Gastrointestinal problem solver (GPS) good news for medical community in pediatric gastroenterology

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A new study on children less than 3 years of age in Vietnam in 2012 showed that 56% children suffered from infant regurgitation, 47% constipation, 44% infantile colic, 34% spit-up, 27% gassiness, 65% of diarrhea, and 46% rash. Meanwhile on average 66% of babies around the world experience common tolerance-related issues at least once. Therefore it is really good news for pediatricians and general practitioners that GPS Gastrointestinal Problem Solver a new in-office screening tool will become a close companion of health care professionals in identification and management of tolerance issues at children to better support the treatment of five most common tolerance symptoms.

Intolerance symptoms and potential risks that may lead to impaired growth or malnutrition

A recent A.C Nielsen survey also shows that 91% Vietnamese parents reported that their children have experienced formula feeding tolerance issues. In addition, more than 50% parents usually lack knowledge why their children are having feeding difficulties, prominently fussiness/gassiness, constipation, infant regurgitation, infantile colic and cow's milk protein allergy. They don't always know how to deal with this problem correctly as well.

Ms Kim Ngan, a mother of 5 month-old baby said that her little baby often suffered from a number of intolerance symptoms that lead to digestive absorption difficulties, causing his weight loss. As such almost monthly she had to take her little baby to have pediatrician visits. Some of her friends also advised her to switch to another formula milk. As a matter of fact, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and associated symptoms are commonly reported in Vietnamese infants, but identification and management of these conditions are not completely understood by the medical community and the parents.

However, according to experts in gastroenterology, switching to an inappropriate formula may aggravate the intolerance symptoms and may lead to impaired growth or malnutrition at children. Prof Dr Nguyen Gia Khanh, Vice President cum General Secretary of Vietnam Pediatrics Association, stated "We realize that every baby has unique feeding needs, and what might be well suited to one baby's diet may not work for another." In such cases, parents should be aware of intolerance symptoms and seek advice from doctors for better management of these symptoms. GPS also aims to help Vietnamese parents well understand feeding issues before making a decision to switch to another formula for their children.

GPS brand new in-office screening tool for GI health care professionals

International experts in pediatric gastroenterology and pediatric allergy from Europe, Asia, Latin America and the United States reviewed current guidelines to develop practical algorithms that allow pediatricians and general practitioners in addressing the dietary management of common tolerance-related feeding problems in infants. Five such practice recommendations were developed after a thorough literature review.

In Vietnam, to help pediatricians and general practitioners more easily diagnose and better manage common GI symptoms among infants, in conjunction with the Vietnam Pediatrics Association (VPA), Abbott, the global health care company, sponsored the seminar for introducing Gastrointestinal Problem Solver (GPS) to Vietnam market. To better support infants' nutritional needs, pediatricians will be able to use GPS as an in-office screening tool to help assess and address the five most common gastrointestinal symptoms so doctors can prescribe an accurate feeding plan and recommended formula." Prof Dr Nguyen Gia Khanh continued "The intent of these algorithm guidelines is to provide healthcare professionals with a standard benchmark of care in the diagnosis and management of these common symptoms of gastrointestinal intolerance."

This unique pediatric screening tool consists of five separate algorithms that each addresses the most frequent feeding issues in infants. It also allows healthcare practitioners to provide an accurate diagnosis and develop an effective treatment plan for these common. As a result, doctors can prescribe an accurate feeding plan and recommended formula through an in-depth patient profiler and recommended nutritional modifications when indicated for each of the five common tolerance issues.

From a local perspective, Dr Ngoc Ha, who is working at HCMC Medical University Hospital, commented "GPS as an in-office screening tool will be a very useful tool to Vietnamese pediatrics doctors and nurses as currently we don't have a similar in-office device. Our diagnostics of GI symptoms must be conducted by a separate technical team."

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