Diagnosis of pediatric gastrointestinal disorders such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and eosinophilic esophagitis requires a collaborative, patient-family centered approach. “Cooper has an excellent panel of pediatric sub-specialists in gastroenterology, anesthesiology, and radiology. We bring families through the system with ease and help them get the information they need to manage their child’s disease,” said Alan D. Baldridge, MD, Head, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at the Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper. Pediatric gastroenterologists perform about 1,500 endoscopies annually, under deep sedation or general anesthesia. Healthy children over the age of two usually receive deep sedation, with general anesthesia reserved for younger children and those with chronic diseases and special needs. “To relieve parental anxiety, we explain everything to them in a step-by-step manner and give the child oral midazolam prior to anesthesia,” said Bharathi Gourkanti, MD, Director, Division of Pediatric Anesthesia.
When radiography is required, “We adjust the imaging technique to achieve the highest quality images with the least amount of radiation exposure for the child,” said Emily D. Scattergood, MD, Head, Pediatric Imaging. Keeping the child calm with an age-appropriate explanation facilitates completion of the study with fewer images.
After diagnosing a gastrointestinal disorder, pediatric gastroenterologists work with the family to determine the optimal treatment for the child’s condition and family circumstances. “We work collaboratively with our nutritionist and nurses to provide optimal patient care and education for every family,” said Dr. Baldridge.
For more information about pediatric gastroenterology services or to refer a patient, please call 856.342.2259