Banner Thunderbird launches program to evaluate sleep disorders in children

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Numerous scientific studies have proven the importance of sleep in brain development in infants, toddlers and young children. Recognizing the role of sleep in the overall health and wellness of children, Banner Thunderbird Medical Center is launching a Pediatric Sleep Medicine Program designed to identify and treat sleep-related problems in children. 

The Pediatric Sleep Medicine Program will serve children of all ages, from newborns to those 17 years old. It is scheduled to begin seeing patients on Dec. 1. 

“A number of issues can cause children to not get enough sleep or to have disruptive sleep,” said Walter Castro, MD, a pediatric pulmonologist and sleep medicine specialist with Banner Pediatric Specialists. “In turn, poor sleep can cause multiple health problems and also affect daytime functioning, including academic performance.”

Within the sleep breathing disorders, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to problems affecting the central nervous system, cardiovascular system and metabolic system, ultimately leading to reduced quality of life, he said.

“It is important to evaluate these children in a timely manner to prevent future complications,” said Dr. Castro.

Under the new West Valley program, patients will first receive a comprehensive clinic evaluation with a pediatric pulmonologist/sleep medicine specialist at the Banner Children’s Specialists clinic at 5310 W. Thunderbird Road, Suite 311, in Glendale. 

Patients requiring a sleep study will have their study performed at a newly-built, state-of-the-art pediatric sleep center located in the Banner Thunderbird Medical Pavilion, 5757 W. Thunderbird Road in Glendale. 

Registered sleep technologists at the sleep center will conduct overnight sleep studies on children, monitoring for a variety of symptoms, including excessive snoring, lapses in breathing/gasping for air, difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, trouble maintaining deep sleep, and unusual movements or behaviors during sleep. 

Pediatric sleep centers differ from adult sleep centers in that they have specific pediatric expertise in childhood and adolescent sleep disorders. Additionally, sleep studies are conducted and interpreted by a team of experienced and highly-trained pediatric sleep specialists. For more information, call 480-412-3684. 

Banner Thunderbird Medical Center specializes in heart care, surgical services, obstetrics and gynecology, Emergency care, behavioral health, cancer care and pediatrics, including the West Valley’s only pediatric intensive care unit, pediatric Emergency department and Level III neonatal intensive care unit. The hospital is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health system with 29 hospitals in seven states.