In the Spotlight: Dr Olga Kapellou
I am a consultant paediatrician and neonatologist, and I look after children from birth to age 16. Ever since medical school, I have been particularly fascinated by babies, and now I work with parents to help their babies and older children thrive and achieve their potential.
With a special interest in newborns and children’s growth, I have found that effective care for a child is a combination of both pathology and wellness. I look at not only their medical indicators, but also their nutritional status, their diet, family history and the psychology of the child. All these factors play an important role in assessing the child’s health and determining the correct set of actions.
My interest in a child’s growth starts by monitoring or reviewing their growth rates from infancy. By plotting appropriate growth charts and filling in the gaps based on my experience, I can quickly assess a child’s condition. It is important for me to help the parents and the child understand when they have hit growth milestones and to help to give them confidence that they are doing well.
For instance, sometimes a child’s growth rate may slow down when they go to nursery, or if they get a virus or complication such as an ear infection. This is normal, but by talking to the parents and explaining the situation, I can reassure them and guide them in what they need to do to support their child.
People often say that working with children is difficult because they cannot tell you exactly what is wrong, but I have found that by looking at and examining the child, by talking to the parents to understand any anxieties or concerns they may have and by monitoring their growth, I can find out so much about the child’s health. At all stages, I make sure that the parents fully understand the nature of any condition and that they are onboard with the recommended course of action. After all, the parents are the ones who look after the child every day and are best placed to make sure the child is improving.
I am delighted to see patients at London Medical. It is a friendly and caring environment with excellent facilities. The nursing staff are very good at supporting the children, especially when the child needs more complex nursing care.
It is a privilege to help babies and children; I am passionate about applying a holistic approach to the child and family needs, and developing care plans for the children in a family-centred way.