Johns Hopkins Gazette: September 30, 1996 Form

In Brief
Medical News

Children with cancer to benefit from Murray's HR

Oriole Eddie Murray's 500th home run ball went further than even he might have imagined. After local businessman Michael Lasky bought the ball for $500,000, he set up an MCI 900-line to gather fans' ideas about where the historic ball should be displayed permanently. And fees associated with calling the number (1-900-835-BALL) will go to the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center's pediatric cancer program.

This is not the first time Lasky has contributed to the Oncology Center. His annual donations have been used to support physicians-in-training, leukemia research and the pediatric bone marrow transplant program. And for the past three years, the Lasky Family Foundation has sponsored the Pediatric Oncology Friends All-Star Event, an annual fund-raiser, benefiting pediatric oncology research at Hopkins.

"Research has gotten us where we are today," said Curt Civin, director of the Pediatric Oncology Division. "[It has cured] 70 percent of all children diagnosed with cancer. Continued research will move us toward a 100 percent cure rate and eventually to preventing the disease from ever occurring."

Not all kids need ICU stay after adenotonsillectomies

Researchers at the Children's Center have concluded that not all children need to stay in an intensive care unit overnight after tonsil and adenoid surgery to relieve mild obstructive sleep apnea.

Mark Helfaer, lead author of the research report published in a recent issue of the Journal of Critical Care Medicine, said the study shows that some children with mild obstructive sleep apnea can receive immediate care in a recovery room or short-stay setting following surgery. Other recent studies show that it seems safe to discharge routine tonsil and adenoid patients six hours after an uneventful surgery. However, the family and health care staff should communicate about any problems with postsurgical bleeding, pain, sleeping difficulties or analgesic administration.

"Kids recover better surrounded by the familiarity and comforts of home," said Helfaer, associate professor of anesthesiology/critical care medicine and pediatrics at the Children's Center. "With this information, we may be able to lower the number of admissions to the intensive care unit, thus reducing costs."

More than 250,000 adenotonsillectomies are performed each year around the country to relieve obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that results in airway obstruction, daytime sleepiness, nighttime sleep difficulty, hyperactivity and learning difficulties. Removal of tonsils and adenoids has been shown to reduce the obstruction and symptoms within six months of surgery.

Other News

Undergrad tuition, fees up 5 percent, report says

Two recently released studies on trends in tuition, fees and financial aid at America's colleges and universities reported that students attending four-year private institutions--such as Hopkins--are paying about 5 percent more for tuition and fees this year than last.

According to the College Board's annual reports on tuition and fees and on student financial aid, undergraduates at American colleges will pay, on average, approximately 5 percent more this year than last in tuition and fees at four-year institutions. Students can also expect to confront charges of 4 to 6 percent more for room and board.

Hopkins tuition and fees have increased about 5 percent for 1997, compared to 1996, said Dean of Enrollment Services Robert Massa, adding that this has been the university's trend for the past several years even as comparable institutions have been raising their tuition and fees 6 to 7 percent.

"We're looking closely at tuition figures for the next five years, but no decision has been made at this point," he said. "And we are extremely sensitive to the fact that tuition is becoming out of reach for many families who would strongly consider Hopkins."

The reports also indicate that $50.3 billion in total aid from federal, state and institutional sources was available to students and their families in 1995-96 to assist with tuition, fees and other expenses of attending college--a sum $3.3 billion higher than in 1994-95.

"As a nation, we must not shrink from the commitment to higher education, nor accept the notion that financing that commitment is a matter of purely personal concern," said Donald M. Stewart, president of the College Board. Describing a college education as an "investment" that results in financial rewards for individuals, Stewart also contended that it was an investment in the "common wealth." Despite tuition costs that, he said, "are daunting to many," Stewart pointed out that "for most Americans, the fact remains that college is still accessible--especially in light of the financial aid currently available."

Women's Board prepared to rack up more support

The Johns Hopkins Women's Board is sponsoring the 32nd annual Best Dressed Sale and Boutique, an event that draws clothing connoisseurs from all over the region looking for the best buys in "gently used" fashions. Some of the clothing still has the store tags attached, said this year's sale chairwoman, Jane Cummings.

Scheduled for Oct. 3, 4 and 5 at the Evergreen Carriage House, 4545 N. Charles St., just north of the Homewood campus, the browsers and buyers will find "a plethora of good clothing at great prices," Cummings said.

Thousands of people turn out yearly for this event, which raises money to support the programs at the hospital, including the new Comprehensive Cancer Center. Last year's event raised more than $120,000.

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