Pediatrics is the branch of medicine that involves the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents. A medical doctor who specializes in this area is known as a pediatrician and Mediplus Hospital and Trauma Centre have well experienced doctors in Pediatrics department. Pediatricians work in hospitals and children’s hospitals particularly those working in its subspecialties (e.g. neonatology), and as outpatient primary care physicians. The body size differences are paralleled by maturation changes. The smaller body of an infant or neonate is substantially different physiologically from that of an adult.
Congenital defects, genetic variance, and developmental issues are of greater concern to pediatricians than they often are to adult physicians. A common adage is that children are not simply “little adults”. The clinician must take into account the immature physiology of the infant or child when considering symptoms, prescribing medications, and diagnosing illnesses.
Percentage of total body water and extracellular fluid volume both decrease as children grow and develop with time. Pediatric patients thus have a larger volume of distribution than adults, which directly affects the dosing of hydrophilic drugs such as beta-lactam antibiotics like ampicillin. Thus, these drugs are administered at greater weight-based doses or with adjusted dosing intervals in children to account for this key difference in body composition.
Infants and neonates also have less plasma proteins. Thus, highly protein-bound drugs have fewer opportunities for protein binding, leading to increased distribution. Drug metabolism primarily occurs via enzymes in the liver and can vary according to which specific enzymes are affected in a specific stage of development. Phase I and Phase II enzymes have different rates of maturation and development, depending on their specific mechanism of action (i.e. oxidation, hydrolysis, acetylation, methylation, etc.). Enzyme capacity, clearance, and half-life are all factors that contribute to metabolism differences between children and adults. Drug metabolism can even differ within the pediatric population, separating neonates and infants from young children.
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