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A doctor’s journey to practicing medicine in ways that bring an overall well-being to their patients may begin in med school, but it certainly does not end there. It is a career-long pursuit of continual exploration, education, and discovery all in the interest of high-quality patient care. The doctors of ENT Memphis embody this commitment to their patients’ health through their participation in the Southern Pediatric Otolaryngology Education Group (SPOEG).

For the past 30 years, the premier ENTs of the region have come together through membership in SPOEG as a unique platform for discourse, exchange of ideas, and collaboration. SPOEG represents the longest continuous meeting of its kind. Each year over 100 pediatric and adult ENTS gather for the SPOEG annual meeting. It is at the annual meeting where opportunities for focused roundtable discussions are provided and cutting-edge discoveries of the latest technological advancements in surgery and treatments are made. Through this exceptional association of ENTs, it is ultimately the patients who benefit, receiving quality, highly specialized care.

You know the symptoms of a cold: stuffy nose, cough, headache, water eyes, even mucus buildup. But those symptoms also manifest in a sinus infection. So how can you tell the difference, and when do you take your child to the ENT?

Here are three simple questions to ask to help discern:

  1. How long have the symptoms lasted?

With colds, your child may experience a runny nose for two or three days followed by a stuffy nose for two or three days. Other symptoms may creep in and peak at day five with everything clearing up and disappearing within 7-10 days. A sinus infection introduces additional symptoms like facial pressure and greenish mucus just keeps going lasting much longer.

  1. Does your child have a fever?

A fever and headache lasting three to four days is typical in sinus infections. A cold may bring on a fever, but it will usually occur within the first day or two.

  1. What color is the nasal discharge?

Colds may produce nasal discharge that yellows after the first day or two but then becomes clear again and dries. Sinus infections bring yellowish greenish nasal discharge consistently for four or five days.

So, when do you take your child to the ENT?

Sinus infections track a progression of symptoms similar to colds but increasingly more severe in their discomfort. If your child’s symptoms do not clear up within 7 days or get gradually worse, it is time to see the doctor who may prescribe an antibiotic.

Approximately one in 10 Americans undergo a Computed Tomography (CT) scan each year in order to detect abnormalities, injuries or diseases. A highly regarded diagnostic imaging tool due to its ability to detect minute differences in tissue as well as its multiplanar reformatted imaging capabilities, CT is used to diagnose conditions in the neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis, extremities, cardiac and vascular system and sinus and temporal bones.

There are many factors that contribute to an accurate diagnosis based on CT imaging. The training and experience of both the operator performing the procedure and the interpreting physician, the type of CT equipment use, adherence to radiation dose guidelines and the quality assessment metric each facility is required to measure, all contribute to a positive patient outcome. IAC accreditation is a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on as an indicator of consistent quality care and a dedication to continuous improvement.

ENT Memphis – located in Memphis, TN and founded by Dr. Rande Lazar – has been granted a three-year term of accreditation in CT in the areas of Sinus and Temporal Bone CT by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC).

Accreditation by IAC means that ENT Memphis has undergone an intensive application and review process and is found to be in compliance with the published Standards. Comprised of a detailed self-evaluation followed by a thorough review by a panel of medical experts, the IAC accreditation process enables both the critical operational and technical components to be assessed, including representative case studies and their corresponding final reports.

IAC accreditation is a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on as an indication that the facility has been carefully critiqued on all aspects of its operations considered relevant by medical experts in the field of CT. When scheduled for a CT procedure, patients are encouraged to inquire as to the accreditation status of the facility where their examination will be performed and can learn more by visiting www.intersocietal.org/ct/main/patients.htm.

IAC accreditation is widely respected within the medical community, as illustrated by the support of the national medical societies related to CT, which include physicians, technologists and physicists. CT accreditation is required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and in some cases by private insurers. However, patients should remain vigilant in making sure that their CT procedures are performed within accredited facilities, because for some facilities it remains a voluntary process.