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KC Hospital Becomes Treatment Hub for Emerging Childhood Disease

Parents often get their children's' diagnosis at one location, then visit a multitude of specialists to seek treatment options. (Herney Gómez/Pixabay)
Parents often get their children's' diagnosis at one location, then visit a multitude of specialists to seek treatment options. (Herney Gómez/Pixabay)
July 25, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A relatively common but under-diagnosed childhood disease is getting special attention at a unique clinic in Kansas City.

Children's Mercy Hospital's Super Q Express clinic is named for the disease known as "22Q" which is seen at birth in the form of everything from heart defects to cleft palates and immune-system problems.

Super Q Express puts an array of specialists and even mental-health professionals in one place so parents of affected children have a one-stop hub to address their child's needs.

Clinic director Dr. Max Feldt says you probably haven't heard of 22Q but it occurs at nearly the same rate as Down Syndrome.

"Twenty-two-Q means that there's a change on the 22nd chromosome, and either there's a deletion - meaning that part of that genetic material is missing - or there's an extra piece," he explains.

Feldt says the Super Q Express clinic is now seeing patients from Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and even California.

Feldt says no parent likes to hear that their child is sick, but he often finds that a definitive diagnosis can provide enormous relief. Plus, he notes, the all-encompassing services they're able to provide help families strategically and efficiently fight the disease.

Feldt says Super Q Express brings cardiology, immunology and a variety of other specialists together in a place where a medical coordinator can plan approaches with families. That, he says, makes a big impact.

"We can now start to be very proactive in terms of making sure that we're aware or screening for possible things that might happen in the near future or even in the distant future," says Feldt.

Because 22Q creates so many different challenges, it's often misdiagnosed until genetic testing is done.

Kevin Patrick Allen, Public News Service - MO