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Pediatrics is one of the interdisciplinary fields of medicine which is mostly concerned with the medical, health care and development of newborn babies and children and their potential to get complete growth into adulthood. Pediatrics usually follows the age range from infants to adolescents. The main objective of the pediatric care is to reduce the child and infant death rates, to control the transmission of infectious diseases and to promote healthy lifestyles. Pediatrics is not only concerned about the immediate cure but also the long term effects on quality life, abilities and survival. Clinical pediatrics focuses on the aetiology, diagnosis, and treatment of child illnesses.
Neonatology is one of the subspecialties of pediatrics which deals with the medical care of ill or premature babies. A few conditions to mention include low birth weight, birth defects, growth restrictions, sepsis, and birth asphyxia. In general neonatologists provide the medical care for the illborn in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU). Rather than focusing on a particular organ system, neonatologists focus on the care of newborns who require Intensive Care Unit (ICU) hospitalization. They may also act as general pediatricians, providing well newborn evaluation and care in the hospital where they are based.
Pediatric Primary Care is the healthcare given by a pediatrician to infants, children and adolescents. Primary care to patients is mostly received from professionals such as pediatric primary care physician, pediatric nurse practitioner or a physician assistant. Primary care is the day-to-day attention given by a health care provider. Typically these providers acts as the first contact and primary point of continuing care for patients within a healthcare system, and organize other specialist care that the patient may need.
Critical care pediatrics usually involves constant observation and attention with special care by a team of specially trained pediatricians. Usually, Critical care takes place in the Intensive Care Unit. Few conditions which may cause during critical condition are severe asthma, severe infection such as pneumonia and serious injuries from accidents. Critically ill children need careful monitoring with special medicine or treatment which can be maintained only in the PICU- Pediatrics Intensive Care Unit. Having advanced facilities in place is important to save a life during critical conditions. Emergency medicine is the basic medical facility concerned with immediate medical attention. This field prepares pediatricians with the knowledge and skills required to care for patients with emergency healthcare needs.
Pediatric surgery is a subspecialty of surgery involving the surgery of fetuses, infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. Common pediatric diseases that may require pediatric surgery include congenital malformations, abdominal wall defects, chest wall deformities, childhood tumors and Separation of conjoined twins.
Pediatric nursing is the clinical health care of neonates and children up to the stage of adolescence. The role of a pediatric nurse is to conduct procedures and provide medicines according to the prescribed nursing care plans and assessing them continuously. Neonatal nursing is a branch of health care which mainly focuses on nursing newly born babies who were born prematurely, with defects, infections, deformities, etc. Pediatric emergency nursing is a branch of pediatric nursing which has fast mobility and quick response in emergency situations such as stabilizing patients with focused care, quickly diagnosing conditions and coming up with on-spot solutions, providing right medicines at the right time. Pediatric nurses play a vital role in all the pediatric clinics and hospitals. Their timely support is always much appreciated.
During the growing years between infancy and adolescence, adequate nutrition is of utmost importance. The child's diet will not only support their normal growth and development, but also supports their immune system, and develops lifelong eating habits. In the early days, especially in the first six months after birth the child must be on exclusive breastfeeding. It is the only way to induce nutrients in such stage to achieve optimal growth, development, and health. Although dietary needs, appetites, and tastes will vary widely throughout childhood, it is important to consistently provide the child with healthy options from all of the major food groups. Good nutrition is essential to good health.
The aim of the study of Pediatrics infectious disease is to reduce the death rate of infants and children, control the spread of infectious diseases, and promote healthy lifestyles for a long disease-free life of children and adolescents. Pediatric infectious diseases are the diseases which affect the child by infectious agents such as bacteria, fungus, parasite, etc.
Sometimes children suffer from allergies; if his/her immune system reacts against to things which are even harmless. Few examples of such symptoms are sinusitis, thrush, abscesses and pneumonia which revert again. General treatment is provided for the following conditions such as asthma, hay fever, hives, vocal cord dysfunction, recurrent infection, eczema, atopic dermatitis, chronic cough, severe reactions to insects, foods and medications etc.
Babies are born with protection against some diseases because their mothers pass antibodies to them before birth. Breastfed babies continue to get more antibodies in breast milk. But in both cases, the protection is temporary. Immunization (vaccination) is a way to create immunity to some diseases. This is done by using small amounts of a killed or weakened germ that causes the disease.
Germs can be viruses (such as the measles virus) or bacteria (such as pneumococcus). Vaccines stimulate the immune system to react as if there were a real infection. It fends off the "infection" and remembers the germ. Then, it can fight the germ if it enters the body later. Immunization with 3 doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP) vaccine is recommended for children within the first year of life.
Pediatric genetic disorders includes certain types of birth defects, chronic diseases, developmental problems and sensory deficits that are inherited from one or both parents. The common disorders include Congenital malformations, Chromosomal disorders, Metabolic diseases, Inborn errors of metabolism, etc. Few of these disorders require a pediatric surgery.
Pediatric cardiology is the branch of pediatrics which involves diagnosing and treating heart problems in children. Several conditions such as structural differences during birth, an electrical system which controls the heartbeat, valve problems, abnormal blood vessels, are included in the term heart problems. Heart problems in children can be complex at times and can occur with many other complications. Hematology is the branch of medicine concerned with the study of the cause, prognosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases related to blood.
Pediatric Neurology is a functional branch in the medical field dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to neurology in Neonates (newborns), children, infants to adolescents. The topic Pediatric Neurology includes all diseases and disorders related to the spinal cord, peripheral system, brain, autonomic nervous system, muscles and blood vessels which affect individuals of small age groups. Various types of conditions to be dealt in pediatric neurology are genetic diseases related to nervous system, childhood epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, hyperactivity disorder, cerebral palsy, febrile seizures, autism spectrum disorders, migraine, sleep disorders, head injuries, intellectual disability, etc. following studies are required to diagnose the neurological conditions: nerve conduction study, EEG, EMG, multiple sleep latency testing, electrocortical mapping etc.
Pediatric Endocrinology is concerned about the disorders related to the dysfunction of hormones and glands which results in problems of diabetes, puberty, and growth. Endocrine glands, such as pituitary gland releases hormones into the bloodstream which decides how a child grows and mature. Pediatric endocrinology mainly deals with hormone disorders at all stages of childhood. Hormones exhibit significant effects or changes on the child’s physical activity, the emotional state of well-being and development of sexuality. Other few conditions are diabetes mellitus, hypoglycemia, amenorrhea, growth concerns, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Turner syndrome, gender dysphoria, thyroid disorders, etc.
Pediatric gastroenterology developed as a sub-specialty of pediatrics and gastroenterology. It is concerned with treating the gastrointestinal tract, liver and pancreas of children from infancy until age eighteen. The principal diseases it is concerned with are acute diarrhea, persistent vomiting, gastritis, and problems with the development of the gastric tract.
It is usual for children to have disorders related to urinary tracts such as kidney, ureters, urethra, and bladder. These problems can be negligible or serious. In case of serious condition, then one should see a specialist in nephrology and urology. Few conditions of nephrology and urology to be diagnosed are abnormal conditions in acid-base disorders, urine, hypertension, bedwetting, high blood pressure, acute and chronic kidney failure, cancer of urinary and genital systems, bladder exstrophy, renal insufficiency, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections inherited kidney diseases torsion of the testicles and neurogenic bowel. It can also provide pediatric patients with end-stage kidney disorders and follow up care after kidney transplantation.
Every cell in the body has its own controlled system for growth, interaction, and lifespan. When a cell loses its growth control, interaction levels, it undergoes uncontrolled and irregular cell division or growth results in cancer. This cancer effects to any age group of people but the diagnosis will be differs based on the age group. Here in children, the cancer is studied as Pediatric Oncology. Children can be affected by cancer to any parts of the body and these childhood cancers occur in sudden without any symptoms but have a high rate of cure. The most listed type is leukaemia in children and also others include brain tumours, lymphoma, and soft tissue sarcoma. The diagnosis depends on the type of cancer and how advanced it is.
Pediatric radiology is a discipline of diagnostic radiology focused on children, from newborn babies to early adulthood. Pediatric radiology employs a wide range of techniques such as X-Rays, Ultrasound, CT, MRI, Nuclear medicine. Pediatric radiology is also involved in imaging fetuses. A common pediatric pathologic condition which requires imaging is leukemia, teratoma, congenital abnormalities, meningitis, Wilm's tumor, osteosarcoma, juvenile arthritis, and infant respiratory distress syndrome. It is the utmost sensitive field due to the reason that children’s body reacts unlike an adult’s body while imaging but these days special imaging equipment has come into existence which is compatible with infants.
Pediatric ophthalmology is a sub-speciality of ophthalmology concerned with eye diseases, visual development, and vision care in children. Pediatric ophthalmologists focus on the development of the visual system and the various diseases that disrupt visual development in children. Pediatric ophthalmologists also have expertise in managing the various ocular diseases that affect children. Pediatric ophthalmologists are qualified to perform complex eye surgery as well as to manage children's eye problems using glasses and medications.
Pediatric Dentistry is about the oral strength of kids from the outset to early adulthood. The term oral health includes health conditions of teeth, gums, mouth throughout several stages of childhood. If early dental problems are not cured instantly, they may cause lifetime pain and other complications. Services provided by pediatric dentist include fluoride treatment, space maintainers’ athletic mouth guards, and fillings. There is a chance that infected baby teeth can damage children adult teeth developing below them. Decay free primary teeth are very crucial to create a healthy environment for a child’s permanent teeth which reduces the chance of tooth decay.
Pediatric Otolaryngology is the branch of pediatrics which is mainly concerned about complex medical treatment for problems or illness affecting the ear, nose or throat. It also involves diagnosis and treating head and neck diseases. Few conditions which are included in pediatric otolaryngology are chronic tonsillitis, benign and malignant growths of head and neck, laryngomalacia, pediatric sinus surgery, tumors of ears aerodigestive, cochlear implant, cleft and craniofacial, children thyroid disorder, ear canal atresia, sleep disorders, vascular anomalies, vocal cord dysfunction, voice and swallowing disorders etc.
Pediatric dermatology is mostly concerned about disorders related to skin or conditions such as eczema, warts, hemangiomas, cutaneous leishmaniasis, cutaneous melanoma, contact dermatitis, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, hives, vitiligo, genetic skin disorders, and ringworm and skin cancer. It also includes some minor surgical procedures such as surgical removal of skin lesions, skin biopsies and laser treatment of vascular birthmarks. Many childhood disorders such as infantile hemangiomas blood vessel growths are not seen in adults and common conditions such as psoriasis have unique symptoms in children, unlike adults.
The problem of overweight and obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally. Childhood overweight and obesity are associated with several negative consequences. The Bogalusa Heart Study found that childhood obesity is associated with cardiovascular risk factors. Overweight and obesity in childhood is also responsible for several psychological problems such as discrimination, lower self-esteem, depression, body image disturbance, rejection by peers, impaired quality of life, and stigmatization. Childhood obesity tends to persist into adulthood. Treating Child and Adolescent Obesity at the right time reduces various health problems.
The concern and research in pediatric pharmacology have risen above the line in the last two decades but is still limited to pharmacokinetics. Pediatric pharmacology has been the multi-disciplinary topic which concerns about the effective and safe use of medications in neonates and infants. Pediatric pharmacology mostly focuses on the drug mechanism of action, its effect on body, drug-drug interaction and its side effects.
Pediatric Rehabilitation medicine is used to diagnose, treat, prevent and manage congenital and childhood-onset physical impairments. Medical, physical, function, psychosocial, and vocational limitations or conditions are related to Paediatric rehabilitation medicine. The specialized person should have complete training in the identification of functional capabilities and selection of the best rehabilitation intervention strategies, with an understanding of the continuum of care throughout the course of disability. Pediatric rehabilitation is concerned more about building strength and improving skills. It’s more about inspiring children to gain the skills and confidence to reach their full potential. And it’s also about supporting families throughout the rehabilitation period.
Child Abuse Pediatricians are those who are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescents who are suspected victims of any form of child maltreatment. Child abuse Paediatrics specializes in the prevention, identification and treatment of child abuse and neglect. They are related to understanding the effects of child abuse and mistreatment and improving behaviors, evaluations, and outcomes.
Pediatric and neonatal palliative care includes all measures taken to lessen suffering at every stage of a child's illness. The PAC team guides children and their families through the hospital experience. It focuses mainly on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness.