Melbourne Paediatric Specialists

 

Dr Valerie Sung

General Paediatrician, Developmental & Behavioural Paediatrician
Dr Valerie Sung

Dr Valerie Sung

MBBS (Hons) FRACP MPH PhD

General Paediatrician
Developmental & Behavioural Paediatrician

Clinical Interests

Acute and chronic medical conditions in children from birth to primary school years. Valerie has particular interests in infant crying, childhood sleep problems, childhood hearing loss, constipation, as well as developmental, behavioural and learning problems.

Background and experience

Valerie Sung is a general and behavioural/developmental paediatrician at the Royal Children’s Hospital. She is director of the Caring for Hearing Impaired Children (CHIC) clinic through the Department of General Medicine, and consultant in the Unsettled Babies Clinic through the Centre for Community Child Health. She has also worked in the Sleep Clinic and in various General Medical clinics.

Valerie is passionate about helping parents struggling with crying babies and those with sleep problems, having lived the experience herself. She is also passionate about helping families of children with permanent hearing loss and those with special needs. She is a strong advocate for optimising patient care quality and improving the health system and patient outcomes.

Valerie completed her paediatric training at the Royal Children’s Hospital in 2008. She completed a paediatric clinical and research observership at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Centre in Ohio, USA, in 2009. She obtained a Masters in Public Health from Monash University in 2010. She was awarded the Dean’s Award for Excellence in a PhD Thesis from the University of Melbourne in 2016.

Research Interests

Valerie is an active clinical researcher at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Her PhD examined the role of probiotics for infant colic, and she led an international collaboration of research in this area. Her current research passion is to find ways to optimise care for children with hearing loss to enable them to achieve their full developmental potentials, and strategies to improve patient care. Her other publications include childhood sleep and obesity.

Practice Philosophies

Being a mother of two young children, Valerie is passionate about family centred care, and enjoys working collaboratively with families to reach the best possible outcomes for the child and the family. She works closely with allied health professionals, including maternal and child health nurses, speech therapists, psychologists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists, and also liaises with preschool and school educators when needed.

MEMBERSHIPS

Valerie is a member of:

  • the Australian Newborn Hearing Screening Committee
  • the Victorian Childhood Hearing Impairment Longitudinal Databank Advisory Committee
  • the Childhood Hearing Australasian Medical Professionals Network
  • the Australian Paediatric Research Network Steering Committee and;
  • the Neurodevelopmental and Behavioural Paediatric Society of Australasia.

Publications →

  • McGann J, Manohar J, Hiscock H, O’Connor D, Hodgson J, Babl F, Sung V. Caring for Crying Babies: A mixed methods study to understand factors influencing nurses’ and doctors’ management of infant colic. Accepted for publication in Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health (1/12/2017)
  • Sung V, D’Amico F, Cabana MD, Chau K, Koren, G, Savino F, Szajewska H, Deshpande G, Dupont C, Indrio F, Mentula S, Partty A, Tancredi D. Lactobacillus reuteri to treat infant colic: A meta-analysis. Pediatrics December 2017, e20171811; doi: 10.1542/2017-1811
  • Nation ML, Dunne EM, Joseph SJ, Mensah FK, Sung V, Satzke C, Tang MLK. Impact of Lactobacillus reuteri colonization on gut microbiota, inflammation, and crying time in infant colic. Scientific Reports 2017; 7:15047. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-15404-7
  • Sung V, Cabana MD. Probiotics for colic – could the gut be responsible for infant crying afterall? The Journal of Pediatrics 2017; 191:6-8
  • Downie L, Halliday J, Burt R, Lunke S, Lynch E, Martyn M, Poulakis Z, Gaff C, Sung V, Wake M, Hunter M, Saunders K, Rose E, Rehm HL, Amor D. A protocol for whole exome sequencing in newborns with congenital deafness: a prospective population-based cohort. BMJ Paediatrics Open 2017;1:e000119. doi: 10.1136/bmjpo-2017-000119
  • Sung V, Partty A. The association between intestinal microbiota and infant crying and behaviour. In: Microbiota in health and disease: from pregnancy to childhood, Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2017 (editors Browne PD, Claassen E, Cabana MD) p219-43 [ISBN 978-90-8686-294-8]
  • Sung V, St James-Roberts I. Infant colic. In Pediatric Neurogastroenterology: Gastrointestinal Motility and Functional Disorders in Children, Second Edition, Springer International Publishing, 2017 (editors Faure C, Thapar N, Di Lorenzo C) p369-79 [ISBN 978-3-319-43268-7]
  • Sung V. Do probiotics really work for crying babies? The Digest 2015; 3(5):14
  • Sung V. Probiotic interventions in infantile colic. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2015; 18:307-311. Doi:10.1097/MCO.0000000000000157
  • Sung V, Cabana MD, D’Amico F, Deshpande G, Dupont C, Indrio F, Mentula S, Partty A, Savino F, Szajewska H, Tancredi D. Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 for managing infant colic: protocol for an individual participant data meta-analysis. BMJ Open 2014,4:e006475
  • Sung V, Hiscock H, Tang MLK, Mensah FK, Nation ML, Satzke C, Heine RG, Stock A, Barr RG, Wake M. Treating infant colic with the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri: a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial. BMJ 2014;348:g2107
  • Sung V, Collett S, de Gooyer T, Tang M, Hiscock H, Wake M.  Probiotics to prevent or treat excessive infant crying: systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatrics 167(12): 1150-1157. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.2572
  • Sung V, Hiscock H, Tang M, Mensah F, Heine RG, Stock A, York E, Barr RG, Wake M. Probiotics to improve outcomes of colic in the community: Protocol for the Baby Biotics randomised controlled trial. BMC Pediatrics 2012, 12:135 doi:10.1186/1471-2431-12-135
  • Chan EK, Quach J, Mensah FK, Sung V, Cheung M, Wake M. Dark chocolate for children’s blood pressure: randomised trial. Archives of Disease in Childhood 2012; doi:10.1136/archdischild-2011-301305
  • Sung V, Beebe DW, VanDyke R, Fenchel MC, Crimmins NA, Kirk S, Hiscock H, Amin R, Wake M. Does sleep duration predict metabolic risk in obese adolescents attending tertiary services? A cross-sectional study. Sleep 2011;34(7):891-898
  • Sung V, Cranswick N. Cough and cold remedies for children under 2 years. The Australian Prescriber, October 2009;32:122-4.
  • Sung V, Hiscock H, Sciberras E, Efron D. Sleep problems in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Prevalence and the effect on the child and family. Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine 2008;162(4):336-42
  • Sung V, Massie J, Robertson C, Hoffman M, Carlin J, Jamsen K. Measurement of the inspired oxygen concentration delivered by nasal cannula in children with bronchiolitis. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 2008;44(1-2):14-18
  • Warne G, Sung V, Raza SJ, Khan YN, Armstrong K. Application for inclusion of Hydrocortisone tablets in the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children (July 2008). Submitted by the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), Melbourne, Australia, the National Institute of Child Health (NICH), Karachi, Pakistan, and Caring & Living As Neighbours (CLAN), Australia, to the Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines, Children’s Essential Medicines List, World Health Organization, Geneva. http://www.who.int/selection_medicines/committees/subcommittee/2/HYDRO.pdf
  • Warne G, Sung V, Raza SJ, Khan YN, Armstrong K. Application for inclusion of Fludrocortisone tablets in the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children (July 2008). Submitted by the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), Melbourne, Australia, the National Institute of Child Health (NICH), Karachi, Pakistan, and Caring & Living As Neighbours (CLAN), Australia, to the Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines, Children’s Essential Medicines List, World Health Organization, Geneva. http://www.who.int/selection_medicines/committees/subcommittee/2/FLUDRO.pdf
  • Sung V, John N, Oberklaid F. Managing encopresis. Therapy Update: The Australian Doctor. 15th March 2007. http://www.australiandoctor.com.au/clinical/therapy-update/managing-encopresis
  • Sung V, Hutson JM. A novel way to diagnose cystic fibrosis in the neonate with a bowel obstruction and possible meconium ileus. Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health 2003;39(9):720
  • Sung V, O’Brien D, Matchett E, Brown G, Torresi J. Dengue fever in travellers returning from Southest Asia. Journal of Travel Medicine 2003;10(4):208-13

Presentations →

  • Royal Children’s Hospital GP Education Event, 18th November 2017. “Unsettled infant” (invited speaker)
  • Deafness Foundation Inaugural Hearing Symposium: current themes in permanent childhood hearing loss, 25th August 2017. “Medical guidelines for investigating childhood hearing loss; the CHAMP network” (invited speaker)
  • Royal Children’s Hospital Grand Round, 23rd August 2017. “Hearing Awareness Week” (invited speaker)
  • 13th International Infant Cry Workshop, Rovereto, Italy, 6th – 8th July 2017. “Is Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 effective for the treatment of infant colic? Results from an international individual participant data meta-analysis (IPDMA)” (oral presentation)
  • 13th International Infant Cry Workshop, Rovereto, Italy, 6th – 8th July 2017. “Behavioural outcomes of infant colic in toddlerhood: a longitudinal study” (oral presentation)
  • 13th International Infant Cry Workshop, Rovereto, Italy, 6th – 8th July 2017. “Caring for Crying Babies: understanding clinician management of crying babies” (poster presentation)
  • University of California San Francisco, Pediatric Grand Rounds. “Are probiotics the miracle cure for colic?” San Francisco, 4th May 2017 (invited speaker)
  • Child Language Centre of Research Excellence Symposium. “Childhood hearing loss research: clinical and population approaches in Victoria.” Melbourne, 20th April 2017. (invited speaker)
  • Director’s Forum, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. “Giving every child with hearing loss the best chance” (invited speaker), 1st December 2016.
  • Healthy Hearing Symposium. “Paediatric hearing services and research in Victoria: towards a personalised predictive tool to direct counseling and management”, 21st October 2016, Brisbane, Australia.
  • Medical Parents of Australia and New Zealand conference. “Coping with the baby who doesn’t sleep” (invited speaker), 22nd October 2016, Cairns, Australia.
  • Melbourne Paediatric Specialists Paediatric in Practice for the Busy GP. “Unsettled babies” (invited speaker), 27th August 2016, Melbourne, Australia
  • International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics. “Is Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 effective for the treatment of infant colic? Results from an international individual participant data meta-analysis” (workshop presentation), 7-9th June, Turku, Finland.
  • Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting. “Is Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 effective for the treatment of infant colic? Results from an international individual participant data meta-analysis” (Platform presentation), 1st May 2016, Baltimore, USA.
  • Maternal and Child Health Nurses Study Day (Invited lecturer) “The Unsettled Infant”, 1st October 2015
  • Clinical Paediatric Update 2015, The Royal Children’s Hospital, 31st May 2015. (Invited speaker/panel member) Dealing with the irritable infant.
  • Mercy Hospital Grand Rounds (Invited speaker). 28th May 2015. Managing infant crying, feeding and sleep problems.
  • General Practitioners Education Session (CME) – Medical One Sydenham. 26th May 2015 (Invited speaker) Dealing with the unwell child.
  • The 12th International Infant Cry Workshop, Warwick, UK, July 2014. “Treating Infant Colic with the Probiotic Lactobacillus Reuteri: A Randomised Double−Blind Placebo Controlled Trial”
  • PhD Completion Seminar, Royal Children’s Hospital, 16th April 2014
  • Three Minute Publication, Population Health Theme, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, 27th November 2013 (3rd prize) “Probiotics to prevent or treat excessive infant crying: systematic review and meta-analysis”
  • Three Minute Thesis Finals, Campus Research and Education Week, Royal Children’s Hospital, 25th October 2013. “Probiotics – the next natural miracle for colic?”
  • Invitated speaker for “Student gladiators, the best of the best”, Campus Research and Education Week, Royal Children’s Hospital, 23rd October 2013. “Treating Infant Colic with the Probiotic Lactobacillus Reuteri: A Randomised Double−Blind Placebo Controlled Trial”
  • Children’s Campus Research Students’ Association, Student Symposium, Royal Children’s Hospital, 20th September 2013. “Treating Infant Colic with the Probiotic Lactobacillus Reuteri: A Randomised Double−Blind Placebo Controlled Trial”
  • The International Congress of Pediatrics, 24th – 29th August 2013. Treating Infant Colic with the Probiotic Lactobacillus Reuteri: A Randomised Double−Blind Placebo Controlled Trial (Rue Wright Award Finalist among >2000 abstracts)
  • Three Minute Thesis “Probiotics – the next natural miracle for colic?”, 28th August 2013, University of Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital (2nd prize)
  • Royal Children’s Hospital Grand Round, 7th August 2013. “Early probiotic interventions in the first 100 days… A natural miracle for infant colic?” (Invited speaker, co-presented with Prof Michael Cabana)
  • EMCRA&PSA Poster Symposium, Thursday 4thJuly 2013. Probiotics for Infant Colic: Systematic Review and Meta−Analysis (poster presentation)
  • The Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, Washington DC, USA, May 2013. Treating Infant Colic with the Probiotic Lactobacillus Reuteri: A Randomised Double−Blind Placebo Controlled Trial (platform presentation) – awarded the Society for Pediatric Research Student Research Award.
  • The Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, Washington DC, USA, May 2013. Probiotics for Infant Colic: Systematic Review and Meta−Analysis (poster presentation)
  • Nestle Nutrition Education Seminar for Health Professionals, Melbourne, 19th September 2012. “Crying babies, a paediatric perspective” (Invited speaker) Frankston Arts Centre, Frankston, Victoria, Australia
  • VicFEAT (Paediatric Further Education and Training)15th August 2012, Melbourne. The irritable and unsettled infant: approach to management. Presenters: Harriet Hiscock, Valerie Sung, Ralf Heine. (Invited speaker)
  • Nestle Nutrition Education Seminar for Health Professionals, Melbourne, 14th June 2012. “Crying babies, a paediatric perspective” (Invited speaker) Moonee Valley Racecourse, Moonee Ponds, Victoria, Australia
  • The Royal Australasian College of Physicians Congress, Brisbane, May 2012. Probiotics – the next natural miracle? (Invited speaker, sunrise session)
  • The Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada, May 2010. Does sleep duration predict metabolic risk in obese adolescents?
  • The World Congress in Internal Medicine, Melbourne, March 2010. Does sleep duration predict metabolic risk in obese adolescents? “Best Poster Prize in Paediatrics and Child Health Division” winner (prize: $1500).
  • Hope Clinic, Macau, December 2009. Paediatric seizures. Lecture to general practitioners in rural areas. (Invited speaker)
  • Advanced Trainee Research Presentations, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, 2008. Do sleep problems cause additional impairment for children with ADHD and their families?
  • The Royal Australasian College of Physicians Congress, Melbourne, May 2007. Do sleep problems cause additional impairment for children with ADHD and their families? “Blackwell New Investigator Award” finalist.
  • The Royal Australasian College of Physicians Annual Scientific Meeting, Canberra, May 2004. Measurement of the inspired oxygen concentration delivered by nasal cannula in children with bronchiolitis. “Best Poster Prize” finalist.

Selected Media & Articles →

Hospitals Accredited

  • Royal Children’s Hospital

Additional Articles & Resources:

Treating infant colic with the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri: double blind, placebo controlled randomised trial.