Reproductive genetic carrier screening through the ages

Reproductive carrier screening has been possible since the 1970s. Initially conducted by testing of blood analytes for carrier status for haemoglobinopathies and Tay Sachs disease, screening for an ever increasing number of conditions became possible by genetic testing from the late 1980s. The advent of genomic sequencing means that it is now possible to screen over 1000 genes, a process called expanded carrier screening.

Working together to optimise children’s mental health: The Campus Mental Health Strategy

Mental Health is an issue of growing concern across the community. This has been amplified through the COVID-19 pandemic. Child mental health is also an ongoing priority for the Melbourne Children’s Campus (MCC) and its three partners. The RCH treats many vulnerable patient groups (e.g., children with chronic illness, neurodevelopmental disorders, psychosocial challenges) with elevated risk of psychological and mental health difficulties. This extends across our inpatient and outpatient services and into the community. Despite this, mental health services can be fragmented and difficult to access. 

Paediatric upper limb transplantation: A new frontier of surgery, immunology, and ethics

Hand transplantation is a technique to reconstruct absent and functionless upper limbs using cadaveric donor limbs.

In the 20 years since the world’s first hand transplant, the technique has developed into a reliable and valuable option for carefully selected adult amputees. The downside is the need for immunosuppression with its inherent risks (metabolic, infective, neoplastic, and renal impairment) for the duration of the transplant.

Wadja Family Place in Focus, and what can RCH staff do to support Aboriginal patients and their families

The NAIDOC Week Grand Round will highlight how Wadja Aboriginal Family Place has provided excellence and leadership in health services to Aboriginal Children and their families at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Wadja works collaboratively in partnership in the areas of child health assessments, advocacy, liaison, research, mental health, education, and family support to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people.  

Improving services, prevention and outcomes for tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is a major cause of child morbidity and mortality globally. Young children are at particular risk of severe and disseminated disease following exposure to a person with tuberculosis. Public health and clinical services, including in Victoria, focus on early detection and treatment of both disease and infection. There have been recent developments that potentially strengthen and decentralise services for tuberculosis.

Behavioural Approaches to Pain Management

Pain is described as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or potential tissue damage”.  This definition from IASP guides clinicians to potential prevention and intervention points for a reduction in the experience of pain for our patients.