The paediatric pancreas – delightfully mischievous

The paediatric abdomen can be a complex structure to navigate. Presentations can range from vague abdominal pain following a sugary birthday party binge, a feverish vomiting child, or a chronically-ill infant with failure to thrive. When presented with the undifferentiated paediatric abdomen, the treating physician should always consider pancreatic pathology.

The painful pancreas

Chronic pain frequently develops in pancreatic diseases, especially in chronic pancreatitis and advanced pancreatic cancer. Abdominal pain is the most common (80%-94%) and the most difficult to manage symptom amongst these patients. Pancreatic cancer, particularly, is a devastating disease with poor long-term survival. Poorly managed pain is associated with decreased caloric intake, poor sleep quality, and an overall reduced quality of life. Its effective management is crucial in the management of these patients.

Ethics: Access to care – what does this really mean?

As the National Health Insurance Bill is before Parliament, and stakeholders have been making verbal submissions for the past 10 months, the question as to how access to healthcare is to be realised, is pertinent again. When concern was raised as to the way in which some members of parliament were responding to submissions by challenging stakeholders, which other members deemed to be inappropriate. In response, members of Parliament indicated that they had to establish whether organisations, by criticising NHI, were implicitly advocating for the retention of the inequitable status quo.


Health Professions Council of South Africa


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Pancreas Matters - May 2022 Vol 5 No 1

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