Publications by authors named "Angela Ellison"

38 Publications

Diagnosis and Management of Pediatric Venous Thromboembolism: New Therapies on the Horizon.

Pediatr Emerg Care 2021 May;37(5):273-279

Abstract: The incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) is increasing in pediatric patients. Prompt recognition and evaluation of VTE in young patients could prevent significant morbidity or mortality. In contrast to VTE in adults, current treatment guidelines are largely based on expert opinion as limited randomized controlled trial data exist about the appropriate management in pediatric patients with traditional anticoagulants. However, recently approved direct-acting oral anticoagulants in adults are also being investigated in pediatric VTE and these data could inform future evidence-based treatment principles. Thus, healthcare providers must be well informed about the management of pediatric VTE and the data from these trials to date. This continuing medical education article will provide a summary of management of pediatric VTE with particular emphasis on emerging direct-acting oral anticoagulants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PEC.0000000000002431DOI Listing
May 2021

CTA utilization for evaluation of suspected pulmonary embolism in a tertiary pediatric emergency department.

Clin Imaging 2021 Jul 4;75:105-110. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Department of Radiology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3401 Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States of America.

Objective: To evaluate changes in the utilization of computed tomography angiography (CTA) for evaluating suspected pulmonary embolism (PE) and the positive rate of ancillary for those studies negative for PE in the last 13 years.

Materials And Methods: A retrospective review of patient ≤ 20 years of age who underwent a chest CT angiography to rule out PE was performed in a 13-year-period. CT angiographies were grouped into three categories: Positive for PE, negative for PE and positive for ancillary findings, and negative for any pathology. From the exams with ancillary findings, we examined how many of these had a chest radiograph perform within 24 h prior to the CTA and how many of them had an impression stating the same conclusion as the CTA.

Results: 307 chest CT angiographies for suspected PE were included. 50 (16%) were reported as positive for PE and 91 (30%) were negative for PE but positive for ancillary findings. The most frequent ancillary findings were pneumonia (n = 26) and pleural effusion (n = 11). Out of 91, 73 patients had a previous chest radiograph and 28 of them reported a similar diagnosis than the CTA. The number of CT angiographies indicated for PE increased by 3.2 studies per year. The rate of CT angiographies positive for ancillary findings (slope = 1.5) and positive for PE (slope = 0.3) remained similar throughout the same period.

Conclusions: CTA orders for PE have been increasing without any increased detection of PE or ancillary findings in children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinimag.2020.12.024DOI Listing
July 2021

Experiences of underrepresented faculty in pediatric emergency medicine.

Acad Emerg Med 2020 Dec 8. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California at Davis, Sacramento, CA, USA.

Objective: The aim of this study is to elucidate the unique challenges faced by pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) physicians from racial/ethnic groups underrepresented in medicine (URiM).

Methods: This study is a subanalysis of data from 18 URiM faculty from a sample of 51 semistructured key informant interviews with PEM faculty in the top NIH-funded pediatric departments and highest-volume pediatric EDs in the country. Faculty are from eight hospitals representing a spectrum of geographic locations including the northeastern, midwestern, western, and southern regions of the country.

Results: Of 18 study participants, the majority were Black (72.2%) and female (83.3%). Three main thematic categories were identified: challenges related to race, support systems, and suggested strategies to improve diversity and inclusion in PEM. A common race-related experience was microaggressions from colleagues and patients. Additionally, when attempting to lead and assert themselves, URiM women in particular were perceived as "angry" and "intimidating" in a way that non-URiM peers were not. As a result of these negative experiences, participants described the need to go above and beyond to prove themselves. Such pressure produced stress and feelings of isolation. Participants combatted these stressors through resilience strategies such as formal mentorship and peer and family support. Participants indicated the need to increase diversity and create more inclusive work environments, which would benefit both URiM physician wellness and the diverse patients they serve.

Conclusion: Those URiM in PEM face subtle racial discrimination at an institutional, peer, and patient level. The stress caused by this discrimination may further contribute to physician burnout in PEM. While URiMs adopt individual resilience strategies, their unique challenges suggest the need for departmental and institutional efforts to promote greater diversity and inclusion for physician wellness, retention, and quality patient care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acem.14191DOI Listing
December 2020

A Multiyear Cross-sectional Study of Guideline Adherence for the Timeliness of Opioid Administration in Children With Sickle Cell Pain Crisis.

Ann Emerg Med 2020 09;76(3S):S6-S11

Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI.

Study Objective: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute evidence-based guidelines for timeliness of opioid administration for sickle cell disease (SCD) pain crises recommend an initial opioid within 1 hour of arrival, with subsequent dosing every 30 minutes until pain is controlled. No multisite studies have evaluated guideline adherence, to our knowledge. Our objective was to determine guideline adherence across a multicenter network.

Methods: We conducted a multiyear cross-sectional analysis of children with SCD who presented between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2018, to 7 emergency departments (EDs) within the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network. Visits for uncomplicated pain crisis were included, defined with an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) and ICD-10 code for SCD crisis and receipt of an opioid, excluding visits with other SCD complications or temperature exceeding 38.5°C (101.3°F). Times were extracted from the electronic record. Guideline adherence was assessed across sites and calendar years.

Results: A total of 4,578 visits were included. The median time to first opioid receipt was 62 minutes (interquartile range 42 to 93 minutes); between the first and second opioid receipt, 60 minutes (interquartile range 39 to 93 minutes). Overall, 48% of visits (95% confidence interval 47% to 50%) were guideline adherent for first opioid. Of 3,538 visits with a second opioid, 15% (95% confidence interval 14% to 16%) were guideline adherent. Site variation in adherence existed for time to first opioid (range 22% to 70%) and time between first and second opioid (range 2% to 36%; both P<.001). There was no change in timeliness to first dose or time between doses across years (P>.05 for both).

Conclusion: Guideline adherence for timeliness of SCD treatment is poor, with half of visits adherent for time to first opioid and one seventh adherent for second dose. Dissemination and implementation research/quality improvement efforts are critical to improve care across EDs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.annemergmed.2020.08.006DOI Listing
September 2020

Perspectives on Urinary Tract Infection and Race.

JAMA Pediatr 2020 09;174(9):911

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California at Davis, Sacramento.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.1159DOI Listing
September 2020

Prepectoral Dual-Port Tissue Expander Placement: Can This Eliminate Suction Drain Use?

Ann Plast Surg 2020 07;85(S1 Suppl 1):S60-S62

From the Division of Plastic Surgery.

Objectives: The most common method of performing breast reconstruction after a mastectomy is using tissue expanders. Significant drainage that can lead to seromas and possible infection is a common sequela after mastectomies, and therefore, closed suction drains are routinely placed during the initial surgery (Vardanian et al. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2011;128:403-410). Drains, however, are associated with increased pain and discomfort for the patient and have been attributed to an increased infection rate by some authors (Degnim et al. Ann Surg. 2013;258:240-247; Saratzis et al. Clin Breast Cancer. 2009;9:243-246). We report on our experience using a dual-chamber tissue expander placed in the prepectoral space without acellular dermal matrix or other supportive material, which allows for drainage of periprosthetic fluid and avoids drain placement.

Patients And Methods: A retrospective, single-institution review of patients' records was performed for all patients who underwent prepectoral tissue expander placement between January 2018 and June 2019. Patients who had drains placed or who underwent autologous reconstruction in combination with expander placement were excluded. Thirty-nine patients were selected, with a total of 66 expander placements. Demographics including body mass index, comorbidities, history of smoking or steroid use, perioperative chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and intraoperative details and indications for surgery were retrospectively collected. Outcomes were separated into minor and major complications. Major complications were defined as complications that required surgical intervention.

Results: There were 51 prepectoral reconstructions with a dual-chamber tissue expander and no further surgical drain and 15 reconstructions using a standard expander with an additional closed suction drain. Overall complications for the no-drain cohort were 13.7% compared with 20% in the drain cohort (P = 0.68). Surgical site infection rate is 7.84% in the no-drain cohort compared with 13.3% in the drain cohort (P = 0.61). Mean numeric postoperative pain score at 6 hours was 3.2 in the no-drain cohort compared with 4.3 in the drain cohort (P = 0.03) and 4.17 compared with 5.6 at 12 hours, respectively (P = 0.04). Mean time to exchange of implant in the no-drain cohort was 152 days versus 126 days in the drain cohort (P = 0.38). Median follow-up times were 157 days for the no-drain cohort and 347 days for the drain cohort.

Conclusions: Immediate breast reconstruction using a dual-chamber tissue expander offers a drain-free alternative to the immediate implant-based breast reconstruction. Our infection rate with 7.8% is lower than our own reported rates with subpectoral tissue expander reconstruction using either acellular dermal matrix or poly-4-hydroxybutyrate (17% and 11%). The overall complication rate is similar to historic data associated with breast reconstruction after mastectomy and suggests that dual-chamber expander placement offers a safe alternative possibly decreasing the patient's postoperative pain and discomfort that often is associated with closed suction drains (Saratzis et al. Clin Breast Cancer. 2009;9:243-246).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SAP.0000000000002344DOI Listing
July 2020

Clinical variables that increase the probability of pulmonary embolism diagnosis in symptomatic children.

Res Pract Thromb Haemost 2020 Jan 26;4(1):124-130. Epub 2019 Oct 26.

Department of Emergency Medicine Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis IN USA.

Background: Pulmonary embolism (PE) in children carries a significant morbidity and mortality. We examined previously described factors in 2 cohorts of children tested for PE and identified novel factors.

Methods: We combined data from 2 retrospective cohorts. Patients up to age 21 years were included who underwent imaging or D-dimer testing for PE, with positive radiologic testing being the gold standard. Combined predictor variables were examined by univariate analysis and then forward stepwise multivariable logistic regression.

Results: The combined data set yielded 1103 patients with 42 unique predictor variables, and 93 PE-positive patients (8.4%), with a median age of 16 years. Univariate analysis retained 17 variables, and multivariable logistic regression found 9 significant variables with increased probability of PE diagnosis: age-adjusted tachycardia, tachypnea, hypoxia, unilateral limb swelling, trauma/surgery requiring hospitalization in previous 4 weeks, prior thromboembolism, cancer, anemia, and leukocytosis.

Conclusion: This combined data set of children with suspected PE discovered factors that may contribute to a diagnosis of PE: hypoxia, unilateral limb swelling, trauma/surgery requiring hospitalization in previous 4 weeks, prior thromboembolism, and cancer, age-adjusted tachycardia, tachypnea, anemia, and leukocytosis. Prospective testing is needed to determine which criteria should be used to initiate diagnostic testing for PE in children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rth2.12265DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6971320PMC
January 2020

Hydroxyurea Use for Sickle Cell Disease Among Medicaid-Enrolled Children.

Pediatrics 2019 07;144(1)

Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Background: Recent publications should have resulted in increased hydroxyurea usage in children with sickle cell disease (SCD). We hypothesized that hydroxyurea use in children with SCD increased over time and was associated with decreased acute care visits.

Methods: This was a secondary analysis of the Truven Health Analytics-IBM Watson Health MarketScan Medicaid database from 2009 to 2015. The multistate, population-based cohort included children 1 to 19 years old with an or diagnosis of SCD between 2009 and 2015. Changes in hydroxyurea were measured across study years. The primary outcome was the receipt of hydroxyurea, identified through filled prescription claims. Acute care visits (emergency department visits and hospitalizations) were extracted from billing data.

Results: A mean of 5138 children each year were included. Hydroxyurea use increased from 14.3% in 2009 to 28.2% in 2015 ( < .001). During the study period, the acute-care-visit rate decreased from 1.20 acute care visits per person-year in 2009 to 1.04 acute care visits per person-year in 2015 ( < .001); however, the drop in acute care visits was exclusively in the youngest and oldest age groups and was not seen when only children enrolled continuously from 2009 to 2015 were analyzed.

Conclusions: There was a significant increase in hydroxyurea use in children with SCD between 2009 and 2015. However, in 2015, only ∼1 in 4 children with SCD received hydroxyurea at least once. Increases in hydroxyurea were not associated with consistently decreased acute care visits in this population-based study of children insured by Medicaid.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2018-3285DOI Listing
July 2019

Normal saline bolus use in pediatric emergency departments is associated with poorer pain control in children with sickle cell anemia and vaso-occlusive pain.

Am J Hematol 2019 06 29;94(6):689-696. Epub 2019 Apr 29.

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.

Vaso-occlusive pain events (VOE) are the leading cause of emergency department (ED) visits in sickle cell anemia (SCA). This study assessed the variability in use of intravenous fluids (IVFs), and the association of normal saline bolus (NSB), on pain and other clinical outcomes in children with SCA, presenting to pediatric emergency departments (PED) with VOE. Four-hundred charts of children age 3-21 years with SCA/VOE receiving parenteral opioids at 20 high-volume PEDs were evaluated in a retrospective study. Data on type and amount of IVFs used were collected. Patients were divided into two groups: those who received NSB and those who did not. The association of NSB use on change in pain scores and admission rates was evaluated. Among 400 children studied, 261 (65%) received a NSB. Mean age was 13.8 ± 4.9 years; 46% were male; 92% had hemoglobin-SS. The IVFs (bolus and/or maintenance) were used in 84% of patients. Eight different types of IVFs were utilized and IVF volume administered varied widely. Mean triage pain scores were similar between groups, but improvement in pain scores from presentation-to-ED-disposition was smaller in the NSB group (2.2 vs 3.0, P = .03), while admission rates were higher (71% vs 59%, P = .01). Use of NSB remained associated with poorer final pain scores and worse change in pain scores in our multivariable model. In conclusion, wide variations in practice utilizing IVFs are common. NSB is given to >50% of children with SCA/VOE, but is associated with poorer pain control; a controlled prospective trial is needed to determine causality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.25471DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6510594PMC
June 2019

Practice Variation in Emergency Department Management of Children With Sickle Cell Disease Who Present With Fever.

Pediatr Emerg Care 2018 Aug;34(8):574-577

Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

Objectives: Urgent medical evaluation is recommended for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) and fever. Clear recommendations exist regarding certain aspects of treatment, but other areas lack evidence. We determined practice variation for children with SCD presenting with fever to the emergency department (ED).

Methods: Retrospective chart review of children ages 3 months to 21 years with SCD presenting to the ED with fever greater than or equal to 38.5°C in the ED or preceding 24 hours. Visits from 3 sickle cell centers were included. Outcomes included blood culture, complete blood count, antibiotic treatment, chest x-ray, urinalysis, electrolytes, and hospital disposition. Differences greater than 10% were considered clinically meaningful.

Results: The population included 14,454 visits, of which 4143 (29%) were febrile and met all inclusion criteria. A complete blood count and blood culture were obtained at 94% of visits, and antibiotics were given at 91%, with no differences among sites. Meaningful differences existed for disposition, with 52%, 43%, and 99% of patients admitted to the inpatient units at hospitals A, B, and C, respectively. Differences were seen in obtaining a urinalysis (33%, 17%, and 21%), electrolytes (2%, 50%, and 12%), and chest x-rays for patients 2 years and older (78%, 77%, 64%) for hospitals A, B, and C, respectively.

Conclusions: Significant variation exists in the proportion of children who receive a urinalysis, electrolytes, chest x-ray, and, most importantly, admission to the hospital. These examples of practice variation represent potential opportunities to define best care practices for children with SCD presenting to the ED for fever.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PEC.0000000000001569DOI Listing
August 2018

Evaluation of the pulmonary embolism rule out criteria (PERC rule) in children evaluated for suspected pulmonary embolism.

Thromb Res 2018 08 24;168:1-4. Epub 2018 May 24.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, United States.

Background: The pulmonary embolism rule out criteria (PERC) reliably predicts a low probability of PE in adults. We examine the diagnostic accuracy of the objective components of the PERC rule in children previously tested for PE.

Methods: Children aged 5-17 who had a D-dimer or pulmonary vascular imaging ordered from 2004 to 2014 in a large multicenter hospital network were identified by query of administrative databases. Using explicit, predefined methods, trained abstracters selected charts of children clearly tested for PE, collected the 8 objective variables for PERC, and determined PE criterion standard status (image or autopsy confirmed PE or deep vein thrombosis within 30 days by query of the Indiana Network for Patient Care (INPC)).

Results: We identified 543 patients, including 56 (10.3%, 95% CI: 7.8-13.1%) who were PE+, with a mean and median age of 15 years. All 8 objective criteria from PERC were negative in 170 patients (31%), including one with PE (false negative rate 0.6%, 0-3.2%). Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity were 98.2% (90.5-100%), and 34.7 (30.5-39.1%), respectively, leading to a likelihood ratio negative = 0.05 (0.1-0.27). When treated as a diagnostic test based upon sum of criteria positive, PERC had good discrimination between PE+ vs PE- with an area under receiver operating characteristic curve 0.81 (0.75-0.86).

Conclusions: In this sample of children and teenagers with suspected PE, the PERC rule was negative in 31%, and demonstrated good overall diagnostic accuracy, including a low false negative rate. These data support the need for a large, prospective diagnostic validation study of PERC in children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.thromres.2018.05.026DOI Listing
August 2018

A Standardized Clinical Pathway to Decrease Hospital Admissions Among Febrile Children With Sickle Cell Disease.

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2018 03;40(2):111-115

Divisions of Emergency Medicine.

Background And Objective: Recurrent hospital admissions for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) are costly and contribute to a low quality of life for patients. We implemented a clinical pathway to safely discharge SCD patients with fever who are evaluated in the emergency department (ED) of a large tertiary care center.

Methods: An interdisciplinary team of ED and hematology physicians, nurses, and an improvement advisor developed a clinical pathway that identified febrile SCD patients at low risk of serious bacterial infection based on historical, clinical, and laboratory criteria who could be discharged from the ED. Phone follow-up was planned through the use of an automated electronic notification that was sent to an established hematology follow-up pool at the time of ED discharge. We conducted two "fake front end" trials in the ED to receive feedback on our process before full implementation. A postpathway implementation quality improvement team monitored discharge rates, phone follow-up rates and adverse events.

Results: In the first 9 weeks postpathway implementation, 100 SCD patients were evaluated for fever; 84 (24%) met low-risk criteria and were discharged home. This reduction in admission rate has been maintained throughout the 3 years postimplementation. Successful phone follow-up was achieved in all discharged patients within 24 hours and no adverse events were identified.

Conclusions: Low-risk febrile patients with SCD can be safely discharged from the ED. An automated notification system within the electronic medical record system can facilitate patient follow-up after ED discharge. Future quality improvement efforts aimed to further reduce admissions in this population should target patients with modifiable risk factors for serious bacterial infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPH.0000000000001052DOI Listing
March 2018

Implicit Bias in Pediatric Academic Medicine.

J Natl Med Assoc 2017 Autumn;109(3):156-163. Epub 2017 Apr 14.

Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, USA; Philadelphia VA Center for Health Equity Research & Promotion, 3900 Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Objective: Despite known benefits of diversity, certain racial/ethnic groups remain underrepresented in academic pediatrics. Little research exists regarding unconscious racial attitudes among pediatric faculty responsible for decisions on workforce recruitment and retention in academia. This study sought to describe levels of unconscious racial bias and perceived barriers to minority recruitment and retention among academic pediatric faculty leaders.

Methods: Authors measured unconscious racial bias in a sample of pediatric faculty attending diversity workshops conducted at local and national meetings in 2015. A paper version of the validated Implicit Association Test (IAT) measured unconscious racial bias. Subjects also reported perceptions about minority recruitment and retention.

Results: Of 68 eligible subjects approached, 58 (85%) consented and completed the survey with IAT. Of participants, 83% had leadership roles and 93% were involved in recruitment. Participants had slight pro-white/anti-black bias on the IAT (M = 0.28, SD = 0.49). There were similar IAT scores among participants in leadership roles (M = 0.33, SD = 0.47) and involved in recruitment (M = 0.28, SD = 0.43). Results did not differ when comparing participants in local workshops to the national workshop (n = 36, M = 0.29, SD = 0.40 and n = 22, M = 0.27, SD = 0.49 respectively; p = 0.88). Perceived barriers to minority recruitment and retention included lack of minority mentors, poor recruitment efforts, and lack of qualified candidates.

Conclusions: Unconscious pro-white/anti-black racial bias was identified in this sample of academic pediatric faculty and leaders. Further research is needed to examine how unconscious bias impacts decisions in academic pediatric workforce recruitment. Addressing unconscious bias and perceived barriers to minority recruitment and retention represent opportunities to improve diversity efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnma.2017.03.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5710818PMC
July 2019

Association of Guideline-Adherent Antibiotic Treatment With Readmission of Children With Sickle Cell Disease Hospitalized With Acute Chest Syndrome.

JAMA Pediatr 2017 11;171(11):1090-1099

Division of Hospital Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Importance: Acute chest syndrome (ACS) is a common, serious complication of sickle cell disease (SCD) and a leading cause of hospitalization and death in both children and adults with SCD. Little is known about the effectiveness of guideline-recommended antibiotic regimens for the care of children hospitalized with ACS.

Objectives: To use a large, national database to describe patterns of antibiotic use for children with SCD hospitalized for ACS and to determine whether receipt of guideline-adherent antibiotics was associated with lower readmission rates.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Retrospective cohort study including 14 480 hospitalizations in 7178 children (age 0-22 years) with a discharge diagnosis of SCD and either ACS or pneumonia. Information was obtained from 41 children's hospitals submitting data to the Pediatric Health Information System from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2016.

Exposures: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute guideline-adherent (macrolide with parenteral cephalosporin) vs non-guideline-adherent antibiotic regimens.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Acute chest syndrome-related and all-cause 7- and 30-day readmissions.

Results: Of the 14 480 hospitalizations, 6562 (45.3%) were in girls; median (interquartile range) age was 9 (4-14) years. Guideline-adherent antibiotics were provided in 10 654 of 14 480 hospitalizations for ACS (73.6%). Hospitalizations were most likely to include guideline-adherent antibiotics for children aged 5 to 9 years (3230 of 4047 [79.8%]) and declined to the lowest level for children 19 to 22 years (697 of 1088 [64.1%]). Between-hospital variation in antibiotic regimens was wide, with use of guideline-adherent antibiotics ranging from 24% to 90%. Children treated with guideline-adherent antibiotics had lower 30-day ACS-related (odds ratio [OR], 0.71; 95% CI, 0.50-1.00) and all-cause (OR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.39-0.64) readmission rates vs children who received other regimens (cephalosporin and macrolide vs neither drug class).

Conclusions And Relevance: Current approaches to antibiotic treatment in children with ACS vary widely, but guideline-adherent therapy appears to result in fewer readmissions compared with non-guideline-adherent therapy. Efforts to increase the dissemination and implementation of SCD treatment guidelines are warranted as is comparative effectiveness research to strengthen the underlying evidence base.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.2526DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5710371PMC
November 2017

Determining the longitudinal validity and meaningful differences in HRQL of the PedsQL™ Sickle Cell Disease Module.

Health Qual Life Outcomes 2017 Jun 12;15(1):124. Epub 2017 Jun 12.

Medical College of Wisconsin, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.

Background: Detecting change in health status over time and ascertaining meaningful changes are critical elements when using health-related quality of life (HRQL) instruments to measure patient-centered outcomes. The PedsQL™ Sickle Cell Disease module, a disease specific HRQL instrument, has previously been shown to be valid and reliable. Our objectives were to determine the longitudinal validity of the PedsQL™ Sickle Cell Disease module and the change in HRQL that is meaningful to patients.

Methods: An ancillary study was conducted utilizing a multi-center prospective trial design. Children ages 4-21 years with sickle cell disease admitted to the hospital for an acute painful vaso-oclusive crisis were eligible. Children completed HRQL assessments at three time points (in the Emergency Department, one week post-discharge, and at return to baseline (One to three months post-discharge). The primary outcome was change in HRQL score. Both distribution (effect size, standard error of measurement (SEM)) and anchor (global change assessment) based methods were used to determine the longitudinal validity and meaningful change in HRQL. Changes in HRQL meaningful to patients were identified by anchoring the change scores to the patient's perception of global improvement in pain.

Results: Moderate effect sizes (0.20-0.80) were determined for all domains except the Communication I and Cognitive Fatigue domains. The value of 1 SEM varied from 3.8-14.6 across all domains. Over 50% of patients improved by at least 1 SEM in Total HRQL score. A HRQL change score of 7-10 in the pain domains represented minimal perceived improvement in HRQL and a HRQL change score of 18 or greater represented moderate to large improvement.

Conclusions: The PedsQL™ Sickle Cell Disease Module is responsive to changes in HRQL in patients experiencing acute painful vaso-occlusive crises. The study data establish longitudinal validity and meaningful change parameters for the PedsQL™ Sickle Cell Disease Module.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov (study identifier: NCT01197417 ). Date of registration: 08/30/2010.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12955-017-0700-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5468970PMC
June 2017

Which Febrile Children With Sickle Cell Disease Need a Chest X-Ray?

Acad Emerg Med 2016 11 1;23(11):1248-1256. Epub 2016 Nov 1.

Pediatric Emergency Medicine and the Children's Research Institute, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI.

Objective: Controversy exists regarding which febrile children with sickle cell disease (SCD) should receive a chest x-ray (CXR). Our goal is to provide data informing the decision of which febrile children with SCD presenting to the emergency department (ED) require a CXR to evaluate for acute chest syndrome (ACS).

Methods: Retrospective chart review of children ages 3 months to 21 years with SCD presenting to the ED at one of two academic children's hospitals with fever ≥38.5°C between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2012. Demographic characteristics, respiratory symptoms, and laboratory results were abstracted. The primary outcome was the presence of ACS. Binary recursive partitioning was performed to determine predictive factors for a diagnosis of ACS.

Results: A total of 185 (10%) of 1,837 febrile ED visits met ACS criteria. The current National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) consensus criteria for obtaining a CXR (shortness of breath, tachypnea, cough, or rales) identified 158 (85%) of ACS cases, while avoiding 825 CXRs. Obtaining a CXR in children with NHLBI criteria or chest pain and in children without those symptoms but with a white blood cell (WBC) count ≥18.75 × 10 /L or a history of ACS identified 181 (98%), while avoiding 430 CXRs.

Conclusion: Children with SCD presenting to the ED with fever and shortness of breath, tachypnea, cough, rales, or chest pain should receive a CXR due to high ACS rates. A higher WBC count or history of ACS in a child without one of those symptoms may suggest the need for a CXR. Prospective validation of these criteria is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acem.13048DOI Listing
November 2016

The Benefits and Challenges of Preconsent in a Multisite, Pediatric Sickle Cell Intervention Trial.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2016 09 15;63(9):1649-52. Epub 2016 Apr 15.

Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, and the Children's Research Institute, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Enrollment of patients in sickle cell intervention trials has been challenging due to difficulty in obtaining consent from a legal guardian and lack of collaboration between emergency medicine and hematology. We utilized education and preconsent in a pediatric multisite sickle cell intervention trial to overcome these challenges. Overall, 48 patients were enrolled after being preconsented. Variable Institutional Review Board policies related to preconsent validity and its allowable duration decreased the advantages of preconsent at some sites. The utility of preconsent for future intervention trials largely depends on local Institutional Review Board policies. Preeducation may also benefit the consent process, regardless of site differences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.26013DOI Listing
September 2016

Police, Equity, and Child Health.

Pediatrics 2016 Mar 1;137(3):e20152711. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

Center for Diversity and Health Equity, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2015-2711DOI Listing
March 2016

Medulloblastoma With Obstructive Hydrocephalus in a Young Infant.

Pediatr Emerg Care 2017 Jun;33(6):414-415

From the Divisions of *Emergency Medicine and †Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Medulloblastoma is the most common posterior fossa tumor diagnosed in young infants. The presentation of posterior fossa tumors in neonates is highly variable. We report the case of a 2-month-old child who presented with poor feeding and lethargy and was noted to have a fixed downward gaze. Head computed tomography revealed a posterior fossa mass that was pathologically consistent with a medulloblastoma. This case demonstrates the uncommon presentation of posterior fossa tumors in young infants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PEC.0000000000000575DOI Listing
June 2017

Association between Hospital Volume and Within-Hospital Intensive Care Unit Transfer for Sickle Cell Disease in Children's Hospitals.

J Pediatr 2015 Dec 23;167(6):1306-13. Epub 2015 Oct 23.

Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Objective: To assess the relationship between hospital volume and intensive care unit (ICU) transfer among hospitalized children with sickle cell disease (SCD).

Study Design: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 83,477 SCD-related hospitalizations at children's hospitals (2009-2012) using the Pediatric Health Information System database. Hospital-level all-cause and SCD-specific volumes were dichotomized (low vs high). Outcomes were within-hospital ICU transfer (primary) and length of stay (LOS) total (secondary). Multivariable logistic/linear regressions assessed the association of hospital volumes with ICU transfer and LOS.

Results: Of 83,477 eligible hospitalizations, 1741 (2.1%) involving 1432 unique children were complicated by ICU transfer. High SCD-specific volume (OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.64-0.91) was associated with lower odds of ICU transfer while high all-cause hospital volume was not (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.73-1.04). A statistically significant interaction was found between all-cause and SCD-specific volumes. When results were stratified according to all-cause volume, high SCD-specific volume was associated with lower odds of ICU transfer at low all-cause volume (OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.38-0.55). High hospital volumes, both all-cause (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.92-0.97) and SCD-specific (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.84-0.88), were associated with shorter LOS.

Conclusions: Children's hospitals vary substantially in their transfer of children with SCD to the ICU according to hospital volumes. Understanding the practices used by different institutions may help explain the variability in ICU transfer among hospitals caring for children with SCD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.09.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4662890PMC
December 2015

Comparison of Clinician Suspicion Versus a Clinical Prediction Rule in Identifying Children at Risk for Intra-abdominal Injuries After Blunt Torso Trauma.

Acad Emerg Med 2015 Sep 20;22(9):1034-41. Epub 2015 Aug 20.

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA.

Objectives: Emergency department (ED) identification and radiographic evaluation of children with intra-abdominal injuries who need acute intervention can be challenging. To date, it is unclear if a clinical prediction rule is superior to unstructured clinician judgment in identifying these children. The objective of this study was to compare the test characteristics of clinician suspicion with a derived clinical prediction rule to identify children at risk of intra-abdominal injuries undergoing acute intervention following blunt torso trauma.

Methods: This was a planned subanalysis of a prospective, multicenter observational study of children (<18 years old) with blunt torso trauma conducted in 20 EDs in the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN). Clinicians documented their suspicion for the presence of intra-abdominal injuries needing acute intervention as <1, 1 to 5, 6 to 10, 11 to 50, or >50% prior to knowledge of abdominal computed tomography (CT) scanning (if performed). Intra-abdominal injuries undergoing acute intervention were defined by a therapeutic laparotomy, angiographic embolization, blood transfusion for abdominal hemorrhage, or intravenous fluid administration for 2 or more days in those with pancreatic or gastrointestinal injuries. Patients were considered to be positive for clinician suspicion if suspicion was documented as ≥1%. Suspicion ≥ 1% was compared to the presence of any variable in the prediction rule for identifying children with intra-abdominal injuries undergoing acute intervention.

Results: Clinicians recorded their suspicion in 11,919 (99%) of 12,044 patients enrolled in the parent study. Intra-abdominal injuries undergoing acute intervention were diagnosed in 203 (2%) patients. Abdominal CT scans were obtained in the ED in 2,302 of the 2,667 (86%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 85% to 88%) enrolled patients with clinician suspicion ≥1% and in 3,016 of the 9,252 (33%, 95% CI = 32% to 34%) patients with clinician suspicion < 1%. Sensitivity of the prediction rule for intra-abdominal injuries undergoing acute intervention (197 of 203; 97.0%, 95% CI = 93.7% to 98.9%) was higher than that of clinician suspicion ≥1% (168 of 203; 82.8%, 95% CI = 76.9% to 87.7%; difference = 14.2%, 95% CI = 8.6% to 20.0%). Specificity of the prediction rule (4,979 of the 11,716; 42.5%, 95% CI = 41.6% to 43.4%), however, was lower than that of clinician suspicion (9,217 of the 11,716, 78.7%, 95% CI = 77.9% to 79.4%; difference = -36.2%, 95% CI = -37.3% to -35.0%). Thirty-five (0.4%, 95% CI = 0.3% to 0.5%) patients with clinician suspicion < 1% had intra-abdominal injuries that underwent acute intervention.

Conclusions: The derived clinical prediction rule had a significantly higher sensitivity, but lower specificity, than clinician suspicion for identifying children with intra-abdominal injuries undergoing acute intervention. The higher specificity of clinician suspicion, however, did not translate into clinical practice, as clinicians frequently obtained abdominal CT scans in patients they considered very low risk. If validated, this prediction rule can assist in clinical decision-making around abdominal CT use in children with blunt torso trauma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acem.12739DOI Listing
September 2015

A multicenter randomized controlled trial of intravenous magnesium for sickle cell pain crisis in children.

Blood 2015 Oct 31;126(14):1651-7. Epub 2015 Jul 31.

Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, and the Children's Research Institute, Milwaukee, WI.

Magnesium, a vasodilator, anti-inflammatory, and pain reliever, could alter the pathophysiology of sickle cell pain crises. We hypothesized that intravenous magnesium would shorten length of stay, decrease opioid use, and improve health-related quality of life (HRQL) for pediatric patients hospitalized with sickle cell pain crises. The Magnesium for Children in Crisis (MAGiC) study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of intravenous magnesium vs normal saline placebo conducted at 8 sites within the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN). Children 4 to 21 years old with hemoglobin SS or Sβ(0) thalassemia requiring hospitalization for pain were eligible. Children received 40 mg/kg of magnesium or placebo every 8 hours for up to 6 doses plus standard therapy. The primary outcome was length of stay in hours from the time of first study drug infusion, compared using a Van Elteren test. Secondary outcomes included opioid use and HRQL. Of 208 children enrolled, 204 received the study drug (101 magnesium, 103 placebo). Between-group demographics and prerandomization treatment were similar. The median interquartile range (IQR) length of stay was 56.0 (27.0-109.0) hours for magnesium vs 47.0 (24.0-99.0) hours for placebo (P = .24). Magnesium patients received 1.46 mg/kg morphine equivalents vs 1.28 mg/kg for placebo (P = .12). Changes in HRQL before discharge and 1 week after discharge were similar (P > .05 for all comparisons). The addition of intravenous magnesium did not shorten length of stay, reduce opioid use, or improve quality of life in children hospitalized for sickle cell pain crisis. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01197417.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2015-05-647107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4591790PMC
October 2015

Adherence to prompt fever evaluation in children with sickle cell disease and the health belief model.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2015 Nov 14;62(11):1968-73. Epub 2015 Jul 14.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background: Children with sickle cell disease (SCD) are at increased risk of death from invasive bacterial infections. Emergent evaluation of fever allows early treatment of potentially fatal infections. Limited data exist regarding caregiver adherence to physician recommendations of prompt medical evaluation of fever in children with SCD. Better understanding of parental behavior around fever management may inform improved models for support in families of children with SCD.

Procedure: Cross-sectional survey based on health belief domains, Wake Forest trust scales, and self-reported adherence among 163 caregivers of children with SCD during routine hematology visit.

Results: Fifty-five percent of caregivers were adherent to fever evaluation recommendations as defined by "always" seeking medical evaluation of fever in their child with SCD. Perceived susceptibility to fever/infection, benefits of prompt evaluation, and cues to action were significantly different between those who adhere to recommendations versus those who do not. Twenty-five percent believe their child does not need antibiotics with every fever whereas 17% believe their child does not need evaluation of fever after immunizations. Fifty-seven percent report their employer understands missing work whereas 25% report concern regarding cost of evaluation. Trust in their child's hematologist and medical profession was high (composite scores 23.4/25 and 21/25, respectively).

Conclusion: Despite a high degree of agreement in importance of fever evaluation and high levels of trust, many caregivers do not consistently seek care when their child has a fever. Future studies should address additional barriers to seeking emergency care in children with SCD and fever.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.25634DOI Listing
November 2015

Use of Oral Contrast for Abdominal Computed Tomography in Children With Blunt Torso Trauma.

Ann Emerg Med 2015 Aug 17;66(2):107-114.e4. Epub 2015 Mar 17.

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, CA.

Study Objective: We compare test characteristics of abdominal computed tomography (CT) with and without oral contrast for identifying intra-abdominal injuries.

Methods: This was a planned subanalysis of a prospective, multicenter study of children (<18 years) with blunt torso trauma. Children imaged in the emergency department with abdominal CT using intravenous contrast were eligible. Oral contrast use was based on the participating centers' guidelines and discretions. Clinical courses were followed to identify patients with intra-abdominal injuries. Abdominal CTs were considered positive for intra-abdominal injury if a specific intra-abdominal injury was identified and considered abnormal if any findings suggestive of intra-abdominal injury were identified on the CT.

Results: A total of 12,044 patients were enrolled, with 5,276 undergoing abdominal CT with intravenous contrast. Of the 4,987 CTs (95%) with documented use or nonuse of oral contrast, 1,010 (20%) were with and 3,977 (80%) were without oral contrast; 686 patients (14%) had intra-abdominal injuries, including 127 CTs (19%) with and 559 (81%) without oral contrast. The sensitivity in the detection of any intra-abdominal injury in the oral contrast versus no oral contrast groups was sensitivitycontrast 99.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] 95.7% to 100.0%) versus sensitivityno contrast 97.7% (95% CI 96.1% to 98.8%), difference 1.5% (95% CI -0.4% to 3.5%). The specificity of the oral contrast versus no oral contrast groups was specificitycontrast 84.7% (95% CI 82.2% to 87.0%) versus specificityno contrast 80.8% (95% CI 79.4% to 82.1%), difference 4.0% (95% CI 1.3% to 6.7%).

Conclusion: Oral contrast is still used in a substantial portion of children undergoing abdominal CT after blunt torso trauma. With the exception of a slightly better specificity, test characteristics for detecting intra-abdominal injury were similar between CT with and without oral contrast.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.annemergmed.2015.01.014DOI Listing
August 2015

Variation in pediatric emergency department care of sickle cell disease and fever.

Acad Emerg Med 2015 Apr 16;22(4):423-30. Epub 2015 Mar 16.

The Division of Emergency Medicine, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.

Objectives: The objective was to study the variation in pediatric emergency department (PED) practice patterns for evaluation and management of children with sickle cell disease (SCD) and fever in U.S. children's hospitals.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of visits by children 3 months to 18 years of age with SCD and fever evaluated in 36 U.S. children's hospital PEDs within the 2010 Pediatric Health Information System database. The main outcome measures were the proportions of SCD visits that received evaluation (laboratory testing and chest radiographs [CXRs]) and treatment (parenteral administration of antibiotics) and were admitted for fever.

Results: Of the 4,853 PED visits for SCD and fever, 91.7% had complete blood counts (CBCs), 93.8% had reticulocyte counts, 93% had blood cultures obtained, 68.5% had CXRs, and 91.7% received antibiotics. Most (81.4%) patients received the recommended National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute evaluation (CBC, reticulocyte count, and blood culture) and treatment (parenteral antibiotics). In multivariate regression modeling controlling for hospital- and patient-level effects, age groups ≥1 to <5 years (odds ratio [OR] = 0.32, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.25 to 0.40) and ≥5 to <13 years (OR = 0.40, 95% CI = 0.32 to 0.50), and those visits that did not have CXRs had lower odds of hospital admission. After adjusting for age, payor status, receipt of laboratory testing, antibiotics, and CXRs, admission rates varied by sevenfold across U.S. children's hospitals (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Standardization of practice exists across children's hospitals regarding obtaining laboratory studies and administering antibiotics for patients with SCD and fever. However, admission rates vary significantly. Evaluating the causes and consequences of such significant variation needs further exploration to improve the quality of care for patients with SCD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acem.12626DOI Listing
April 2015

Association between the seat belt sign and intra-abdominal injuries in children with blunt torso trauma in motor vehicle collisions.

Acad Emerg Med 2014 Nov;21(11):1240-8

The Department of Emergency Medicine, Hurley Medical Center, Flint, MI; The Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

Objectives: The objective was to determine the association between the abdominal seat belt sign and intra-abdominal injuries (IAIs) in children presenting to emergency departments with blunt torso trauma after motor vehicle collisions (MVCs).

Methods: This was a planned subgroup analysis of prospective data from a multicenter cohort study of children with blunt torso trauma after MVCs. Patient history and physical examination findings were documented before abdominal computed tomography (CT) or laparotomy. Seat belt sign was defined as a continuous area of erythema, ecchymosis, or abrasion across the abdomen secondary to a seat belt restraint. The relative risk (RR) of IAI with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) was calculated for children with seat belt signs compared to those without. The risk of IAI in those patients with seat belt sign who were without abdominal pain or tenderness, and with Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores of 14 or 15, was also calculated.

Results: A total of 3,740 children with seat belt sign documentation after blunt torso trauma in MVCs were enrolled; 585 (16%) had seat belt signs. Among the 1,864 children undergoing definitive abdominal testing (CT, laparotomy/laparoscopy, or autopsy), IAIs were more common in patients with seat belt signs than those without (19% vs. 12%; RR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.3 to 2.1). This difference was primarily due to a greater risk of gastrointestinal injuries (hollow viscous or associated mesentery) in those with seat belt signs (11% vs. 1%; RR = 9.4, 95% CI = 5.4 to 16.4). IAI was diagnosed in 11 of 194 patients (5.7%; 95% CI = 2.9% to 9.9%) with seat belt signs who did not have initial complaints of abdominal pain or tenderness and had GCS scores of 14 or 15.

Conclusions: Patients with seat belt signs after MVCs are at greater risk of IAI than those without seat belt signs, predominately due to gastrointestinal injuries. Although IAIs are less common in alert patients with seat belt signs who do not have initial complaints of abdominal pain or tenderness, the risk of IAI is sufficient that additional evaluation such as observation, laboratory studies, and potentially abdominal CT scanning is generally necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acem.12506DOI Listing
November 2014

Management of febrile neonates in US pediatric emergency departments.

Pediatrics 2014 Feb 27;133(2):187-95. Epub 2014 Jan 27.

Emory University and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia;

Background: Blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid cultures and admission for antibiotics are considered standard management of febrile neonates (0-28 days). We examined variation in adherence to these recommendations across US pediatric emergency departments (PEDs) and incidence of serious infections (SIs) in febrile neonates.

Methods: Cross-sectional study of neonates with a diagnosis of fever evaluated in 36 PEDs in the 2010 Pediatric Health Information System database. We analyzed performance of recommended management (laboratory testing, antibiotic use, admission to hospital), 48-hour return visits to PED, and diagnoses of SI.

Results: Of 2253 neonates meeting study criteria, 369 (16.4%) were evaluated and discharged from the PED; 1884 (83.6%) were admitted. Recommended management occurred in 1497 of 2253 (66.4%; 95% confidence interval, 64.5-68.4) febrile neonates. There was more than twofold variation across the 36 PEDs in adherence to recommended management, recommended testing, and recommended treatment of febrile neonates. There was significant variation in testing and treatment between admitted and discharged neonates (P < .001). A total of 269 in 2253 (11.9%) neonates had SI, of whom 223 (82.9%; 95% confidence interval, 77.9-86.9) received recommended management.

Conclusions: There was wide variation across US PEDs in adherence to recommended management of febrile neonates. One in 6 febrile neonates was discharged from the PED; discharged patients were less likely to receive testing or antibiotic therapy than admitted patients. A majority of neonates with SI received recommended evaluation and management. High rates of SI in admitted patients but low return rates for missed infections in discharged patients suggest a need for additional studies to understand variation from the current recommendations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2013-1820DOI Listing
February 2014

Emergency department epidemiology of pneumococcal bacteremia in children since the institution of widespread PCV7 vaccination.

J Emerg Med 2013 Dec 29;45(6):813-20. Epub 2013 Aug 29.

Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background: The heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) has produced a shift in the epidemiology of invasive infections from Streptoccoccus pneumoniae.

Objective: Our aim was to determine the temporal changes in pneumococcal bacteremia (Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteremia [SPB]) in the emergency department (ED) since the introduction of PCV7.

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of children 0-18 years with SPB evaluated from 1998-2009 in a tertiary-care pediatric ED. The primary outcome was annual proportion of children with SPB from PCV7 serotypes (ie, 4, 6B, 9V, 14, 18C, 19F, and 23F) and nonvaccine serotypes (NVT). Rates of SPB (per 10,000 ED visits) were calculated. SPB was analyzed by time period: before October 2000 was considered "pre-PCV7," November 2000 to October 2003 was considered "peri-PCV7," and after November 2003 was "post-PCV7." Febrile young children (FYC) were defined as children age <36 months and fever without source.

Results: A total of 201 episodes of SPB occurred during the study, with a median age of 20.3 months (interquartile range 10.7-49.5 months; range 1.6-215.4 months); 56.7% were male and 69.7% were African American. SPB from PCV7 serotypes decreased more than fourfold, from 82.2% pre-PCV7 to 19.5% peri- and post-PCV7. Most SPB was from NVT serotype 19A (31.3%) peri- and post-PCV7. Annual rates of SPB were 4.01/10,000 ED visits pre-PCV7, decreasing to 2.10 peri-PCV7, and 1.75 post-PCV7. Among the 56 (27.8%) FYC with SPB, NVT were responsible for 11.5% of SPB pre-PCV7, and increased to 80.0% peri- and post-PCV7 (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Rates of SPB have decreased since the introduction of PCV7, yet SPB still occurs among children in the ED. NVT are increasing in prevalence, and SPB from PCV7-serotypes have decreased.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jemermed.2013.04.029DOI Listing
December 2013

Trends in blood transfusion among hospitalized children with sickle cell disease.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2013 Nov 18;60(11):1753-8. Epub 2013 Jun 18.

Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Background: Blood transfusions represent a major therapeutic option in acute management of sickle cell disease (SCD). Few data exist documenting trends in transfusion among children with SCD, particularly during hospitalization.

Procedure: This was an analysis of cross-sectional data of hospital discharges within the Kid's Inpatient Database (years 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009). Hospitalizations for children (0-18 years) with a primary or secondary SCD-related diagnosis were examined. The primary outcome was blood transfusion. Trends in transfusion were assessed using weighted multivariate logistic regression in a merged dataset with year as the primary independent variable. Co-variables consisted of child and hospital characteristics. Multivariate logistic regression was conducted for 2009 data to assess child and hospital-level factors associated with transfusion.

Results: From 1997 to 2009, the percentage of SCD-related hospitalizations with transfusion increased from 14.2% to 28.8% (P < 0.0001). Among all SCD-related hospitalizations, the odds of transfusion increased over 20% for each successive study interval. Hospitalizations with vaso-occlusive pain crisis (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.27-1.43) or acute chest syndrome/pneumonia (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.13-1.35) as the primary diagnoses had the highest odds of transfusion for each consecutive study interval. Older age and male gender were associated with higher odds of transfusion.

Conclusions: Blood transfusion is increasing over time among hospitalized children with SCD. Further study is warranted to identify indications contributing to the rise in transfusions and if transfusions in the inpatient setting have been used appropriately. Future studies should also assess the impact of rising trends on morbidity, mortality, and other health-related outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.24630DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4091906PMC
November 2013

Interobserver agreement in the clinical assessment of children with blunt abdominal trauma.

Acad Emerg Med 2013 May;20(5):426-32

Department of Pediatrics, Section of Emergency Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.

Objectives: The objective was to determine the interobserver agreement of historical and physical examination findings assessed during the emergency department (ED) evaluation of children with blunt abdominal trauma.

Methods: This was a planned substudy of a multicenter, prospective cohort study of children younger than 18 years of age evaluated for blunt abdominal trauma. Patients were excluded if injury occurred more than 24 hours prior to evaluation or if computed tomography (CT) imaging was obtained at another hospital prior to transfer to a study site. Two clinicians independently recorded their clinical assessments of a convenience sample of patients onto data collection forms within 60 minutes of each other and prior to CT imaging (if obtained) or knowledge of laboratory results. The authors categorized variables as either subjective symptoms (i.e., patient history) or objective findings (i.e., physical examination). For each variable recorded by the two observers, the agreement beyond that expected by chance was estimated, using the kappa (κ) statistic for categorical variables and weighted κ for ordinal variables. Variables with 95% lower confidence limits (LCLs) κ ≥ 0.4 (moderate agreement or better) were considered to have acceptable agreement.

Results: A total of 632 pairs of physician observations were obtained on 23 candidate variables. Acceptable agreement was achieved in 16 (70%) of the 23 variables tested. For six subjective symptoms, κ ranged from 0.48 (complaint of shortness of breath) to 0.90 (mechanism of injury), and only the complaint of shortness of breath had a 95% LCL κ < 0.4. For the 17 objective findings, κ ranged from -0.01 (pelvis instability) to 0.82 (seat belt sign present). The 95% LCL for κ was <0.4 for flank tenderness, abnormal chest auscultation, suspicion of alcohol or drug intoxication, pelvis instability, absence of bowel sounds, and peritoneal irritation.

Conclusions: Observers can achieve at least acceptable agreement on the majority of historical and physical examination variables in children with blunt abdominal trauma evaluated in the ED. Those variables are candidates for consideration for development of a clinical prediction rule for intra-abdominal injury in children with blunt trauma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acem.12132DOI Listing
May 2013
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