PEDIATRICS recent issues

Developmental Support for Infants With Genetic Disorders

As the technical ability for genetic diagnosis continues to improve, an increasing number of diagnoses are made in infancy or as early as the neonatal period. Many of these diagnoses are known to be associated with developmental delay and intellectual disability, features that would not be clinically detectable at the time of diagnosis. Others may be associated with cognitive impairment, but the incidence and severity are yet to be fully described. These neonates and infants with genetic diagnoses therefore represent an emerging group of patients who are at high risk for neurodevelopmental disabilities. Although there are well-established developmental supports for high-risk infants, particularly preterm infants, after discharge from the NICU, programs specifically for infants with genetic diagnoses are rare. And although previous research has demonstrated the positive effect of early developmental interventions on outcomes among preterm infants, the impact of such supports for infants with genetic disorders who may be born term, remains to be understood. We therefore review the literature regarding existing developmental assessment and intervention approaches for children with genetic disorders, evaluating these in the context of current developmental supports postdischarge for preterm infants. Further research into the role of developmental support programs for early assessment and intervention in high-risk neonates diagnosed with rare genetic disorders is needed.

In Utero Antidepressants and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Kindergarteners

OBJECTIVES:

To determine if in utero selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or selective serotonin norepinephrine inhibitor (SNRI) exposure is associated with developmental vulnerability in kindergarten among children whose mothers were diagnosed with prenatal mood or anxiety disorder.

METHODS:

Linkable administrative data were used to create a population-based cohort of 266 479 mother-child dyads of children born in Manitoba, Canada, between 1996 and 2014, with follow-up through 2015. The sample was restricted to mothers who had a mood or anxiety disorder diagnosis between 90 days before conception (N = 13 818). Exposed women had ≥2 SSRI or SNRI dispensations during pregnancy (n = 2055); unexposed mothers did not have a dispensation of an SSRI or SNRI during pregnancy (n = 10 017). The Early Development Instrument (EDI) was used to assess developmental health in kindergarten children. The EDI is a 104-component kindergarten teacher-administered questionnaire, encompassing 5 developmental domains.

RESULTS:

Of the 3048 children included in the study who met inclusion criteria and had an EDI, 21.43% of children in the exposed group were assessed as vulnerable on 2 or more domains versus 16.16% of children in the unexposed group (adjusted odds ratio = 1.43; 95% confidence interval 1.08–1.90). Children in the exposed group also had a significant risk of being vulnerable in language and/or cognition (adjusted odds ratio = 1.40; 95% confidence interval 1.03–1.90).

CONCLUSIONS:

Exposure to SSRIs or SNRIs during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of developmental vulnerability and an increased risk of deficits in language and/or cognition. Replication of results is necessary before clinical implications can be reached.

E-cigarette Product Characteristics and Subsequent Frequency of Cigarette Smoking

BACKGROUND:

There is a dearth of evidence regarding the association of use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) with certain product characteristics and adolescent and young adult risk of unhealthy tobacco use patterns (eg, frequency of combustible cigarette smoking), which is needed to inform the regulation of e-cigarettes.

METHODS:

Data were collected via an online survey of participants in the Southern California Children’s Health Study from 2015 to 2016 (baseline) and 2016 to 2017 (follow-up) (N = 1312). We evaluated the association of binary categories of 3 nonmutually exclusive characteristics of the e-cigarette used most frequently with the number of cigarettes smoked in the past 30 days at 1-year follow-up. Product characteristics included device (vape pen and/or modifiable electronic cigarette [mod]), use of nicotine in electronic liquid (e-liquid; yes or no), and use for dripping (directly dripping e-liquid onto the device; yes or no).

RESULTS:

Relative to never e-cigarette users, past-30-day e-cigarette use was associated with greater frequency of past-30-day cigarette smoking at follow-up. Among baseline past-30-day e-cigarette users, participants who used mods (versus vape pens) smoked >6 times as many cigarettes at follow-up (mean: 20.8 vs 1.3 cigarettes; rate ratio = 6.33; 95% confidence interval: 1.64–24.5) after adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, baseline frequency of cigarette smoking, and number of days of e-cigarette use. After adjustment for device, neither nicotine e-liquid nor dripping were associated with frequency of cigarette smoking.

CONCLUSIONS:

Baseline mod users (versus vape pen users) smoked more cigarettes in the past 30 days at follow-up. Regulation of e-cigarette device type warrants consideration as a strategy to reduce cigarette smoking among adolescents and young adults who vape.

Intramuscular Hematoma as a Manifestation of IgA Vasculitis

We describe an atypical pediatric case of immunoglobulin A vasculitis (IgAV), also referred to as Henoch-Schönlein purpura, in which formation of spontaneous hematoma of the paraspinal muscles developed. Spontaneous or unprovoked hematomas rarely occur in IgAV. These manifestations have not been described specifically in the pediatric literature as coinciding with IgAV. These findings are alarming for nonaccidental trauma, particularly in a patient without underlying blood dyscrasia. Our objective for this report is to highlight the possible association of muscular hematoma formation with IgAV and to help providers consider this association when trauma and hemophilia has been ruled out.

Apparent Cause Analysis: A Safety Tool

Causal analysis is a core function of safety programs. Although established protocols exist for conducting root cause analysis for serious safety events, there is limited guidance for apparent cause analysis (ACA) in health care. At our institution, through a novel facilitated ACA approach, we aim to improve safety culture and provide a clear approach to address precursor safety events and near-miss safety events. We define facilitated ACA as limited investigation (scope and duration) of a safety event that resulted in little to no harm. These investigations require fewer resources and focus on preventive strategies. Our facilitated ACA model, with an operational algorithm and structured process, was developed and implemented at our tertiary-care, freestanding, urban pediatric hospital in 2018. Sixty-four ACAs were completed, and 83% were identified with the algorithm. Process measures, including time from event reporting to ACA launch (median 3 days; interquartile range 2–6 days), are tracked. Patient safety consultants averaged 5 hours to complete a facilitated ACA. A median of 3 disciplines or departments participated in each facilitated ACA. Through an iterative process, we implemented a structured process for facilitated ACA, and the model’s strength includes (1) right event, (2) right team, (3) right analysis, and (4) right action plans. This novel facilitated ACA model may support organizational cause analysis and improve safety culture with higher-reliability processes.

Use of Standing Orders for Vaccination Among Pediatricians

OBJECTIVES:

Standing orders are an effective way to increase vaccination rates, yet little is known about how pediatricians use this strategy for childhood immunizations. We assessed current use of, barriers to using, and factors associated with use of standing orders for vaccination among pediatricians.

METHODS:

Internet and mail survey from June 2017 to September 2017 among a nationally representative sample of pediatricians. In the principal component analysis of barrier items, we identified 2 factors: physician responsibility and concerns about office processes. A multivariable analysis that included barrier scales and physician and/or practice characteristics was used to identify factors associated with use of standing orders.

RESULTS:

The response rate was 79% (372 of 471); 59% of respondents reported using standing orders. The most commonly identified barriers among nonusers were concern that patients may mistakenly receive the wrong vaccine (68%), concern that patients prefer to speak with the physician about a vaccine before receiving it (62%), and belief that it is important for the physician to be the person who recommends a vaccine to patients (57%). These 3 items also made up the physician responsibility barrier factor. Respondents with higher physician responsibility scores were less likely to use standing orders (risk ratio: 0.59 [95% confidence interval: 0.53–0.66] per point increase). System-level decision-making about vaccines, suburban or rural location, and lower concerns about office processes scores were each associated with use of standing orders in the bivariate, but not the multivariable, analysis.

CONCLUSIONS:

Among pediatricians, use of standing orders for vaccination is far from universal. Interventions to increase use of standing orders should address physicians’ attitudinal barriers as well as organizational factors.

Peanut Allergy: New Advances and Ongoing Controversies

Peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies in children, with increasing prevalence over time. The dual-allergen exposure hypothesis now supports transcutaneous sensitization to peanut as a likely pathophysiologic mechanism for peanut allergy development. As a result, there is emerging evidence that early peanut introduction has a role in peanut allergy prevention. Current first-line diagnostic tests for peanut allergy have limited specificity, which may be enhanced with emerging tools such as component-resolved diagnostics. Although management of peanut allergy includes avoidance and carrying an epinephrine autoinjector, risk of fatal anaphylaxis is extremely low, and there is minimal risk related to cutaneous or inhalational exposure. Quality of life in children with peanut allergy requires significant focus. Moving forward, oral and epicutaneous immunotherapy are emerging and exciting tools that may have a role to play in desensitization to peanut.

Network Implementation of Guideline for Early Detection Decreases Age at Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Early diagnosis of cerebral palsy (CP) is critical in obtaining evidence-based interventions when plasticity is greatest. In 2017, international guidelines for early detection of CP were published on the basis of a systematic review of evidence. Our study aim was to reduce the age at CP diagnosis throughout a network of 5 diverse US high-risk infant follow-up programs through consistent implementation of these guidelines.

METHODS:

The study leveraged plan-do-study-act and Lean methodologies. The primary outcome was age at CP diagnosis. Data were acquired during the corresponding 9-month baseline and quarterly throughout study. Balancing measures were clinic no-show rates and parent perception of the diagnosis visit. Clinic teams conducted strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analyses, process flow evaluations, standardized assessments training, and parent questionnaires. Performance of a 3- to 4-month clinic visit was a critical process step because it included a Hammersmith Infant Neurologic Examination, a General Movements Assessment, and standardized assessments of motor function.

RESULTS:

The age at CP diagnosis decreased from a weighted average of 19.5 (95% confidence interval 16.2 to 22.8) to 9.5 months (95% confidence interval 4.5 to 14.6), with P = .008; 3- to 4-month visits per site increased from the median (interquartile range) 14 (5.2–73.7) to 54 (34.5–152.0), with P < .001; and no-show rates were not different. Parent questionnaires revealed positive provider perception with improvement opportunities for information content and understandability.

CONCLUSIONS:

Large-scale implementation of international guidelines for early detection of CP is feasible in diverse high-risk infant follow-up clinics. The initiative was received positively by families and without adversely affecting clinic operational flow. Additional parent support and education are necessary.

Breastfeeding and Mortality Under 2 Years of Age in Sub-Saharan Africa

BACKGROUND:

Several studies have investigated the association of breastfeeding status with offspring mortality in Africa, but most studies were from one center only or had limited statistical power to draw robust conclusions.

METHODS:

Data came from 75 nationally representative cross-sectional Demographic and Health Surveys in 35 countries in sub-Saharan Africa conducted between 2000 and 2016. Our study relied on 217 112 individuals aged 4 days to 23 months for breastfeeding pattern analysis, 161 322 individuals aged 6 to 23 months for breastfeeding history analysis, and 104 427 individuals aged 12 to 23 months for breastfeeding duration analysis.

RESULTS:

Compared with children aged 4 days to 23 months exclusively breastfed in the first 3 days of life, those not breastfed had a high risk of mortality at <2 years of age (odds ratio [OR] = 13.45; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 11.43–15.83). Young children who were predominantly breastfed or partially breastfed had moderately increased risk of mortality at <2 years of age (OR = 1.11, 95% CI = 1.03–1.21 for predominant pattern; OR = 1.12, 95% CI = 0.99–1.27 for partial pattern). Compared with children aged 6 to 23 months who were breastfed within the first 6 months of life, those not breastfed had a high risk of mortality (OR = 5.65; 95% CI = 4.27–7.47). Compared with children aged 12 to 23 months who were breastfed for ≥6 months, those who were breastfed for shorter periods had a higher risk of mortality (OR = 2.78, 95% CI = 1.45–5.32 for duration of <3 months; OR = 5.28, 95% CI = 3.24–8.61 for those who were not breastfed).

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings support exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life and continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age recommended by the World Health Organization for reducing mortality of children <2 years old in sub-Saharan Africa.

Teenager With Abdominal Pain and Decreased Appetite

A 16-year-old girl presented to her primary care physician with a one-month history of decreased appetite and abdominal pain. She had normal bowel movements and no vomiting, but her periumbilical pain limited her ability to finish most meals. She had gradual weight loss over the previous 2 years, and during the previous 4 years, she intermittently received counseling for depression after the loss of her mother. Her initial physical examination and laboratory evaluation were unremarkable. She was referred to a nutritionist, adolescent medicine, and pediatric gastroenterology. Her presentation evolved over time, which ultimately led to a definitive diagnosis.

Systemic Sclerosis Sine Scleroderma With Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in a 3-Year-Old Girl

Systemic sclerosis sine scleroderma (ssSSc) is a rare variant of systemic sclerosis, with only one pediatric case reported in the medical literature to date. Pulmonary arterial hypertension as the presenting feature of ssSSc is extremely rare, even in adults, and so far has never been reported in children. We report, for the first time, a case of pediatric ssSSc in a 3-year-old girl, who presented with interstitial lung disease and pulmonary hypertension. The patient was prescribed early aggressive pulmonary vasodilators combined with anti-inflammatory medications. The clinical response was good, and her current condition at 12 years of age is remarkable, considering the high mortality rates reported in adults. We underscore the importance of early aggressive treatment in future cases of similar presentation.

Early Childhood Factors Associated With Peer Victimization Trajectories From 6 to 17 Years of Age

OBJECTIVES:

To describe (1) the developmental trajectories of peer victimization from 6 to 17 years of age and (2) the early childhood behaviors and family characteristics associated with the trajectories.

METHODS:

We used data from 1760 children enrolled in the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, a population-based birth cohort. Participants self-reported peer victimization at ages 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, and 17 years. Participants’ behavior and family characteristics were measured repeatedly between ages 5 months and 5 years.

RESULTS:

We identified 4 trajectories of peer victimization from 6 to 17 years of age: low (32.9%), moderate-emerging (29.8%), childhood-limited (26.2%), and high-chronic (11.1%). Compared with children in the low peer victimization trajectory, children in the other 3 trajectories were more likely to exhibit externalizing behaviors in early childhood, and those in the high-chronic and moderate-emerging trajectories were more likely to be male. Paternal history of antisocial behavior was associated with moderate-emerging (odds ratio [OR] = 1.54; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.09–2.19) and high-chronic (OR = 1.93; 95% CI = 1.25–2.99) relative to low peer victimization. Living in a nonintact family in early childhood was associated with childhood-limited (OR = 1.48; 95% CI = 1.11–1.97) and high-chronic (OR = 1.59; 95% CI = 1.09–2.31) relative to low peer victimization.

CONCLUSIONS:

Early childhood externalizing behaviors and family vulnerabilities were associated with the development of peer victimization. Some children entered the cascade of persistent peer victimization at the beginning of primary school. Support to these children and their families early in life should be an important component of peer victimization preventive interventions.

Effect of State Immunization Information System Centralized Reminder and Recall on HPV Vaccination Rates

BACKGROUND:

Although autodialer centralized reminder and recall (C-R/R) from state immunization information systems (IISs) has been shown to raise childhood vaccination rates, its impact on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates is unclear.

METHODS:

In a 4-arm pragmatic randomized controlled trial across 2 states, we randomly selected practices representative of the specialty (pediatrics, family medicine, and health center) where children received care. Within each practice, patients 11 to 17.9 years old who had not completed their HPV vaccine series (NY: N = 30 616 in 123 practices; CO: N = 31 502 in 80 practices) were randomly assigned to receive 0, 1, 2, or 3 IIS C-R/R autodialer messages per vaccine dose. We assessed HPV vaccine receipt via the IIS, calculated intervention costs, and compared HPV vaccine series initiation and completion rates across study arms.

RESULTS:

In New York, HPV vaccine initiation rates ranged from 37.0% to 37.4%, and completion rates were between 29.1% and 30.1%, with no significant differences across study arms. In Colorado, HPV vaccine initiation rates ranged from 31.2% to 33.5% and were slightly higher for 1 reminder compared with none, but vaccine completion rates, ranging from 27.0% to 27.8%, were similar. On adjusted analyses in Colorado, vaccine initiation rates were slightly higher for 1 and 3 C-R/R messages (adjusted risk ratios 1.07 and 1.04, respectively); completion rates were slightly higher for 1 and 3 C-R/R messages (adjusted risk ratios 1.02 and 1.03, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

IIS-based C-R/R for HPV vaccination did not improve HPV vaccination rates in New York and increased vaccination rates slightly in Colorado.

Rates and Stability of Mental Health Disorders in Children Born Very Preterm at 7 and 13 Years

OBJECTIVES:

Children born very preterm (VPT) are at an increased risk of developing mental health (MH) disorders. Our aim for this study was to assess rates of MH disorders in children born VPT and term at 13 years of age and stability of MH disorders between ages 7 and 13 years by using a diagnostic measure.

METHODS:

Participants were from the Victorian Infant Brain Study longitudinal cohort and included 125 children born VPT (<30 weeks’ gestational age and/or <1250 g) and 49 children born term (≥37 weeks’ gestational age) and their families. Participants were followed-up at both 7 and 13 years, and the Development and Well-Being Assessment was administered to assess for MH disorders.

RESULTS:

Compared with term peers, 13-year-olds born VPT were more likely to meet criteria for any MH disorder (odds ratio 5.9; 95% confidence interval 1.71–20.03). Anxiety was the most common disorder in both groups (VPT = 14%; term = 4%), whereas attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder carried the greatest differential elevated risk (odds ratio 5.6; 95% confidence interval 0.71–43.80). Overall rates of MH disorders remained stable between 7 and 13 years, although at an individual level, many participants shifted in or out of diagnostic categories over time.

CONCLUSIONS:

Children born VPT show higher rates of MH disorders than their term peers, with changing trajectories over time. Findings highlight the importance of early identification and ongoing assessment to support those with MH disorders in this population.

All for One and One Delivery Room Approach for All?

Multiple births are increasing in frequency related to advanced maternal age and fertility treatments, and they have an increased risk for congenital anomalies compared to singleton births. However, twins have the same congenital anomalies <15% of the time. Thus, having multiple births with discordant anomalies is a growing challenge for neonatologists. Although external anomalies can often be spotted quickly at delivery or sex differences between multiples can rapidly identify those with internal anomalies described on prenatal ultrasound, we present a case of male multiples, who would optimally receive different initial resuscitation strategies on the basis of the presence or absence of an internal anomaly. The similar size of 4 extremely preterm quadruplets raises concern for whether accurate, immediate identification of 1 neonate with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia will be reliable in the delivery room. Clinicians discuss the ethical considerations of an "all for one" approach to this resuscitation.

A Triadic Intervention for Adolescent Sexual Health: A Randomized Clinical Trial

OBJECTIVES:

In this study, we evaluate the efficacy of Families Talking Together (FTT), a triadic intervention to reduce adolescent sexual risk behavior.

METHODS:

Adolescents aged 11 to 14 and their female caregivers were recruited from a pediatric clinic; 900 families were enrolled; 84 declined. Families were randomly assigned to FTT or 1 of 2 control conditions. The FTT triadic intervention consisted of a 45-minute face-to-face session for mothers, health care provider endorsement of intervention content, printed materials for families, and a booster call for mothers. The primary outcomes were ever having had vaginal intercourse, sexual debut within the past 12 months, and condom use at last sexual intercourse. Assessments occurred at baseline, 3 months post baseline, and 12 months post baseline.

RESULTS:

Of enrolled families, 73.4% identified as Hispanic, 20.4% as African American, and 6.2% as mixed race. Mean maternal age was 38.8 years, and mean adolescent grade was seventh grade. At the 12-month follow-up, 5.2% of adolescents in the experimental group reported having had sexual intercourse, compared with 18% of adolescents in the control groups (P < .05). In the experimental group, 4.7% of adolescents reported sexual debut within the past 12 months, compared with 14.7% of adolescents in the control group (P < .05). In the experimental group, 74.2% of sexually active adolescents indicated using a condom at last sexual intercourse, compared with 49.1% of adolescents in the control group (P < .05).

CONCLUSIONS:

This research suggests that the FTT triadic intervention is efficacious in delaying sexual debut and reducing sexual risk behavior among adolescents.

Enhancing CPR During Transition From Prehospital to Emergency Department: A QI Initiative

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

High-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) increases the likelihood of survival of pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Maintenance of high-quality CPR during transition of care between prehospital and pediatric emergency department (PED) providers is challenging. Our objective for this initiative was to minimize pauses in compressions, in alignment with American Heart Association recommendations, for patients with OHCA during the handoffs from prehospital to PED providers. We aimed to decrease interruptions in compressions during the first 2 minutes of PED care from 17 seconds (baseline data) to 10 seconds over 12 months. Our secondary aims were to decrease the length of the longest pause in compressions to <10 seconds and eliminate encounters in which time to defibrillator pad placement was >120 seconds.

METHODS:

Our multidisciplinary team outlined our theory for improvement and designed interventions aimed at key drivers. Interventions included specific roles and responsibilities, CPR handoff choreography, and empowerment of frontline providers. Data were abstracted from video recordings of patients with OHCA receiving manual CPR on arrival.

RESULTS:

We analyzed 33 encounters between March 2018 and July 2019. We decreased total interruptions from 17 to 12 seconds during the first 2 minutes and decreased the time of the longest single pause from 14 to 7 seconds. We saw a decrease in variability of time to defibrillator pad placement.

CONCLUSIONS:

Implementation of a quality improvement initiative involving CPR transition choreography resulted in decreased interruptions in compressions and decreased variability of time to defibrillator pad placement.

{alpha}-Lipoic Acid (ALA) Improves Cystine Solubility in Cystinuria: Report of 2 Cases

Cystinuria is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by excessive urinary excretion of cystine, resulting in recurrent cystine kidney stones, often presenting in childhood. Current treatment options for cystinuria include dietary and/or fluid measures and potassium citrate to reduce cystine excretion and/or increase solubility. Tiopronin and D-penicillamine are used in refractory cases to bind cystine in urine, albeit with serious side effects. A recent study revealed efficacy of nutritional supplement α-lipoic acid (ALA) treatment in preventing kidney stones in a mouse model of cystinuria. Here, we report 2 pediatric patients (6 and 15 years old) with cystinuria who received regular doses of ALA in addition to conventional therapy with potassium citrate. Both patients tolerated ALA without any adverse effects and had reduced frequency of symptomatic and asymptomatic kidney stones with disappearance of existing kidney stones in 1 patient after 2 months of ALA therapy. ALA treatment markedly improved laboratory markers of cystine solubility in urine with increased cystine capacity (–223 to –1 mg/L in patient 1 and +140 to +272 mg/L in patient 2) and decreased cystine supersaturation (1.7 to 0.88 in patient 1 and 0.64 to 0.48 in patient 2) without any changes in cystine excretion or urine pH. Our findings suggest that ALA improves solubility of cystine in urine and prevents stone formation in patients with cystinuria who do not respond to diet and citrate therapy.

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