Friday, March 15, 2013

Pediatric Neurodiagnostics Highlighted

For the first time ever at an ASET annual conference, there will be a course day devoted to pediatric neurodiagnostics.  I feel like I went out on a limb a bit when I added this to the program, but I also thought that it is time to do something a bit different!  Quite a few of the attendee evaluations  from our 2012 annual conference in St. Paul expressed an interest in seeing more pediatric topics on the program, so I decided to take the leap this year.
For those of you who know me, you may recall that I specialized in pediatric neurodiagnostics myself, for most of my career.  I worked with Lew Kull at Children’s Hospital in Boston for fourteen years, before becoming Director of Education for ASET.  In that role, I just loved being in daily contact with children.  I think that pediatric EEG is much more interesting because of the wide variety of normal and abnormal findings, and the special challenge of getting a child through the test.  Neonatal EEG is my absolute favorite!  To see a tiny, premature infant, perfectly formed, and to watch the brain mature as EEG patterns change every two weeks, always amazed me.  I could sit in the NICU or nursery for hours recording infants and watching the flurry of activity around me, as the nurses and docs took care of their tiny patients.   I was able to put all of my creative energy into writing the  ASET on-line course on pediatric and neonatal EEG, and really enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm.   From the archives, here is a picture of me from 1982, as I recorded a normal control BAER on a pedi patient at Memorial Hospital in Worcester, MA.  This accompanied an article in the Worcester Telegram about the new testing equipment purchased by the hospital.  (Do you recognize this spiffy new piece of equipment from 1982?)

I am thrilled about having this pedi day on our program!  One of the highlights of the day will be a special workshop, presented by the neuro team from the Kreuger Kennedy Institute on how to get challenging pediatric patients, such as the developmentally delayed child, through the process of neurodiagnostic testing.  The Kreuger Institute is a medical facility in Baltimore which is dedicated to the care of children with developmental disabilities.  Their neuro team has developed a “desensitization” program to help a child cope with the process of getting set up for an EEG or PSG.  This workshop will be interactive and very informative. 
For any techs out there who are working with pediatric and neonatal patients, I hope to see you in Reno at our pediatric course.  I would like to see such great support for this subject that I can offer a similar course at our conferences in years to come.
The Pediatric Neurodiagnostic Course will be on Thursday, August 1.  A full course schedule for the course tracks in Reno will be posted shortly. See below for a list of topics that will be offered in the Pedi NDT course.   See you in Reno!  The annual conference registration form is on the ASET website at the "meetings" tab, and the room rate is a really low $105 per night!
Pedi NDT Day Course will include presentations on:

Childhood Epileptic Syndromes _ Dr. Michael Quach, Texas Children's Hospital
What else can it be? Non-epileptic entities seen in Childhood _ Dr. J. Riviello, NYU Med Center
Update on Neonatal EEG _ Dr. Eli Mizrahi, Texas Children's Hospital
Monitoring Pediatric Seizures - Sharon Liner, R.EEG T.

Interactive Workshop: Preparing the Challenging Pediatric Patient for NDT testing - experts from the Kreuger Kennedy Instititute