Pediatric Resident Review on Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatments Published in International Journal

Pediatric Resident Review on Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatments Published in International Journal

(Madera, Calif.) – A review of positive airway pressure (PAP) treatments for pediatric obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) co-authored by second year pediatric resident Dr. Kelly Hady was recently published in Children, an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal of pediatric medical science.

In the article, Dr. Hady and her co-author, Dr. Caroline Okorie, a pulmonary and sleep specialist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, detail how providers diagnose and treat pediatric OSAS – focusing on PAP therapy – and what pediatric providers can do to help initiate treatment and encourage patients to adhere to their treatment plan.

“Unfortunately, obstructive sleep apnea can be overlooked by physicians – especially in the pediatric population,” said Dr. Hady. “I’ve found that it’s extremely important for pediatricians to recognize the clinical features and initiate treatment promptly to prevent adverse long term outcomes.”

OSAS, commonly referred to as obstructive sleep apnea, affects 2-4% of children worldwide and happens when there is a partial or complete obstruction of the upper airway that causes a disruption to normal breathing and sleep patterns. Children with OSAS generally present with snoring, but not all children who suffer from the condition snore. If untreated, OSAS can cause children to feel irritable, moody, hyperactive and inattentive, and may impact their ability to learn and concentrate. Older children and adolescents may present with excessive daytime sleepiness. In the long term, untreated OSAS can affect a child’s cardiovascular, metabolic and mental health and growth.

Treatment for OSAS in children is generally tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, but there are cases when this procedure is not recommended, or they continue to have OSAS after surgery. PAP therapy is another option and has been proven effective to treat pediatric OSAS. The PAP machine provides pressures that help maintain an open airway, allowing a child to breathe normally during sleep.

The review details an aspect of PAP therapy that is unique to the pediatric population: the need for early education and involvement with the patient’s caregivers as well as the patient themselves. Adult studies suggest that early adherence to PAP therapy is strongly associated with long-term use. In pediatrics, this means that providers should work with both the child and their caregivers early on to introduce PAP therapy in a positive way, address any barriers to use and increase the chances that the family will adhere to the PAP therapy plan long-term.

In writing this review, Dr. Hady was mentored by Dr. Mary Anne Tablizo, a pediatric pulmonologist with Valley Children’s pulmonology department, which is recognized as one of the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report 2021-2022.

“Dr. Hady diligently wrote a comprehensive review of this topic. She showed positive attitude and is a pleasure to work with,” said Dr. Tablizo. “She is a dedicated and compassionate physician and I am certain she will provide excellent care to her patients wherever she decides to go.”

Dr. Hady, a native of Atlanta, Georgia and completed her medical school at Morehouse School of Medicine. She will graduate from Valley Children’s Pediatric Residency Program with the Class of 2023.

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