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Pediatric Infusion Unit Opens

Unit is Designed to Put Young IBD Patients at Ease

 To help alleviate the stress that pediatric IBD patients can experience during lengthy intravenous treatments, the new Al and Hedi Azus Foundation Pediatric Infusion Unit is designed to make them feel more at ease. The colorful two-room suite, located within the Cedars-Sinai Children's Health Center in the Steven Spielberg Building, is furnished with Xbox video game consoles, flat screen televisions, DVD players and comfortable reclining chairs. 

 Young people who have inflammatory bowel disease "have so much to cope with, but learn not to let the disease derail their lives," said Marla C. Dubinsky, M.D., medical director of the Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Cedars-Sinai. "They're amazing."

 Dubinsky, a pediatric gastroenterologist (pictured here at the infusion unit), and her colleagues currently treat more than 400 children from 2 to 21 years of age with IBD. 

 Intravenous treatments administered in the Pediatric Infusion Unit include infliximab (Remicade ®), a biologic therapy that is used for IBD patients who have not responded adequately to standard therapies such as anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, immune system suppressors and antibiotics. 

 "We choose patients to receive these families of biological therapies very carefully. The risk/benefit ratio of these very powerful medications clearly needs to favor a successful therapeutic outcome," said Dubinsky. 

 Cedars-Sinai is one of only a few pediatric IBD centers in North America that conducts research activities and provides education and treatment all at one campus. Dubinsky explained that Cedars-Sinai wants to ensure that patients referred to the center have access to the most advanced technologies and therapies as soon as they are shown to be safe and effective, and yet it is also careful and conservative in medical treatment for young patients who have IBD. 

 For more information, contact Dubinsky at marla.dubinsky@cshs.org.