Lucile Packard Children's Hospital is leaving its teen years behind: This spring marks the 20-year anniversary of the hospital's opening. An article in the recently published Stanford Medicine News discusses the milestone and outlines what the future may bring in certain key areas:
- Solid-organ transplant: Packard Children’s physicians developed ways to avoid steroids - and their undesirable side-effects - for post-transplant patients. Next up: developing less-invasive methods for monitoring transplanted organs.
- Cardiovascular care: The Children’s Heart Center has refined pediatric heart transplants and advanced cardiovascular surgery for tiny preemies. Now the team is researching ways to grow personalized replacement heart valves for babies.
- Cancer: The hospital’s oncologists developed a protocol to reduce graft-versus-host disease, a potentially fatal complication of the stem cell transplants used to treat hematologic cancers. As more children survive cancer, physicians are studying how to minimize the long-term effects of cancer treatments.
- Neonatology: Packard Children’s neonatologists invented now-standard LED (light-emitting diode) phototherapy units to treat jaundice in newborns. Today they are advancing care for mothers and babies with complex prenatal diagnoses in the new Center for Fetal and Maternal Health.
For related reading, this 2006 Stanford Medicine magazine piece discusses the origins of Packard Children's. And an article in the same issue focuses on the genesis and importance of children's hospitals in general.
Photo courtesy of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital