Carl R. Baum, MD, FAAP, FACMT, is a professor of pediatrics and of emergency medicine at the Yale School of Medicine. He treats pediatric emergency patients at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital and also specializes in medical toxicology, which includes the care of children with lead poisoning.
Dr. Baum says he enjoys the variety of his work in the Pediatric Emergency Department. “Every week I see something that I’ve never seen before,” he says. “We encounter everything under the sun. It’s the front door to the hospital.”
He was drawn to toxicology and environmental health because of the many ways exposure to hazardous materials such as lead (which is naturally occurring but can end up in deteriorated paint dust) can affect people of all ages and every organ system.
Dr. Baum is director of the Yale Regional Lead Treatment Center, which sees children referred from primary care providers for evaluation and management of lead poisoning. The center offers inpatient and outpatient treatment, as needed, as well as support from a social worker. “There is a renewed interest in pediatric lead poisoning, which most children in the United States get from their homes from paint dust that contains lead,” Dr. Baum says. “We teach parents about exposure routes and how to protect children from further exposure if they’re already in—as we say—a lead-infested house. Ultimately, the best solution is not to move into a house that has lead paint at all, if possible.”
In 2019, Dr. Baum was named medical director of a five-year, federally funded $12.5 million grant to address pediatric environmental health. Nationally, he also serves as a member of the executive committee of the Council on Children and Disasters (American Academy of Pediatrics), Medical Toxicology Sub-board (American Board of Pediatrics and American Board of Emergency Medicine), and the National Biodefense Science Board (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).