Editor's Corner

Understanding the Essentials in Chronic Pediatric Pain Management

Dr. LinBy Yuan-Chi Lin, MD, MPH, FAAP; Francis Kraemer, MD; Meredith R. Brooks, MD, MPH

Welcome to our winter issue of the 2019 SPPM Newsletter. SPPM is a young and growing organization. Following our founding president, Sabine Kost-Byerly; Dr. Anjana Kundu became the SPPM president in 2017, Under Dr. Kundu’s leadership, we have made significant advancements in our specialty. Dr. Rita Agarwal will be our third SPPM president in March. We thank them for their dedication to leading SPPM. 

Children may experience a variety of recurrent chronic pains, such as headache or abdominal pain. Chronic pain in children is less likely to be associated with underlying organic disease. Some common conditions that may turn chronic pain into persistent pain include rheumatoid arthritis, malignancies, sickle cell disease, and neuropathic pain syndromes. The management of chronic pain is an important part of pediatric pain medicine practice. It requires an understanding of pediatric illnesses and the psychosocial aspects of chronic pain conditions experienced by children and their family.

Because of the complex nature of chronic pain, treatment is often approached from a broad-based, comprehensive medical model that utilizes the expertise of psychologists, social workers, neurologists, pain specialists, nurses, physical therapists, child life specialists, art/music therapists, and other health care providers.  In this issue of the SPPM Newsletter, we are very fortunate to have experts in pediatric pain share excellent overviews of important topics in pediatric chronic pain.

We are all excited about our 6th Annual Society for Pediatric Pain Medicine’s Meeting. It will be held on March 14, 2019 at the Marriott Marquis in Houston, Texas. This event will focus on new challenges in pediatric pain management that we are all facing in our practices. Dr. Vidya Chidambaran provides a nice overview of the meeting in our Newsletter.

In this issue of the SPPM Newsletter, Dr. Raeford Brown, Jr., Chair, Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine of the American Academy of Pediatrics, details the interesting history of developing pediatric anesthesiology as a fellowship trained specialty. The “Gang of Seven”, Drs. Steven C. Hall, Raeford E. Brown, Mark A. Rockoff, John J. Downes, J. Michael Badgwell, Alvin Hackel, and Peter T. Rothstein met in Chicago in 1995 to begin the process of Fellowship Accreditation for Pediatric Anesthesia programs. This is one of the crucial milestones in forming our current pediatric anesthesia specialty. Dr. Brown expresses enthusiasm for creating a new specialty through the expansion of Pain Medicine fellowships for anesthesiologists as well as for pediatricians. This is really an exciting new educational endeavor.

Dr. Sophie R. Pestieau from Children’s National Health System, Washington, DC provides us an insightful overview on a special topic of interest regarding her Perspective on Opioids: Methadone. We also want to thank our former SPPM president, Dr. Sabine Kost-Byerly from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who provides us with an outstanding current literature review.
We greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve as the editors for this SPPM Newsletter.

We would love to hear from you and have your contributions in our SPPM Newsletter. Please feel free to contact us with any questions, suggestions, or comments: 

Yuan-Chi Lin, MD, MPH, FAAP
yuan-chi.lin@childrens.harvard.edu

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