Dr. Vidya Raman and Dr. Sarwat Umer will treat children with juvenile arthritis and autoimmune diseases including Lupus at their new clinic in the LSU Health Ambulatory Care Center, located on the corner of King’s Highway and Linwood. It is only the second clinic of its kind in the state.
The two physicians are specially trained to treat children with these conditions and are the first ever to provide these services for children in northwest Louisiana. In addition to chronic arthritis, the physicians care for children with juvenile lupus, vasculitis, dermatomyositis, scleroderma, autoinflammatory diseases and reactive arthritis. Previously, children diagnosed with these conditions had to travel to Little Rock, New Orleans or Dallas for continuing care.
“This is an exciting time to be in this field,” noted Dr. Raman, who said a number of new medications are now available to help children who have these conditions. She said many early symptoms of juvenile arthritis look like something else: fever, rashes, stiffness, aches and pains. She said it is important to diagnose children as soon as possible to prevent permanent joint damage. Many autoimmune conditions may have a genetic basis, she noted.
Studies in the US have reported a prevalence rate of pediatric arthritis and other rheumatologic conditions of up to 400 per 100,000 children.
Children with rheumatologic diseases may also need physical therapy and regular care from eye, kidney and other pediatric specialists. Dr. Raman and Dr. Umer plan to work closely with these specialists as well as the Arthritis Foundation and national groups working on research into childhood rheumatologic diseases. Parents whose children have conditions or symptoms of rheumatologic conditions can be referred to the clinic by their pediatrician.
For consultations and/or referrals, please contact:
Telephone: 318-675-5955 Fax: 318-675-6980