This year BMC Pediatrics traveled to Denver, Colorado to attend PAS 2022. PAS is an internationally renowned conference where clinicians, researchers, physician scientists and educators travel thousands of miles each year to share their research, develop new ideas, network with colleagues and build relationships for collaboration. As a result, the conference attracts up to 7,600 attendees and in 2022 presented hundreds of specialist talks and over 2,800 individual poster presentations.
In this blog Editor Oliver Cocks of BMC Pediatrics shares his and our Editorial Board Members conference highlights of PAS 2022 and discusses future directions for the journal for the remainder of the year and into 2023.
Editor Highlights PAS 2022:
It was a privilege to attend PAS 2022 this year with it being invaluable to be able to connect with our community face to face and meet our esteemed Editorial Board Members throughout the weekend. The caliber of research presented was truly staggering and I was very pleased to see and meet several of our authors whom presented their work at PAS. A personal highlight was listening to our author Prof. Samir Gupta present the results from his latest Randomized Clinical Trial for which their Study Protocol was published with us at BMC Pediatrics entitled “baby-OSCAR trial: Outcome after Selective early treatment for Closure of patent ductus ARteriosus in preterm babies, a multicentre, masked, randomised placebo-controlled parallel group trial". It is well understood that randomized clinical trials in any field are notoriously difficult to plan, fund and conduct accurately and so it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to consider their excellent Study Protocol at the journal and hear about their subsequent results at PAS 2022. Study Protocols are extremely valuable in ensuring the accurate and ethical reporting of such data.
An additional highlight was getting to meet some of our Editorial Board Members. Many of these were also attending PAS to present their research or lead subject specific sessions as experts in their field. I’d like to say a huge thank you to Dr. Folafoluwa Odetola, Dr. Ju Lee Oei, Prof. Maria Fernanda Almeida, Dr. Sherry Courtney, Prof. Rita Silveira, Dr. Jeffrey Shenberger, Prof. Vineet Bhandari and Prof. Ruth Guinsburg for meeting me at PAS. I hope you enjoyed our discussions as much as I.
Future journal directions:
BMC Pediatrics is driven to ensure that we are serving our community as best as possible and providing the best platform for our authors to publish. As a result, the journal will be driving growth via the introduction of high impact collections. These are collections hosted by subject expert Guest Editors and will cover topics within Pediatrics of significant interest to our community. If you have a collection idea you would like to see the journal consider please complete the form here. BMC Pediatrics is also looking to expand the size of our Editorial Board. If you are interested in joining, please apply here.
Editorial Board Member Highlights:
Prof. Rita C Silveira MD PhD
Full Professor of Pediatrics UFRGS (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul). Head of Neonatal Section HCPA (Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre)
“Contribution of Immature Control to the respiratory morbidity of Preemies was one of the highlights of PAS 2022 that deserves to be commented on.
In the last years the incidence of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) has been progressively high, and it may be due in part to immature ventilatory control, contributing to hypoxemia. The Prematurity Related Ventilatory Control (PreVent Study) aimed to elucidate individualized cardiopulmonary phenotypes and mechanisms of ventilatory control contributing to adverse respiratory outcomes in premature infants using different biomarkers to predict respiratory outcomes: Physiologic providing results from the PreVent Study focused on the natural history of disordered respiratory control in preterms and long term morbidities; clinical characterizing the relationship between apnea, bradycardia and hypoxemic episodes as predictive parameters for later respiratory morbidities in this cohort study. The longitudinal disease burden to that time point were: 7, 14, 28 days and 32 wPMA. IH (desaturation threshold Sp02 < 90%; IH <90) average duration of each episode is a major physiologic predictor at all evaluated time points; AUC of 0.74 at day 7; increasing to 0.81 by day 28 and 0.84 by 32SW PMA. So, respiratory morbidity in former premies is not just BPD and clinical and physiological parameters, as periodic breathing, desaturations episodes, bradycardia, apnea, are early predictors. Clinicians need to pay attention to bedside data: Continuous ECG, heart rate, respiratory, and oxygen saturation.”
Dr. Folafoluwa Odetola MB ChB, M.P.H
Associate Professor of critical care medicine and health services research in the Department of pediatrics at the University of Michigan. He provides care to critically ill children within the pediatric intensive care unit at Mott Children’s Hospital and his research interests focus on the optimization of health care delivery to critically ill and injured children through bridging the gap between evidence and practice, in-depth evaluation of the processes of care, and rigorous assessment of patient outcomes.
“The highlight for me during the recently concluded PAS 2022 meetings was a workshop entitled: Critical Race Theory in Medicine: Origins, Applications, & Future Translation to Education, Clinical Practice, & Research
The workshop was eye-opening and highly informative. I learnt how the incorporation of critical race theory – a framework for enhanced understanding of the origin of, and processes that, propagate racism, injustice, and inequities in society – into the realm of medical education would be a profoundly robust and immutable boon to efforts to address the causes of health inequities, racism, and injustice in medicine.
It was great to learn how critical race theory could address the shortcomings observed in the time-honored biomedical and social determinants of health models currently used to explain the aforementioned deeply rooted problems of racial disparities in healthcare delivery and outcomes.”
Dr. Sherry Courtney
Professor of neonatology and experienced clinical trial researcher. She is currently a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where she is the Director of Clinical Research for Neonatology.
“A presentation that really piqued my interest was presented by Dr. Colm Travers of the University of Alabama. This was a study of permissive hypercapnia in preterm infants >7days of age but as young as 22 weeks' gestation. Infants were randomized to PCO2 of 40-55 vs 60-75. Infants in the higher PCO2 group had more alive ventilator-free days with no apparent increase in morbidity. The study was relatively small and many questions remain, but the concept is intriguing and definitely requires further study.”
Dr. Jeffrey Shenberger
Chief of Neonatology; Vice Chair of Research, Professor of Pediatrics, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Centers for Research on Substance Use and Addiction and Redox Biology and Medicine
“1) A presentation by Rachana Singh “Short term Outcomes of Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS) – A Comparison of Two Approaches” This Massachusetts QI initiative found that Eat, Sleep, and Console and Modified Finnegan Scoring produced the same length of stay, opioid replacement use, or length of treatment. The major factors impacting short-term outcomes were rooming-in, skin-to-skin care, and provision of mother’s milk.
2) The presentation by Dr. Katz from Amsterdam, “Validation of bronchopulmonary dysplasia definitions in long term neurodevelopmental and pulmonary outcomes in preterm infants”, was important and noteworthy. The 3 definitions, 2001 NIH, 2018 NIH, and 2019 Jensen proposed guidelines had similar discriminative power for neurodevelopmental/death and respiratory outcomes at 2 and 5 years in this Dutch cohort.”
Prof. Ruth Guinsburg MD, PhD
Graduation in Medicine at Escola Paulista de Medicina, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil in 1982; Pediatric Residence in the same institution in 1984; Neonatal Fellowship at North Shore Hospital, Cornell Medical College, NY, USA in 1991; PhD in Pediatrics and Sciences Applied to Pediatrics in 1993. Full Professor of the Division of Neonatal Medicine at the Department of Pediatrics at the Federal University of São Paulo since 2007. Co-chair of the Neonatal Resuscitation Program of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics since 2006. Scientific co-chair of the Brazilian Neonatal Research Network since 2016.
“The PAS Meeting is always a great opportunity to update knowledge and to meet International peers that over the years have become friends. In this context, this year was especially nice. With a lot of green buttons around my identification tag and as a good Brazilian, I could hug and kiss a lot of friends that I was “zooming” for the last two years. On the “meeting” side, it is much better to be personally in the conference and to listen and look at the presenters instead of being at home and keep being distracted by thousands of daily problems that have nothing to do with the conference. As one of the highlights, I would like to point out Dr. Heresh Kirpalani’s conference, when he received the Avery Award. His conference was an excellent argument for the benefits of Evidence Based Medicine and the importance of optimal methodologic design of clinical trials. Wherever is the result of the trial (whether it confirms or not our hypothesis) they help to advance knowledge in the field. Also, the emotional ending of Dr Kirpalani’s conference is an eloquent sign that advances in knowledge are never made by one individual alone, but rather, they are the result of building strong relationships throughout our professional life.