When your child gets a wound that just won’t heal, or an infection that treatment doesn’t seem to cure, your doctor may recommend that you have your child be examined and treated by a pediatric infectious disease specialist.
While this referral often causes concern for parents, there is no need to panic. You are being referred to the very best area doctors available to treat your child. Our pediatric infectious disease specialists evaluate and treat bacterial, fungal, parasitic and viral infections. They also manage complex wounds that develop in infants, children and teens. Their specialized training, knowledge and experience gives your child the best possible opportunity to heal as quickly as possible, with minimal discomfort.
It is important that children with unresolved infections be treated by a pediatric infectious disease specialist for many reasons. Because children’s bodies are growing and developing, they have unique medical needs. Children tend to be exposed to a number of contagions through interaction with other children and the environment. This can sometimes overwhelm an immature immune system causing health problems for the child. Also, children are not simply little adults. Certain antibiotics prescribed for adults are unsafe or inappropriate for children. A pediatric infectious disease specialist is trained in the appropriate testing and treatment for children alone. Your child’s care is in the hands of an infectious disease pediatrician specially trained in the latest treatment options and diagnostic tools available.
Our pediatric specialists know how to examine and treat children in a manner that makes them feel calm, promoting cooperation with the medical staff. As experts in pediatric infectious disease, the physicians at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas Pediatric Center are well versed in the unique signs of infection in children, treatment options and expected outcomes.
Our physicians also know that addressing the concerns of parents is often just as important as meeting the needs of the child. Our medical staff will always answer your questions and provide you with important information regarding your child’s condition to obtain the best possible results for your child.
Infections And Wounds We Treat
Children can contract a wide range of infectious and immunologic diseases. Sometimes even simple infections can respond poorly to routine treatment. These may require additional intervention to be cured. The more complicated or rare infections are, the more they require specialized testing and care.
These are some of the more common conditions treated at our facility:
- Illnesses that are of unclear cause, have a prolonged course, or are recurrent
- Upper and lower respiratory infections such as sinusitis and pneumonia
- Bone and joint infections
- Recurrent staph skin infections
- Surgical infections
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Travel associated infections – malaria, typhoid
- HIV/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- Congenital/Newborn infections
- Kawasaki Disease
- Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)
- Immunodeficiency Syndromes
Healing Wounds And Infections
When infants and children develop a wound with a complicated infection or an unclear condition, they need a qualified specialist to properly assess and treat them. Our experts in both pediatric infectious disease and wound care ensure that all patients with wounds are assessed for infection that could delay wound healing. Wounds can become an open portal for serious infection to enter the body, infecting the patient’s soft tissue, joints or bones. Pediatric wounds are often caused by trauma, surgical complications, medical devices or infections. Premature infants and children with special needs develop pressure ulcers as a result of immobility from paralysis or developmental delay. These wounds need special care to heal.
Modern wound care is a medical specialty that has made significant advances in the past 10-20 years. This has led to a better understanding of how wounds heal and the development of advanced wound care dressings. Today, wound care treatment utilizes advanced dressings and medical devices to speed healing, reduce pain and minimize scarring.
You can feel confident that your infant or child will undergo appropriate testing and safe wound and infection treatment at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas Pediatric Center. If antibiotics are necessary to fight infection, they can usually be administered orally. In some cases, intravenous or IV antibiotics will need to be administered via specialized catheters called PICC lines. This type of treatment can usually be administered comfortably to your child as an outpatient in our on-site Pediatric Hospital. Our Pediatric Hospital, PICU or NICU are available should your child need antibiotics that require continuous monitoring for 24 hours or more.
Common Types of Wounds
The types of wounds our physicians most commonly see in children and infants include:
- Open wounds following trauma
- Burn injuries
- Surgical wounds which fail to heal
- IV fluid burn injuries
- Pressure ulcer/decubitus ulcers
- Infected wounds
- Pilonidal cysts
- Chronic wounds which fail to heal
When your child needs to see a pediatric infectious disease doctor, our board certified specialists will provide advanced treatment tailored specifically to your infant or child. Our specialists utilize progressive, innovative wound management products found to be most effective for treating children.
Innovations in Wound Management
Some of the wound management products often used include:
- Medical Honey
Although used for centuries to heal wounds, this is not the same honey purchased for general cooking and eating. That honey is not sterilized and may carry risk of serious infection. Medical honey, or leptospermum honey, has unique properties that heal burns and chronic, complicated wounds. Leptospermum promotes the removal of dead tissue and helps clean the wound. Because honey is a humectant, which attracts and retains moisture, it promotes the moist environment necessary for wound healing while inhibiting bacterial growth. This product is extremely safe when applied to children and newborn babies, providing excellent wound healing results.
- Silicone Adhesive Dressings
Pain caused by the application and removal of wound dressings is often a significant deterrent to successfully treating wounds in infants and children. Wound care management is improved when parents know the dressing itself is not leading to additional harm. Silicone dressings adhere well to skin to protect the wound, allowing the primary wound care product underneath the bandage to work effectively. This bandage is water resistant and provides an effective barrier from outside bacteria while providing an external cushion for the wound.
Wound dressings with collagen promote an excellent wound healing environment, promoting faster wound healing and closure. These products are safe and do not cause the patient pain.
- Skin Ointments
Many skin and wound care needs can be met with the application of specialized wound care ointments. Application of these ointments and skin care products on closed wounds promote ongoing healing and skin integrity. They can also stop some wounds from progressing in severity. These products are derived from natural ingredients and are far more effective than those available for purchase over the counter. The use of these ointments offers outstanding results and minimal scarring.
- Negative Pressure Therapy (Wound Vac)
This wound management technique is used to close and heal open acute or chronic wounds. This medical device creates a controlled vacuum in a sealed dressing directly on the wound. It removes infectious material while drawing the edges of the wound together to close. This treatment can be used in premature neonates, older children and teens. When correctly applied, this treatment often causes rapid healing of wounds that had failed to close with other treatments.
Our team of doctors includes one of Houston’s most outstanding pediatric infectious disease physicians who is designated as a Certified Wound Specialist Physician (CWSP) by the American Board of Wound Management. This advanced level of expertise means your child will be treated by the best infectious disease pediatrician Houston has to offer, ensuring the best possible outcome for your child.