McMaster Children’s Hospital caring for more children with inflammatory bowel disease
HAMILTON, ON – May 19 is World IBD (inflammatory bowel diseases) Day, and experts at Hamilton Health Sciences’ (HHS) McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH) want to raise awareness about increasing numbers, as well as the complexity and intensity of treatments for these chronic bowel diseases in children.
IBD is a term for two conditions (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) that are characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Prolonged inflammation results in damage to the GI tract, and can impact a child’s quality of life. Canada has among the highest rates of childhood-onset IBD in the world, with over 7,000 children and youth under 18 years living with the diseases.
“The Pediatric IBD Centre at MCH cares for approximately 430 children and teens with these chronic diseases – an increase of 43 percent over the last six years,” says Dr. Robert Issenman, Director of the Centre for Kids Digestive Health at MCH. “The good news is that we have very a great team offering very effective treatments.”
Care at the IBD Centre is provided by multidisciplinary team that includes physicians, a nurse practitioner, social worker, child life specialist and dietitian.
“Typical symptoms of IBD in children can be weight loss, abdominal pain, and bloody diarrhea; however, many present with non-classic symptoms such as isolated poor growth, anemia, or other extraintestinal manifestations,” says Emily Brackenridge, nurse practitioner at the IBD Centre. “Patients suspected of IBD are expedited at referral so that treatment can begin quickly.”
Adults are not to be forgotten on World IBD Day – the Division of Gastroenterology at HHS has a national and international reputation for excellence in IBD clinical care, education and research. HHS is also the only hospital in Canada to have both adult and pediatric GI in the same building (McMaster University Medical Centre), providing care through the full patient journey, including pediatric to adult transition.
For more information on IBD and the MCH IBD Centre, please visit https://www.hamiltonhealthsciences.ca/healthcare-providers/information-about-pediatrics/pediatric-inflammatory-bowel-disease-clinic/.
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