New Sleep Center one of many programs that benefits from annual Radiothon

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The 12th annual B106.7 Radiothon for Palmetto Health Children's Hospital kicked off Sunday night, and WIS-TV is partnering with the radio station and the hospital again for the fundraiser.

Donations go straight to the Palmetto Health Foundation to help enhance many of the programs and services provided by the children's hospital.

One of those services is the new pediatric sleep center inside Palmetto Heath Children's Hospital. It opened back in December, and hospital officials say it's now the only center of its kind in the Midlands for pediatric patients. From ADHD and obesity, to diabetes and Down Syndrome, doctors say there are several medical conditions that can warrant a sleep study.

Doctors recently requested a sleep study for Christie Smith's five month-old son, Dean. "My child has a rare syndrome called Goldenhar Syndrome," said Smith, describing it as a congenital condition that causes abnormalities in the development of the head and face. "Not only was he not getting enough oxygen, particularly at night, he was also not releasing his Carbon Dioxide," added Smith. "With that we were told he might need a tracheostomy."

Smith says she thought she was going to have to take her son to Greenville, which isn't the easiest for trip for her to make with her medically-fragile son. But a short a time later she learned, Dean's pediatric pulmonologist, Dr. Trey Brown, was the new director of Palmetto Health Children's new sleep center.

"The sleep rules are much different in children versus adults, so this is an area where we focus specifically on the children's aspects of the sleep disorders, and they can get any extra care they need in the children's hospital," said Dr. Brown. Brown adds that because the sleep center is inside the hospital, it allows sleep technicians to study patients who are considered "high risk" like Dean.

Dr. Brown says before the development of the new center, children who needed a sleep study would have to have the study done at an adult center or travel outside the Midlands.

"It's alleviated the backlog we've had for quite a long time, getting patients in in a quick manor to help diagnose their sleep disorders," said Dr. Brown.

The center is open four days a week and sleep technicians can study up to four patients a day. "Sleep technologists are here gathering that data and send it to me to interpret, looking for evidence of sleep apnea or other disorders," said Dr. Brown.

After Dean's study, Dr. Brown confirmed a trach was needed. "[The trach is now] bypassing that obstruction so he can sleep more effectively, but as importantly, maintaining his oxygen levels at the appropriate levels," said Dr. Brown.

That treatment is helping Christie sleep better, too. "Just to know that he now has a clear airway, he can breathe… I am extremely happy and grateful that these doctors are here, that Dr. Brown exists and that this sleep center is here in the hospital," said Smith.

Dr. Brown says most children are referred to the center by their primary care doctor and can show symptoms like trouble falling asleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, excessive nightmares or snoring.

If you want to help enhance and provide programs like the sleep center at the children's hospital, you can donate to the B106.7 Radiothon by calling (803) 434-3000 or (866) 434-B106.

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