Editor's Corner

An Unprecedented Time, Extraordinary Challenges and Exceptional Opportunity

Yuan-Chi Lin, MD, MPH, FAAP
Francis Kraemer, MD
T. Anthony Anderson, MD, PhD
Amy B. Beethe, MD
Jason Brown, MD
Galaxy Li, MD
Chang Amber Liu, MD, MSc, FAAP
Diana Liu, MD
Rebecca L. Wu, MD

Welcome to the Summer edition of the 2020 Society for Pediatric Pain Medicine (SPPM) Newsletter. Under our SPPM president, Dr. Rita Agarwal, Vice President Dr. Robert Wilder, and Board of Directors’ remarkable leadership, our medical Society continues to encounter rapid growth. Many new society initiatives continue to encourage pain research, enhance member education, and improve patient care.

Dr. M-Irfan Suleman organized a fantastic Seventh SPPM Annual Meeting in the Bahamas February 27 - 29. This past conference recorded its highest attendance in SPPM history. In this newsletter, we are fortunate to have Drs. Amy Beethe, Tracy Harrison, Aaron Spicer, Elisha Peterson, and Harshad Gurnaney provide us with an excellent review of the meeting. In addition, we also have the poster award winners sharing their invaluable state-of-the-art research with SPPM members. Our Seventh Annual Meeting was exceptionally well received and the first hosted outside the United States.

After returning from the Bahamas’ sunny beaches, we were affected by the dark clouds of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreading from China, entering Europe, and eventually infecting Americans.  These last few months have been unprecedented with not only the shutdown of the economy but also the disruption of virtually every aspect of life.

With the entire world now understanding phrases such as “social distancing” and “stay-at-home orders,” the only aspect of life that seems constant is change. As if these hardships were not enough for the public, including healthcare providers, live in fear of contracting Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Despite these difficulties, pediatric pain practitioners continue to deliver extraordinary service. We are very fortunate to have experts offering important telehealth care during COVID-19.

Dr. Elliot Krane highlightsA Primer on Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”  Drs. Yasmin Cole-Lewis, Catherine Stewart, and Deirdre E. Logan introduce “Adaptations for Pain Psychology Treatment During COVID-19.” Drs. Harshad G. Gurnaney, and Wallis T. Muhly guide us through “The Regional Anesthesia Care During COVID-19”. Dr. Yuan-Chi Lin and Cynthia Tung very uniquely deliver telehealth care in acupuncture medicine. Alyson McLean, CRNA and Drs. Yuan-Chi Lin and Jue Wang present a special timely mindfulness meditation for the wellness of staff during COVID-19.  These are extraordinary times, and together we can move past this period and become stronger. Despite the demand to adapt to unique ways of social interactions, it is important to remember that we can still love each other, and that we are all in this together.

In this summer issue of the SPPM Newsletter, we are fortunate to publish a special edition of non-opioid pharmacology in pediatric pain management featuring authorities in pediatric pain medicine. Drs. Nicholas E. Burjek and Patrick K. Birmingham comprehensively address acetaminophen and NSAIDs in pediatric pain management. Drs. Galaxy Li and Pulsar Li marvelously present the use of membrane stabilizers in acute and chronic pain. Drs. Blake Windsor, and Elaine Kerr cleverly summarize the potential of psychotropic medications for alleviating pain in children and young adults. Drs. Jocelyn Wong, Vasili Chernishof, and Eugene Kim thoroughly illustrate muscle relaxants in the management of pediatric pain. Drs. Kaitlyn Pellegrino, and Amy Beethe elegantly update utilizing ketamine in pediatric pain management. Dr. Mooney thoroughly describes lidocaine infusions in pediatric pain. Drs. Vasili Chernishof, Jocelyn Wong, and Eugene Kim nicely explain alpha-2 agonists use for children with pain. Non-opioid analgesics are regularly prescribed by pediatric pain practitioners.

These experts’ opinions are invaluable resources in managing pediatric pain. We are also grateful for our former SPPM president, Dr. Sabine Kost-Byerly, and her continued support of our SPPM newsletter. Dr. Kost-Byerly provides a superb current literature review.

We look forward to 2020 being an ideal year to enact our perfect “20/20” vision. Nobody expected to live in our current state of uncertainty with extraordinary challenges. While we are dealing with this deadly disease, we may consider it as an exceptional opportunity for us to redesign the healthcare system, reformat our social contact and improve our educational system.  It is important to remember that summer is the time when the fresh energy that was planted in the spring blossoms to its maximum potential.  Even though we are facing a pandemic, we hope you have an unforgettably great summer of 2020.

The SPPM Newsletter belongs to all SPPM members. The editorial Board members are all volunteer officers. The SPPM Editorial Board values your input and appreciates your contributions. We are grateful for your encouragement and support. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions, thoughts, suggestions, or comments:  Yuan-Chi Lin, MD, MPH, FAAP: yuan-chi.lin@childrens.harvard.edu.

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