New Surgeons Expand Pediatric Surgery Services at Rush
With the appointments of Srikumar Pillai, MD, as director of the Section of Pediatric Surgery and of Thomas R. Weber, MD, as a pediatric surgeon in the section, Rush has significantly expanded the surgical services it offers for pediatric patients.
Pillai, who was previously the chief of the Division of Pediatric Surgery at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, focuses on liver and biliary tract diseases in infants and children. He also has research interests in congenital anomalies, neonatal surgery, necrotizing enterocolitis and intestinal reperfusion injury.
Weber, who previously served for 20 years as professor and chief of pediatric surgery at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis, has clinical expertise in neonatal surgery and pediatric oncologic surgery and a research interest in pediatric surgery outcomes.
Together, Pillai and Weber aim to increase inpatient and outpatient surgical volumes, in part by establishing satellite clinics in Chicago's suburbs. Bringing additional expertise in the areas of chest wall deformities, neonatal surgery and oncology, they also hope to expand the use of minimally invasive surgical techniques for the youngest of pediatric patients.
New Findings on Preventive Hemophilia A Treatment
A treatment regimen that prevents bleeding episodes in children with hemophilia A may also benefit adolescents and adults with the condition, according to the findings of an international research team lead by investigators from Rush.
Their research, published this January in the online edition of the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, was part of a comprehensive clinical study of a treatment known as antihemophilic factor (recombinant), plasma/albumin free method (rAHF-PFM). Already a standard preventive therapy for children with the condition, rAHF-PFM works by replacing a clotting factor whose absence in hemophilia patients puts them at risk for bleeding episodes.
Patients with severe hemophilia A are at particular risk for spontaneous and trauma-induced bleeding into joints, muscles and internal organs, which can result in hemophiliarelated arthritis.
Many adult hemophilia patients receive clotting factor infusions only in response to such a bleeding episode, but the researchers found that such on-demand treatments only slow the progression of hemophilia-related arthritis. The prophylactic therapy, in contrast, appeared to prevent bleeding episodes and resulting joint damage.
"The main goal of replacement therapy is to prevent this pathology," says Leonard Valentino, MD, director of the Rush Hemophilia and Thrombophilia Center and principal investigator on the study. "Our findings suggest that preventive therapy will optimize care for hemophilia patients of all ages."