Acute & Chronic Paediatric Services
Exposure to pollen or respiratory infections leads to inflammation of the lungs causing airways to overreact to specific particles in the air. Paediatric asthma causes the bronchial tubes that carry air into the lungs to spasm, and as a result, the lining of the lungs begin to swell. Secretions accumulate, making it difficult to breathe. Respiratory infections occur at least six times a year and are often transmitted from one child to the next.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a respiratory virus common during winter and spring months, spreads once a child comes into contact with fluid from a host’s mouth or nose. Children with RSV infections can display episodes of severe asthma. A nasal swab or wash is a diagnostic test to detect the RSV virus in the fluid. Babies of two years of age are likely to contract RSV and may be re-infected at a later stage during their lifetime.
Children with croup, a disease common in toddlers, are quite contagious. Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for croup. Still, regular steaming can help relieve symptoms of hoarseness from a seal-like cough, eventually progressing to stridor commonly referred to as “musical breathing.”
If left untreated, paediatric asthma can lead to severe asthma attacks, affecting the child’s livelihood, interfering with their sleep, sports, play and academics. Environmental factors, including air pollution and exposure to tobacco smoke, play a role in the development of asthma in children.
Asthma symptoms in children include:
- Gasping between breaths
- Difficulty breathing affecting sports activities
- Poor sleeping patterns leading to fatigue
- Respiratory infections before bronchitis
- Tight or congested chest
- Worsening cough from flu or a viral infection
Preventative measures for paediatric asthma
Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), causing heartburn is associated with paediatric asthma and worsens asthma symptoms in children. Dr Jiyana will prescribe over-the-counter medication to control acid reflux in children.
Parents should limit their child’s exposure to irritants or allergens such as tobacco or wood smoke, dyes, food preservatives, chemical vapours or cold air. Mowing or raking stirs up mould and pollen; dogs and cats bring large amounts of dust in the house and often trigger asthma symptoms in children.
Carpets, upholstered furniture and heavy draperies collect dust and should be substituted with light fabrics or tiled floors as routine vacuuming fails to pick up house dust mites. Asthma symptoms in children that are related to mildew or mould could worsen during damp weather, and that's why it's essential to keep the home well-ventilated, keeping the humidity below fifty per cent by utilising a dehumidifier.
Paediatric and adolescent HIV care
HIV contraction impairs the child’s immune system, hindering its response to childhood bacterial infections affecting the lungs and ears as well as viral chickenpox. According to researchers, babies have higher viral loads as compared to that of adults. It is estimated that over twenty per cent of youth between the ages of fifteen to twenty-five are part of newly emerging global HIV cases. HIV contraction in adolescents is transmitted through pregnancy or breastfeeding, but many teenagers contract the virus from sexual contact and are unaware of their HIV-positive status. Teenagers with HIV fail to take medication and often skip medication doses to conceal their HIV-positive status from their peers.
Dr Jiyana establishes trust before setting mutually acceptable goals for HIV care. The doctor addresses mental health issues associated with depression, substance abuse and low self-esteem that may affect medication adherence. Dr Jiyana works with the patient and the family by formulating specific treatment plans when taking prescribed medication and arranges administration of medication during school or daycare.