Three experts speak at Grand Rounds
Three leading experts in their respective fields of medicine spoke at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar’s (WCM-Q) Grand Rounds to discuss gestational diabetes, the links between gum disease and gestational diabetes, and how doctors can work sensitively with terminally ill children and their families.
Dr. Christina Vlahos of the Department of Psychology at Sidra Medicine gave a presentation titled ‘The Dying Child: Special Considerations In Working with Terminally Ill Pediatric Patients and Their Families’, in which she spoke about the emotionally challenging task of speaking honestly and sensitively about mortality in order to minimize distress as far as possible.
Addressing an audience of physicians, pharmacists, nurses and allied health professionals, Dr. Vlahos explained existing research into the different levels of understanding that children of different ages have of mortality and discussed how to talk with children about the issue. She said: “It is very important to be very straightforward when speaking about death with children, and to avoid euphemisms. It is also very important to take it slow in order to let the child absorb what they are hearing, to invite questions, and to provide reassurance that they will be cared for.”
Visiting expert Dr. Hatem Algraffee, a specialist periodontist based in London, UK, presented ‘Periodontal gum disease and systemic conditions; does a relationship really exist?’. Dr. Agraffee said that the risk factors that make gum disease more likely included smoking, poor oral hygiene, poor nutrition, certain medications, genetic predisposition, and a number of systemic diseases. He then discussed the links between gum disease and diabetes, saying: “There is a direct relationship between the severity of gum disease and diabetes complications. So, if I have a patient who has unstable diabetes, it will negatively affect their gum disease, and if I have a patient who has stable diabetes, the chances are that they will react to treatment in exactly the same way as someone who is non-diabetic.”
Dr. Algrafee then went on to outline possible associations between gum disease and a variety of conditions, including pregnancy complications, diabetes, respiratory disease, chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. He concluded by saying, however, that while associations between gum disease and these conditions have been observed, little evidence of causal links have been established.
Dr. Goran Petrovski, a diabetes consultant and endocrinologist from Sidra Medicine, gave a presentation titled ‘Gestational Diabetes: Insights and Thoughts’. The presentation included a detailed discussion of gestational diabetes, including case studies of pregnant women, management of the condition, and the different characteristics of the disease before, during and after pregnancy.
All three lectures were accredited locally by the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners-Accreditation Department (QCHP-AD) and internationally by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).