Meet Dr. Sarah S. Field

CHOC Children’s wants its patients and families to get to know its specialists. Today, meet Dr. Sarah Samimi Field, pediatric allergist and immunologist at CHOC Children’s. Dr. Field attended Saint Louis University School of Medicine, and trained in Internal Medicine and Pediatric/Adult Allergy and Immunology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She has been on staff at CHOC for four years.

Dr. Sarah S. Field

Q: What are your special clinical interests?

A: Eosinophilic esophagitis, asthma, urticaria, food allergy and allergic rhinitis.

Q: Are you involved in any current research?

A: We have been actively enrolling patients in research trials for asthma, chronic urticaria, eczema and allergic rhinitis for many years.

Q: Are there any new programs or developments within your specialty? 

A: Yes, in our EoE (eosinophilic esophagitis) clinic; see CHOC’s EoE website. I collaborate with gastroenterology and nutrition to offer a one-of-a kind EoE clinic for Southern California and beyond.

Q: What are your most common diagnoses?

A: Asthma, seasonal and perennial allergies, food allergy and eczema.

Q: What would you most like community/referring providers to know about you/your division at CHOC?

A: As allergists we also treat and manage asthma. We also encourage any patient with food allergy to be evaluated in our clinic for management and testing. We do a lot of education that patients and families can benefit from. In addition, we see both adult and pediatric patients in our practice.

Q: What inspires you most about the care being delivered at CHOC?

A: As a parent myself of two young children, I am always motivated to treat my patients with the same care I would want for my own family. I like to empower our patients with the information and newest research available to make the best decision for the treatment of their specific conditions or diseases. I am always humbled to take care of patients who have been part of our practice since they were children; some of them have been with us for over 30 years. Many times they bring their children, even grandchildren!

Q: At what moment did you decide you wanted to be a doctor?

A: I decided at a very young age I wanted to pursue medicine, motivated in part by my father who is also a physician.

Q: If you weren’t a physician, what would you be and why?

A: I would pursue a creative job. I love stationery and invitations. I love the sentiment and whimsical nature of a handwritten note as paper seems to be obsolete these days.

Q: What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?

A: I love spending time with my family. I’ve recently also started Pilates, and it has fast become my new favorite activity.

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What Parents Can do Now to Prevent Allergy Flares Next Holiday Season

Before hastily packing away holiday decorations into the garage, parents can take a few simple steps now to help prevent a sudden surge of allergy symptoms in children next holiday season, say CHOC allergists.

Dr. Wan-Yin Chan recommends that parents wipe down and air dry holiday decorations before packing them away to help minimize dust and mold accumulation when they return again next year. These allergens can prompt sudden allergy symptoms attacks in children, a phenomenon some doctors refer to as the “holiday effect.”

Dust from orna20130425_0505ments and decorations, mold from Christmas trees, exposure to new foods, and visits with others’ pets during the holidays can trigger these attacks in children and adults alike.

Holiday gatherings and spending more time indoors tends to expose people to other allergic triggers that they may not usually be exposed to during other times of the year,” says Dr. Sarah Field.

When the holidays roll around again next year, parents can take measures to prevent allergy and asthma symptoms.

Though comforting and festive to some, the fragrance emitted from a fresh tree may be irritating to others, and some trees may harbor mold spores, which can trigger asthma or allergies, cautions Dr. Field.

To combat this, Dr. Chan suggests adults leave a new Christmas tree to dry in the garage for a week and then shake it out before bringing into the home. Taking the same precautions recommended before packing away ornaments can also help eliminate the introduction of dust and mold into the home when decorating begins, she adds.

Traveling or even visiting homes of others can introduce other allergic or asthmatic symptoms.

Parents should ensure that children take any regular maintenance asthma and allergy medications, especially if traveling. They should also have an updated asthma action plan from their physician for asthma worsening.

Those with food allergies should inquire about ingredients in dishes served at others’ homes, Dr. Field says. Consider eating before visiting or bringing snacks from home, and be sure to bring an epinephrine autoinjector in case of accidental exposure, she says.

Children may also have an allergic reaction to new animals encountered in others’ homes, the doctors explain. Further, teenagers may suddenly experience allergy or asthma symptoms to their own pets after returning home from a semester at college. During their time away, the teen may lose tolerance to their pet. This phenomenon is called the “Thanksgiving effect,” explains Dr. Field.

Learn more about allergy and immunology at CHOC Children’s.

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