Directory of services

Pediatrics

MISSION

  • To achieve the highest possible patient care based on sound scientific principles administered with care and empathy.
  • To facilitate a state-of-the-art environment in which Western-trained consultants may practice their expertise to enhance patient well-being.
  • To combine the highest standards of current techniques and technology.
  • To prevent disease through the use of immunization and family education.
  • To remain abreast of the latest expertise through CME programs.

SCOPE OF SERVICE

General pediatrics is a broad field, but the Saad Specialist Hospital department can be split into various sections and specialties.

The Pediatric ward

The pediatric ward has a combination of private and multi-bed rooms and is located in a highly secure area. Highly qualified nurses and technicians staff the ward and an in-house pediatrician provides 24 hour monitoring. Staffing is one nurse to every four children. The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit features a staffing ratio of one-on-one.

To minimize the psychological trauma of being in an alien environment, every effort to make the child and his family feel at ease is made. For instance, the ward features a miniature electric train running overhead in the hallways and is decorated specifically with infants in mind.
The ward has a large playroom filled with assorted toys, as well as a miniature cinema room.

Neonatology

Neonatology is supported by one of the most advanced Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the Eastern Province Region.

Pre-term babies, born before eight (8) months gestation, require intensive care monitoring. They are more susceptible to brain hemorrhage, ophthalmic disorders, and require pulmonary assistance and parental nutrition.

Term babies, those born after eight (8) months gestation, require general care including immunization, feeding problems, and jaundice.

Newborns presenting with congenital abnormalities related to genetic abnormalities are treated according to their specific needs. Counseling regarding the baby’s prognosis is provided. Should surgical intervention be indicated, provision for appropriate treatment is arranged.

Services undertaken by the Neonatology section include:

  • Care of healthy newborns nursed in the normal newborn nursery.
  • Neonatal screening program.
  • Level I NICU care for infants with minor problems.
  • Level II NICU care for infants with moderate illness requiring special (intermediate) care, including supplementary oxygen.
  • Level III NICU care for sick infants requiring a high level of intensive care, including mechanical ventilation. Includes care needs following extremely low birth weight and premature birth.
  • Pre and postoperative care for infants undergoing major surgical procedures.
  • Multidisciplinary functions include obstetrics, respiratory therapy, pediatric cardiology, pediatric surgery, clinical genetics, neurosciences, ophthalmology, othopedic surgery, urology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and others.
  • Parental counseling and health education.
  • Support services providing efficient service including laboratory, radiology, pharmacy, ITD, and others.
  • Neonatal follow-up service.

Pediatric Surgery

Specialized pediatric and neonatal laparoscopic surgery is performed by the surgeons of the unit. If the child is two years or older this surgery may be performed by means of laparoscopy.  Children who are born with structural congenital abnormalities of the kidneys, bladder, urethra, or testes may also have their conditions corrected by the pediatric surgeons.  For more information, please visit pediatric surgery

Pediatric Pulmonology

This specialty deals with the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory disorders in children. Whether the problem is genetic (sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis), or acquired (pulmonary fibrosis), the pulmonologists have at their disposal the latest technology available to diagnose and treat any disorder.

Flexible pediatric bronchoscopes are used to examine the child’s larynx, trachea, and lungs to visually determine the cause of respiratory ailments. The procedure is conducted under general anesthesia. Saad Specialist Hospital is the only non restrictive hospital in the Eastern Province that employs the use of flexible bronchoscopes.

The most up to date technology is available to test and or rule out the presence of cystic fibrosis. Spirometry is used to determine the air capacity of a patient’s lungs. A body box is used to diagnose whether the patient’s lungs are larger than normal as in the case of a patient suffering from either cystic fibrosis or small chest cavity.

The pediatric pulmonologist has the capability to test a child for sleep apnea. The Sleep Laboratory monitors a child’s breathing, heart rate, brain waves, oxygen saturation, carbon dioxide levels, chest, and abdominal movements during sleep.

Pediatric Allergy and Immunology

Children who present with asthma, hay fever, eczema, hives, acid flux and anaphylaxis are referred for consultation to a pediatric allergist or immunologist.
There are several methods that the allergist and immunologist will employ to diagnose allergies and immunologic disorders. Should the physician believe that the reaction might not be severe, they will order skin tests, whereby a small amount of the probable offending agent is injected under the patient’s skin. If a skin test is inappropriate then the physician may order a blood test.

Once a thorough patient history and examination have been completed, the pediatric allergist/immunologist will work with the child and family to help them understand how the patient may recognize triggers, take control of his illness, how to take medication, and when to seek help. Should medication prove ineffective the physician may initiate immunotherapy.

Pediatric Neurology

Pediatric neurology encompasses the science of investigation and management of all inherited and acquired diseases affecting the central and peripheral nervous system in childhood. Pediatric neurologists are responsible for the early detection and intervention programs involving high-risk neonates as well as the developmental stimulation for developmentally retarded children. High-risk neonates are newborns subjected to:

  • Complications during pregnancy, labor (or shortly post labor).
  • Infants of diabetic mothers or other maternal illness.
  • Premature delivery.
  • Obstructed labor.
  • Neonatal cyanosis.
  • Jaundice requiring hospitalization.

Early intervention is mandatory in the above cases as plasticity of the brain during the first two years of life allows rapid acquisition of skills.

Cerebral palsy

Pediatric neurologists treat and follow-up children with cerebral palsy, causing motor problems resulting from perinatal brain injury.

Spasticity is the most important cause of impaired mobility in children with cerebral palsy. As well as oral medication, local injections, and certain orthopedic and neurosurgical procedures, a multidisciplinary approach is undertaken when treating cerebral palsy and its symptoms.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a chronic condition, and seizure control requires long-term medication. Monitoring of medication blood levels, side effects of anti-convulsant drugs is mandatory, as is the supervision of anti-convulsants once successful control of seizures has been established. Follow-up and care of the epileptic pediatric patient includes the interpretation of EEG, video EEG monitoring, and neuro-imaging.

Other Neurological Disorders

Pediatric neurologists are also responsible for the diagnosis and management of acute neurological disorders, such as:

  • Encephalitis and meningitis.
  • Status epilepticus.
  • Post- infectious polyneuropathy.

Chromosomal abnormalities that are treated include Down’s syndrome, while neuro muscular disorders such as muscular dystrophy, poly-neuropathy and mono neuropathy are also within the remit of pediatric neurologists.

Neuro-developmental pediatricians also care for infants suffering from neuro behavior disorders, including:

  • Autism.
  • Attention deficit hyperactive disorders.
  • Delayed language development.
  • Learning disabilities.

Progress and efficiency of behavioral and speech therapy is monitored on an ongoing basis by the neuro-pediatrician.

A multidisciplinary approach, involving the neuro-pediatricians and pediatricians from other pediatric sub-specialties is followed in the treatment of children with complex or serious medical disorders such as epilepsy, birth defects, and mental retardation. These are chronic conditions that require ongoing care and close follow-up throughout childhood and adolescence.

  • Seizure disorders including seizures in newborns, febrile convulsions, and epilepsy.
  • Medical aspects of head injuries and brain tumors.
  • Weakness, including cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and neuro-muscular disorders.
  • Headaches, including migraine.
  • Behavioral disorders, attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, and sleep disorders.
  • Developmental disorders including delayed motor milestones and coordination issues.
  • Mental retardation, learning disorders, and delayed language development.
  • Hydrocehaphalus, myelomeningocele, and other birth defects.

Pediatric Cardiology

Pediatric cardiology deals with the planning treatment regimen of antenatal congenital heart conditions and utilizes the most modern procedures and technological equipment.

Whether the cardiologists diagnose and treat abnormalities involving heart rhythms or use echocardiography to diagnose lesions of the heart caused by congenital or acquired heart diseases, children have access to the latest methods and most up-to-date technology that help provide the best probability of treatment success.

Once a diagnosis is made and invasive methods are required, a pediatric cardiologist may use the catheterization laboratory to treat the patient. Treatment in the “cath lab” is limited to certain congenital heart diseases including shunts that need to be repaired, aspiration of an abnormal collection of fluid surrounding the heart, and dilating narrowed stematic aortic or pulmonary valves by balloon angioplasty.

Pediatric Metabolic Disease

In-born errors of metabolism are a group of disorders caused by defects in the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Collectively they account for a significant proportion of sick neonates and children. The incidence of these disorders is relatively high in consanguineous communities like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. If untreated most of these disorders lead to learning difficulties and severe health complications.

Saad Specialist Hospital has recently established a Diagnostic and Clinical Metabolic service to treat neonates and other children suffering from these disorders. The objectives of this metabolic service and newborn screening service are:

  • To provide a center of excellence for the diagnosis and management of patients with inherited metabolic disorders.
  • To expand the existing newborn screening program to include most of the treatable inherited disorders.


The metabolic service is an integrated clinical and laboratory service. Facilities exist to perform specialized metabolic tests of urine and blood.

FUTURE SERVICES

  • A complete physical examination when children attend for routine immunization. This will encompass a vision test, hearing screening, and a blood and urine test
  • Bedwetting Clinic: a general pediatrician will address problems of children that continue to wet their beds from any age group between 3 – 14years old.