On April 4th, 6 pm Pacific Time, San Jose, California, an online international conference involving more than one thousand pediatricians around the world began. This online discussion seminar on “Diagnosis and Treatment of Pediatric Patients During the New Coronavirus Epidemic” was co-organized by non-profit organization–Wuhan United from California, pediatric department from Wuhan Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Mead Johnson Company. During the preparation phase, we received pre-registrations of more than 3,000 participants who are physicians from 45 countries around the world which includes United States, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, etc. By far, it is the seminar that involves the largest number of participants in the “Living Through A Pandemic” series held by the Wuhan United Organization. Due to the limited capacity of the online meeting room, many physicians were not able to participate during the conference, thus the recording of the conference can be found on Wuhan United’s website at wuhanunited.org. The expert team led by Professor Runming Jin, the Chair of Pediatrics department shared a special lecture on pediatric patients during COVID-19, and conducted in-depth discussions on medical hotspots such as the diagnosis and the treatment of children with COVID-19, as well as the appropriate protection of medical workers.
The opening of the conference was hosted by Mr. Tom Gong from Wuhan United, Dr. Minghua He, partner of Forti & Consevage, P.C., Pennsylvania, and of UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg Hospital. Professor Runming Jin started the conference with a welcome speech. He expressed his welcome and warm greetings to pediatricians around the world. Around 18:20, the lecture officially began. Professor Xiaoyan Wu, deputy chair of the Department of Pediatrics, first gave a comprehensive explanation on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of children with COVID-19, especially on the early identification of children with severe COVID-19 . Then, Professor Wu shared some valuable experience on the management of the wards of children with blood tumors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, Professor Lei Li, deputy chair of the Department of Pediatrics,discussed topics on the protection of medical staff during the epidemic, the isolation and treatment of pediatric patients, and summarized the Wuhan doctors’ experience and lessons learned during the epidemic. The lecture covered all aspects of the diagnosis and management of children’s COVID-19 in detail. Participating doctors have indicated in the comment area that the content is practical, timely, helpful, and hope to get a copy of the PowerPoint.
In the second half of the lecture, Dr. Julia Zhu, from Stanford Healthcare in San Jose, California, hosted an online Q & A session. The interactive Q & A session was successful.Pediatricians from various countries were very active in asking questions which covered a wide range of topics including the different clinical manifestations of pediatric patients from adult patients, the knowledge of asymptomatic patients, the difference between children with COVID-19 infection, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus infections,the selection of antiviral drugs for children, diagnosis tests for coronavirus, the safety issue about breastfeeding for pregnant women with coronavirus, the basic protection of people going out, and other issues. Three Chinese pediatric experts conducted detailed answers and discussions. Professor Lakshmi, chair of Pediatric department, UC Davis School of Medicine and Karen Lin, deputy director of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School affiliated to Rutgers University, invited pediatrics, family physicians and emergency medicine doctors to participate in the discussion. At 3 AM local time, Dr. Claudia Gualdi from Italy was on duty at the hospital and also participated in the discussion.With more applausive atmosphere, the scheduled two-hour online meeting has to extend 50 minutes. Doctors who participated expressed their gratitude and praised the unreserved sharing and answers from the Chinese experts.
Mead Johnson Company, as one of the organizers of this event, assisted the professors from the Union Hospital and doctors from the U.S. to fully discuss and revise the content of the conference. Dr. Michael Hart, director of the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology of VTC, and Dr. Kevin White of the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital have made suggestions on how the Wuhan experience could be adopted in the United States. Nancy Edwards, associate director of medical education at Mead Johnson ’s headquarters, said: “I am very excited to be able to work with Wuhan Union Hospital and Wuhan United to introduce the experience of Wuhan doctors to the world. We look forward to organizing more medical discussions and conferences on other topics in the future.”
After the conference, we received a lot of thank-you letters and consultation letters. Dr. David Goo, director of the Children ’s Emergency Department in Atlanta, wrote: “I am a pediatric emergency physician and the medical director of a pediatric ED in Atlanta, GA in Gwinnett County. We admitted the first group of children with COVID-19. Some children have already received endotracheal intubation at the Children’s Hospital, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.We are very happy to receive first-hand information from the Wuhan pediatricians”. Dr. Maritza Fernandes from Trinidad and Tobago wrote: “I am wondering whether you can guide me on how to let children use pulse oximeters at home to reassure parents. The community population I serve cannot afford these equipment in pharmacies, but we need to be vigilant about hypoxic children. “
Wuhan United is a non-profit organization established in California to fight the epidemic. Starting in March, the focus of Wuhan United’s work is building a platform to organize doctors in Wuhan and global doctors to communicate on the fight against COVID-19.