prescribed for severe constipation.

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Are you ready? Back to school tips for parents

Back to school tips for parentsAs the lazy, hazy days of summer wind down, many parents (and some children) are ready to get back to the routine of the school year. That routine is one of the key ingredients of a successful back-to-school experience.  Try out these back to school tips to make your adjustment back into the school year routine a smoother one.

Bedtime

After a summer of what was most likely a fluctuating bed time, reintroducing the school-night bedtime can be a challenge. It’s easiest if you gradually work back into it instead of waiting until the night before the first day. About a week before school starts, gradually start moving bedtime closer to what it will be during the school year. Move it up 20 or 30 minutes every evening until you’re back on track. Also start re-establishing a bedtime routine — bath/shower, brushing teeth, reading, etc. Whatever your school year routine is, get started with that now.

Wake Up

What’s your typical morning routine? If your child uses an alarm clock, start setting that now and gradually work into the time he or she will have to wake for school. If you are your child’s alarm clock, do the same thing and start waking him or her up earlier about a week before school starts so day one isn’t made more difficult by a sleepy student.
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