Deepak M. Kamat, MD, PhD


How to Handle Chronic Cough in Kids: A Practical Approach to the Workup

December 31, 2006

The patient is a 4-year-old boy who hasbeen coughing persistently for the past 2months. The mother reports that aboutthe time the coughing began, the childhad a “cold” with nasal congestion andfever. These symptoms resolved, but acough ensued. The mother tried usingover-the-counter medications, includingcough suppressants, but the cough hasnot abated. It occurs during the day andat night. It is disrupting the child’s sleep,and the teachers at his day-care centerare concerned that he may be infectingother children.

Avian Flu: Why All the Squawk?

February 01, 2006

Physicians around the country are being bombarded with questions about avian flu. This brief review of the current status of the avian flu outbreak and its treatment and prevention provides the information you will need to answer the most pressing patient questions.

How to Handle Chronic Cough in Kids:

December 01, 2003

ABSTRACT: A cough is considered chronic when it persists for 3 or more weeks. Typically, chronic cough is a lingering manifestation of a viral upper respiratory tract infection; other, more serious causes-such as asthma, sinusitis, or gastro- esophageal reflux-must also be considered. Look to the history for diagnostic clues and order a chest film, which may point to pneumonia, hyperinflation, atelectasis, or cardiac or pulmonary abnormality. Diagnostic test methods will depend, in part, on the child's age; for example, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against imaging of the sinuses in children 6 years or younger. Pulmonary function tests can be useful in diagnosing asthma if the child is able to cooperate. Consider ordering a barium swallow for a very young child whose cough may be the result of a vascular anomaly. A pH probe study can help you determine whether cough is secondary to gastroesophageal reflux. Treatment is directed at the underlying cause.