Pediatric Clinical Core Curriculum Explores the Pulmonologist’s Role in the PICU

For pediatric specialists and other providers who treat children and young adults, the Pediatric Clinical Core Curriculum kicked off with its first session on Sunday, May 19. The second session will be on Monday, May 20, from noon–1 p.m. in Room 20A (Upper Level) of the San Diego Convention Center.

Caroline Okorie, MD, MPH
Caroline Okorie, MD, MPH

“The theme of the core this year is looking at the pulmonologist’s role in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU),” explained Caroline Okorie, MD, MPH, clinical associate professor at Stanford University and chair of the pediatric core curriculum.

Sunday’s session* featured the presentations, “Staying Current: Updates in Pediatric ARDS Diagnosis and Management” by Karan Kumar, MD, MS, assistant professor of pediatrics at Duke University, and “Navigating Severe Asthma in the PICU,” by Ina St. Onge, DO, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School.

Dr. Kumar reviewed pertinent updates from the multi-author publication, Executive Summary of the Second International Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Pediatric Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (PALICC-2), released in 2023.

“One of the highlights of this presentation is going to be the revised diagnostic criteria and severity stratification for pediatric ARDS,” said Carmen Leon Astudillo, MD, clinical assistant professor at the University of Florida and vice chair of this year’s pediatric core curriculum before the session.

Carmen Leon Astudillo, MD
Carmen Leon Astudillo, MD

Dr. St. Onge concluded Sunday’s session by providing an update on asthma in the PICU. She reviewed the prevalence of severe asthma in the PICU setting, the overarching effects of COVID-19, and shared the corresponding treatment strategies for patients with severe asthma, including ventilation strategies for the intubated patient.

Monday’s presentations feature, “Unlocking Potential: The Pediatric Pulmonologist Role in the CVICU,” from Tori M. Endres, MD, assistant professor of pediatric pulmonology at Case Western Reserve University, and, “From Cough to Crisis: Managing Hemoptysis and Pulmonary Hemorrhage” by Pelton Adams Phinizy, MD, associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Cardiovascular and pulmonary functions can be closely connected, necessitating collaborations between specialists from each field.

“In cardiovascular care, we can do more than we ever could before, which is exciting, but with that comes more complexity in managing our patients,” Dr. Okorie said.

Dr. Endres will review the management and goals of a CVICU for those unfamiliar with the setting and how pulmonologists can contribute to the management and care of patients in tandem with the cardiovascular team. 

Monday’s session will conclude with Dr. Phinizy’s presentation. He will start by focusing on stabilizing patients with hemoptysis.

“One of the primary diagnostic challenges of hemoptysis is identifying where the bleeding stems from, which can influence providers’ diagnostic workup and management strategies,” Dr. Leon Astudillo said. As we’re ‘following our ABCs’ and stabilizing the patient, we also need to try and think about the best way to reach a diagnosis.”

In addition to this topic, Dr. Phinizy will review best practices while dealing with patients who have life-threatening or non-life-threatening pulmonary hemorrhages.

The final day of the Pediatric Core Curriculum is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22, from 9:30–10:30 a.m. in Ballroom 20A (Upper Level) of the SDCC.

The core curriculum series aims to support clinicians engaged in the maintenance of certification (MOC) activities by providing updates on subjects included in recertification requirements. The ATS Clinical Core Curriculum Symposia focus on key topics in the areas of Adult and Pediatric Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine. The topics are aligned with corresponding MOC Medical Knowledge modules. This symposium is intended to help clinicians stay up to date with important information relevant to their medical practices and to provide an opportunity for clinicians to evaluate their knowledge and skills while earning MOC Medical Knowledge points.

*This session and the International Conference are supported by an independent medical educational grant from Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. All CME sessions have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Accreditation Criteria of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) and are free of the control of ineligible companies (formerly commercial interests).

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