PEDIATRICS recent issues

Seeing Is Believing: Ultrasound in Pediatric Procedural Performance

Point-of-care ultrasound is currently widely used across the landscape of pediatric care. Ultrasound machines are now smaller, are easier to use, and have much improved image quality. They have become common in emergency departments, ICUs, inpatient wards, and outpatient clinics. Recent growth of supportive evidence makes a strong case for using point-of-care ultrasound for pediatric interventions such as vascular access (in particular, central-line placement), lumbar puncture, fluid drainage (paracentesis, thoracentesis, pericardiocentesis), suprapubic aspiration, and soft tissue incision and drainage. Our review of this evidence reveals that point-of-care ultrasound has become a powerful tool for improving procedural success and patient safety. Pediatric patients and clinicians performing procedures stand to benefit greatly from point-of-care ultrasound, because seeing is believing.

The Palliative Use of Intrathecal Baclofen in Niemann-Pick Disease Type C

Niemann-Pick disease type C is a rare progressive genetic disorder that leads to the abnormal accumulation of lipids within various tissues of the body, including brain tissue and liver. There is a rapid progression of the disease, resulting in severe disability in only a few years after the first symptoms, and survival is not much longer. Spasticity, dystonia, and chronic pain are common findings that severely impact quality of life in these patients. Analgesic management with traditional pain medications is not always effective, and the risk for secondary effects in medically complex patients is high. Liver function is also a limiting factor in these patients. This is a case report of a boy with advanced Niemann-Pick disease type C with developmental regression, cataplexia, and seizures. His severe spasticity made positioning and care difficult, and intense pain required multiple hospitalizations. He had unsuccessfully trialed multiple drugs. An intrathecal baclofen pump was placed without surgical complications and resulted in positive clinical effects. Baclofen pumps have classically been used for spasticity management in adults and children with nonprogressive diseases such as cerebral palsy or spinal cord injury with relatively long life expectancies. In adults, they have been used in patients with multiple sclerosis; however, use in pediatric neurodegenerative diseases has scarcely been reported. The use of intrathecal baclofen in palliative settings might provide an additional resource to provide comfort and quality of life for children with neurodegenerative diseases not only at end-of-life stages but also earlier on.

Acute Flaccid Myelitis in the United States: 2015-2017

BACKGROUND:

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a neurologic condition characterized by flaccid limb weakness. After a large number of reports of AFM in 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began standardized surveillance in the United States to characterize the disease burden and explore potential etiologies and epidemiologic associations.

METHODS:

Persons meeting the clinical case criteria of acute flaccid limb weakness from January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2017, were classified as confirmed (spinal cord gray matter lesions on MRI) or probable (white blood cell count >5 cells per mm3 in cerebrospinal fluid [CSF]). We describe clinical, radiologic, laboratory, and epidemiologic findings of pediatric patients (age ≤21 years) confirmed with AFM.

RESULTS:

Of 305 children reported from 43 states, 193 were confirmed and 25 were probable. Of confirmed patients, 61% were male, with a median age of 6 years (range: 3 months to 21 years; interquartile range: 3 to 10 years). An antecedent respiratory or febrile illness was reported in 79% with a median of 5 days (interquartile range: 2 to 7 days) before limb weakness. Among 153 sterile-site specimens (CSF and serum) submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coxsackievirus A16 was detected in CSF and serum of one case patient and enterovirus D68 was detected in serum of another. Of 167 nonsterile site (respiratory and stool) specimens, 28% tested positive for enterovirus or rhinovirus.

CONCLUSIONS:

AFM surveillance data suggest a viral etiology, including enteroviruses. Further study is ongoing to better characterize the etiology, pathogenesis, and risk factors of this rare condition.

Trends in Referrals to a Pediatric Transgender Clinic

OBJECTIVES:

We characterized referral trends over time at a transgender clinic within an integrated health system in Northern California. We identified the transition-related requests of pediatric transgender and gender-nonconforming patients and evaluated differences in referrals by age group.

METHODS:

Medical records were analyzed for all patients <18 years of age in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California health system who were referred to a specialty transgender clinic between February 2015 and June 2018. Trends in treatment demand, demographic data, service requests, and surgical history were abstracted from medical charts and analyzed by using descriptive statistics.

RESULTS:

We identified 417 unique transgender and gender-nonconforming pediatric patients. The median age at time of referral was 15 years (range 3–17). Most (62%) identified on the masculine spectrum. Of the 203 patients with available ethnicity data, 68% were non-Hispanic. During the study period, the clinic received a total of 506 referrals with a significant increase over time (P < .001). Most referrals were for requests to start cross-sex hormones and/or blockers (34%), gender-affirming surgery (32%), and mental health (27%). Transition-related requests varied by age group: younger patients sought more mental health services, and older patients sought hormonal and surgical services. Eighty-nine patients underwent gender-affirming surgeries, mostly before age 18 and most frequently mastectomies (77%).

CONCLUSIONS:

The increase in referrals supports the need for expanded and accessible health care services for this population. The transition-related care of patients in this large sample varied by age group, underscoring the need for an individualized approach to gender-affirming care.

E-cigarette Marketing Exposure and Subsequent Experimentation Among Youth and Young Adults

OBJECTIVES:

Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use has become increasingly prevalent among US youth and young adults in recent years. Exposure to e-cigarette marketing may stimulate e-cigarette use. In this study, we estimated the longitudinal association between e-cigarette marketing exposure and e-cigarette experimentation among US youth and young adult never tobacco users.

METHODS:

The analysis included nationally representative samples of youth (ages 12–17; n = 8121) and young adult (ages 18–24; n = 1683) never tobacco users from wave 2 (2014–2015) and wave 3 (2015–2016) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study. In the study, researchers measured past-month exposure to e-cigarette marketing through various places (eg, Web sites and events) at wave 2 and e-cigarette experimentation at wave 3. Statistical analysis included multivariable regressions to examine the associations between wave 2 e-cigarette marketing exposure and wave 3 e-cigarette experimentation.

RESULTS:

At wave 2, 70.7% of youth and 73.9% of young adult never tobacco users reported past-month exposure to e-cigarette marketing; at wave 3, 4.9% and 4.5% of youth and young adults experimented with e-cigarettes, respectively. Youth and young adults exposed to e-cigarette marketing at wave 2 were more likely (adjusted odds ratio = 1.53, 95% confidence interval = 1.07–2.17; and adjusted odds ratio = 2.73, 95% confidence interval = 1.16–6.42, respectively) to have experimented with e-cigarettes at wave 3 than those not exposed. Marketing exposure through each place at wave 2 was associated with e-cigarette experimentation at wave 3.

CONCLUSIONS:

E-cigarette marketing exposure predicted subsequent e-cigarette experimentation among youth and young adult never tobacco users. Increased restrictions on marketing through various channels may help minimize their exposure to e-cigarette marketing messages.

Suicidality Disparities Between Transgender and Cisgender Adolescents

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Emerging evidence indicates transgender adolescents (TGAs) exhibit elevated rates of suicidal ideation and attempt compared with cisgender adolescents (CGAs). Less is known about risk among subgroups of TGAs because of limited measures of gender identity in previous studies. We examined disparities in suicidality across the full spectrum of suicidality between TGAs and CGAs and examined risk for suicidality within TGA subgroups.

METHODS:

Adolescents aged 14 to 18 completed a cross-sectional online survey (N = 2020, including 1148 TGAs). Participants reported gender assigned at birth and current gender identity (categorized as cisgender males, cisgender females, transgender males, transgender females, nonbinary adolescents assigned female at birth, nonbinary adolescents assigned male at birth, and questioning gender identity). Lifetime suicidality (passive death wish, suicidal ideation, suicide plan, suicide attempt, and attempt requiring medical care) and nonsuicidal self-injury were assessed.

RESULTS:

Aggregated into 1 group, TGAs had higher odds of all outcomes as compared with CGAs. Within TGA subgroups, transgender males and transgender females had higher odds of suicidal ideation and attempt than CGA groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this study, we used comprehensive measures of gender assigned at birth and current gender identity within a large nationwide survey of adolescents in the United States to examine suicidality among TGAs and CGAs. TGAs had higher odds of all suicidality outcomes, and transgender males and transgender females had high risk for suicidal ideation and attempt. Authors of future adolescent suicidality research must assess both gender assigned at birth and current gender identity to accurately identify and categorize TGAs.

Trends of Suicidal Behaviors Among High School Students in the United States: 1991-2017

OBJECTIVES:

To determine if racial and ethnic subgroups of adolescents are at high risk for engagement in suicidal behaviors.

METHODS:

Using the nationally representative school-based Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the years 1991 to 2017, we conducted logistic regression analyses to examine trends by different racial and ethnic groups, with each suicide indicator serving as a dichotomous outcome. Participants included 198 540 high school students.

RESULTS:

Across all sex and race and ethnic groups, there were significant linear decreases in self-reported suicidal ideation and suicide plans from 1991 to 2017. Female adolescents (odds ratio [OR], 0.98; P < .001) had significant decreases in attempts over time. Black adolescents had positive linear trends for suicide attempts among both boys (OR, 1.04; P < .001) and girls (OR, 1.02; P = .003). Black adolescent boys (OR, 1.04; P = .048) had a significant linear increase in injury by attempt.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results suggest that, over time, black youth have experienced an increase in suicide attempts, which is troubling because attempts are the most prominent risk factor associated with suicide death. For black boys, a significant increase in injury by attempt occurred, which suggests that black boys may be engaging in increasingly lethal means when attempting suicide. Examining trends of suicidal thoughts and behaviors over time by sex and race and ethnicity allow us to determine where to focus prevention and intervention efforts. Future research should examine the underlying reasons for these changes observed in US high school students.

Prevalence and Factors Associated With Safe Infant Sleep Practices

OBJECTIVES:

To examine prevalence of safe infant sleep practices and variation by sociodemographic, behavioral, and health care characteristics, including provider advice.

METHODS:

Using 2016 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System data from 29 states, we examined maternal report of 4 safe sleep practices indicating how their infant usually slept: (1) back sleep position, (2) separate approved sleep surface, (3) room-sharing without bed-sharing, and (4) no soft objects or loose bedding as well as receipt of health care provider advice corresponding to each sleep practice.

RESULTS:

Most mothers reported usually placing their infants to sleep on their backs (78.0%), followed by room-sharing without bed-sharing (57.1%). Fewer reported avoiding soft bedding (42.4%) and using a separate approved sleep surface (31.8%). Reported receipt of provider advice ranged from 48.8% (room-sharing without bed-sharing) to 92.6% (back sleep position). Differences by sociodemographic, behavioral, and health care characteristics were larger for safe sleep practices (~10–20 percentage points) than receipt of advice (~5–10 percentage points). Receipt of provider advice was associated with increased use of safe sleep practices, ranging from 12% for room-sharing without bed-sharing (adjusted prevalence ratio: 1.12; 95% confidence interval: 1.09–1.16) to 28% for back sleep position (adjusted prevalence ratio: 1.28; 95% confidence interval: 1.21–1.35). State-level differences in safe sleep practices spanned 20 to 25 percentage points and did not change substantially after adjustment for available characteristics.

CONCLUSIONS:

Safe infant sleep practices, especially those other than back sleep position, are suboptimal, with demographic and state-level differences indicating improvement opportunities. Receipt of provider advice is an important modifiable factor to improve infant sleep practices.

Earlier Hospital Discharge With Prospectively Designated Discharge Time in the Electronic Health Record

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Hospital discharge requires multidisciplinary coordination. Insufficient coordination impacts patient flow, resource use, and postdischarge outcomes. Our objectives were to (1) implement a prospective, multidisciplinary discharge timing designation in the electronic health record (EHR) and (2) evaluate its association with discharge timing.

METHODS:

This quality-improvement study evaluated the implementation of confirmed discharge time (CDT), an EHR designation representing specific discharge timing developed jointly by a patient’s family and the health care team. CDT was intended to support task management and coordination of multidisciplinary discharge processes and could be entered and viewed by all team members. Four plan-do-study-act improvement phases were studied: (1) baseline, (2) provider education, (3) provider feedback, and (4) EHR modification. Statistical process control charts tracked CDT use and the proportion of discharges before noon. Length of stay was used as a balancing measure.

RESULTS:

During the study period from April 2013 through March 2017, 20 133 pediatric discharges occurred, with similar demographics observed throughout all phases. Mean CDT use increased from 0% to 62%, with special cause variations being detected after the provider education and EHR modification phases. Over the course of the study, the proportion of discharges before noon increased by 6.2 percentage points, from 19.9% to 26.1%, whereas length of stay decreased from 47 (interquartile range: 25–95) to 43 (interquartile range: 24–88) hours (both P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS:

The implementation of a prospective, multidisciplinary EHR discharge time designation was associated with more before-noon discharges. Next steps include replicating results in other settings and determining populations that are most responsive to discharge coordination efforts.

Behavior and Quality of Life at 6 Years for Children With Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

OBJECTIVES:

We measured behavioral, quality of life (QoL), and functional status outcomes for 6-year-old children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome enrolled in the Single Ventricle Reconstruction Trial. We sought to compare these outcomes with those in the normative population and to analyze risk factors for worse outcomes within the single-ventricle group.

METHODS:

Parent-response instruments included the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition (Vineland-II) (primary outcome), Behavior Assessment System for Children 2, Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0, and other measures of QoL and functional status. We compared subjects with those in the normative sample using 1-sample Wilcoxon rank tests and assessed outcome predictors using multivariable regression.

RESULTS:

Of 325 eligible patients, 250 (77%) participated. Compared with population norms, participants had lower scores on the Vineland-II motor skills domain (90 ± 17 vs 100 ± 15; P < .001), with 11% scoring >2 SDs below the normative mean. On nearly all major domains, more study subjects (3.3%–19.7%) scored outside the normal range than anticipated for the general population. Independent risk factors for lower Vineland-II scores included perioperative extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, male sex, use of regional cerebral perfusion, catheterization after stage 2 operation, visual problems, seizure history, and more complications after 2 years (R2 = 0.32). Independent predictors of worse Behavior Assessment System for Children 2 (R2 = 0.07–0.20) and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0 (R2 = 0.17–0.25) domain scores also included sociodemographic factors and measures of morbidity and/or greater course complexity.

CONCLUSIONS:

At 6 years, children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome had difficulty in areas of adaptive behavior, behavioral symptoms, QoL, and functional status. Principal risks for adverse outcomes include sociodemographic factors and measures of greater course complexity. However, models reveal less than one-third of outcome variance.

Newborn Antibiotic Exposures and Association With Proven Bloodstream Infection

OBJECTIVES:

To estimate the percentage of hospital births receiving antibiotics before being discharged from the hospital and efficiency diagnosing proven bloodstream infection.

METHODS:

We conducted a cross-sectional study of 326 845 live births in 2017, with a 69% sample of all California births involving 121 California hospitals with a NICU, of which 116 routinely served inborn neonates. Exposure included intravenous or intramuscular antibiotic administered anywhere in the hospital during inpatient stay associated with maternal delivery. The main outcomes were the percent of newborns with antibiotic exposure and counts of exposed newborns per proven bloodstream infection. Units of observation and analysis were the individual hospitals. Correlation analyses included infection rates, surgical case volume, NICU inborn admission rates, and mortality rates.

RESULTS:

The percent of newborns with antibiotic exposure varied from 1.6% to 42.5% (mean 8.5%; SD 6.3%; median 7.3%). Across hospitals, 11.4 to 335.7 infants received antibiotics per proven early-onset sepsis case (mean 95.1; SD 71.1; median 69.5), and 2 to 164 infants received antibiotics per proven late-onset sepsis case (mean 19.6; SD 24.0; median 12.2). The percent of newborns with antibiotic exposure correlated neither with proven bloodstream infection nor with the percent of patient-days entailing antibiotic exposure.

CONCLUSIONS:

The percent of newborns with antibiotic exposure varies widely and is unexplained by proven bloodstream infection. Identification of sepsis, particularly early onset, often is extremely inefficient. Knowledge of the numbers of newborns receiving antibiotics complements evaluations anchored in days of exposure because these are uncorrelated measures.

Previsit Screening for Parental Vaccine Hesitancy: A Cluster Randomized Trial

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effect of vaccine hesitancy screening on childhood vaccine uptake.

METHODS:

We conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial in pediatric primary care clinics in Washington state. Vaccine-hesitant parents (VHPs) with a healthy newborn receiving health supervision at participating clinics were eligible. VHPs were identified by using a 4-item version of the validated Parent Attitudes About Childhood Vaccines Survey (PACV). Before their child’s 2- and 6-month health supervision visits, VHPs at intervention clinics completed the 15-item PACV embedded in a survey containing placebo items. Intervention providers received a summary of parents’ 15-item PACV responses and interpretation of their PACV score; discretion was given to providers regarding how they acted on this information. VHPs at control clinics completed only the placebo survey items, and their child’s provider received a summary of their responses; control providers remained blinded to parent VHP status. Our outcome was child immunization status at 8 months of age expressed as percent of days underimmunized. We compared outcomes in control and intervention participants using t test and linear mixed-effects regression.

RESULTS:

We enrolled 24 clinics (12 in each arm) and 156 parents (65 in the intervention arm). Parent characteristics were similar across arms except more intervention (versus control) parents had a first-born child (60.9% vs 44%; P = .04). No significant difference in outcome was detected between arms (25.2% [95% confidence interval: 16.0% to 34.5%] vs 19.1% [95% confidence interval: 12.0% to 26.3%] mean days underimmunized in the intervention and control arms, respectively).

CONCLUSION:

Vaccine hesitancy screening was not significantly associated with days underimmunized.

Seeking a Second Opinion on Social Media

Social media pervades all aspects of our lives. In medicine, it has changed the ways that patients and parents get health information, advocate for particular treatments for themselves and their children, and raise money for expensive treatments. In this Ethics Rounds, we present a case in which the use of social media seemed to cross the boundaries of acceptable professionalism. What should the ground rules be for doctors who are tempted to give medical opinions online about patients whom they have never seen?

Serum MMP-7 in the Diagnosis of Biliary Atresia

BACKGROUND:

The overlapping features of biliary atresia (BA) and other neonatal cholestasis with alternative causes (non-BA) have posed challenges for diagnosis. Matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7) has been reported to be promising in diagnosing BA. We aimed to validate the diagnostic accuracy of MMP-7 for BA in a large population sample.

METHODS:

We enrolled 288 patients with neonatal obstructive jaundice from March 2017 to October 2018. Serum MMP-7 levels were measured by using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Receiver operating characteristic curves were constructed, and decision curve analysis was done. A Pearson correlation coefficient test was conducted to assess the correlation between MMP-7 levels and other characteristics.

RESULTS:

The median serum MMP-7 levels were 38.89 ng/mL (interquartile range: 22.96–56.46) for the BA group and 4.4 ng/mL (interquartile range: 2.73–6.56) for the non-BA group (P < .001). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve value was 0.9829 for MMP-7, and the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were 95.19%, 93.07%, 97.27%, and 91.43%, respectively, at a cutoff value of 10.37 ng/mL. When MMP-7 was combined with glutamyl transferase, the diagnostic accuracy was slightly improved without significance when compared with MMP-7 alone and had an area under the curve of 0.9880 (P = .08). Decision curve analysis also showed potential for MMP-7 to be used for clinical applications. A significant correlation was found with fibrosis stage from liver biopsy (R = 0.47; P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS:

MMP-7 demonstrated good accuracy in diagnosing BA and holds promise for future clinical application. Furthermore, its correlation with liver fibrosis indicated its potential use as a therapeutic target or prognostic biomarker.

Long-term Outcome of Schilder Disease Treated With Interferon-{beta}

Schilder disease, also termed diffuse myelinoclastic sclerosis, is characterized by a large demyelinating lesion involving 1 or both sides of the centrum semiovale of the cerebral hemispheres. It often presents with tumorlike features and poses a diagnostic challenge. Schilder disease can be monophasic or relapsing, and disease-modifying therapy for the latter scenario is largely empirical. Here, we report a 14-year-old girl with relapsing Schilder disease within 1 year after disease onset. She has been followed-up for nearly 10 years and remains in sustained remission ever since interferon-β therapy was prescribed after the second attack. In this case study, it is suggested that interferon-β may induce long-term remission in relapsing Schilder disease and is therefore worth considering in this regard.

Vaccination Status and Resource Use During Hospital Visits for Respiratory Illnesses

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate variation in resource use for children with acute respiratory tract illness (ARTI) by vaccination status.

METHODS:

We conducted a retrospective cohort study of children 0 to 16 years of age at 5 children’s hospitals with 1 of 4 ARTI diagnoses (pneumonia, croup, asthma, and bronchiolitis) between July 2014 and June 2016. The predictor variable was provider-documented up-to-date (UTD) vaccination status (yes or no). Outcomes were receipt of each of the following tests or treatments (yes or no): complete blood cell count, blood cultures, C-reactive protein (CRP) level testing, viral testing, influenza testing, pertussis testing, chest radiographs, neck radiographs, antibiotics, and corticosteroids. We generated multivariable logistic regression models to examine the associations between our predictor and outcomes.

RESULTS:

Of the 2302 participants included in analysis, 568 (25%) were diagnosed with pneumonia, 343 (15%) were diagnosed with croup, 653 (28%) were diagnosed with asthma, and 738 (32%) were diagnosed with bronchiolitis. Most (92%) vaccination statuses were documented as UTD. Across conditions, children whose vaccination status was documented as not UTD had higher adjusted odds of receiving a complete blood cell count, blood culture, CRP level testing, and influenza testing (P < .001). Children with pneumonia whose vaccination status was documented as not UTD had higher adjusted odds of receiving CRP level testing and influenza testing (P < .001). Children with croup whose vaccination status was documented as not UTD had higher adjusted odds of receiving blood cultures (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Children with ARTI whose vaccination status was documented as not UTD had higher odds of undergoing laboratory testing compared with children whose vaccination status was documented as UTD.

Successful Conservative Treatment of Mycotic Pulmonary Artery Aneurysms Caused by MRSA Bacteremia

Mycotic pulmonary artery aneurysms (MPAAs) are rare and life-threatening with currently no recommended treatment strategies. In this report, we describe a successfully treated case of ventricular septal defect in an 11-month-old girl who developed bacteremia, infective endocarditis, and MPAA caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). We first started vancomycin, gentamycin, and panipenem-betamipron for infective endocarditis but switched to teicoplanin and arbekacin on day 3 after initiating treatment because bacteremia persisted, and vancomycin minimum inhibitory concentration was relatively high at 2 mg/L. Although we added clindamycin on day 5 and fosfomycin on day 7, MRSA bacteremia persisted, and we finally added daptomycin at 10 mg/kg per day on day 8, whereupon the bacteremia subsided within a day. Although the bacteremia subsided, the patient developed septic pulmonary embolisms and septic arthritis on her left knee. We continued daptomycin but switched the concomitant drug to linezolid, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and rifampicin on day 11. After several repeats of puncture and lavage of her knee joint, she became afebrile on day 16. Computed tomography scans taken on day 32 revealed right pulmonary artery MPAAs. She was treated with long-term multidrug therapy, and MPAAs were absent on subsequent computed tomography scans on day 184. Multidrug therapy mainly based on daptomycin could be a possible salvage therapy for refractory MRSA bacteremia with high vancomycin minimum inhibitory concentration. Conservative treatment should be selectively considered as a treatment option for clinically stable MPAA instead of surgical and endovascular treatment.

Flavored E-cigarette Use and Progression of Vaping in Adolescents

OBJECTIVES:

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are available in nontraditional flavors (eg, fruit and candy) that are banned in combustible cigarettes in the United States. Whether adolescent use of e-cigarettes in nontraditional flavors prospectively predicts continuation of vaping and progression to more frequent vaping is unknown.

METHODS:

High school students in Los Angeles, California, completed 5 semiannual surveys (2014–2017 [10th grade to 12th grade]). Among past-6-month e-cigarette users at survey waves 1 to 4 (N = 478), e-cigarette flavor (or flavors) used was coded into 2 mutually exclusive categories at each wave (use of ≥1 nontraditional flavors [fruit, candy, sweet or dessert, buttery, blends or combinations, and other] versus exclusive use of tobacco, menthol or mint, or flavorless). Flavor used during waves 1 to 4 was modeled as a time-varying, time-lagged regressor of vaping status and frequency outcomes 6 months later at waves 2 to 5.

RESULTS:

Across waves 1 to 4, there were 739 (93.8%) observations of nontraditional-flavor use and 49 (6.2%) observations of exclusive use of tobacco, mint or menthol, or flavorless e-cigarettes. Use of e-cigarettes in nontraditional flavors (versus only tobacco, mint or menthol, or flavorless) was positively associated with vaping continuation (64.3% vs 42.9%; adjusted odds ratio = 3.76 [95% confidence interval 1.20 to 10.31]) and past-30-day number of puffs per nicotine vaping episode (mean: 3.1 [SD 5.5] vs 1.5 [SD 3.8]; adjusted rate ratio = 2.41 [95% confidence interval 1.08 to 5.92]) 6 months later. Flavor used was not associated with the subsequent number of past-30-day vaping days or episodes per day.

CONCLUSIONS:

Adolescents who vaped e-cigarettes in nontraditional flavors, compared with those who exclusively vaped tobacco-flavored, mint- or menthol-flavored, or flavorless e-cigarettes, were more likely to continue vaping and take more puffs per vaping occasion 6 months later.

Prescription Opioid Use in General and Pediatric Emergency Departments

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Recent evidence reveals that exposure to emergency department (ED) opioids is associated with a higher risk of misuse. Pediatric EDs are generally thought to provide the highest-quality care for young persons, but most children are treated in general EDs. We sought to determine if ED opioid administration and prescribing vary between pediatric and general EDs.

METHODS:

We analyzed the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (2006–2015), a representative survey of ED visits, by using multivariate logistic regressions. Outcomes of interest were the proportion of patients ≤25 years of age who (1) were administered an opioid in the ED, (2) were given a prescription for an opioid, or (3) were given a prescription for a nonopioid analgesic. The key predictor variable was ED type. A secondary analysis was conducted on the subpopulation of patients with a diagnosis of fracture or dislocation.

RESULTS:

Of patients ≤25 years of age, 91.1% were treated in general EDs. The odds of being administered an opioid in the ED were similar in pediatric versus general EDs (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.88; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.61–1.27; P = .49). Patients seen in pediatric EDs were less likely to receive an outpatient prescription for opioids (adjusted OR 0.38; 95% CI 0.27–0.52; P < .01) than similar patients in general EDs. This was true for the fracture subset as well (adjusted OR 0.27; 95% CI 0.13–0.54; P < .01).

CONCLUSIONS:

Although children, adolescents, and young adults had similar odds of being administered opioids while in the ED, they were much less likely to receive an opioid prescription from a pediatric ED compared with a general ED.

Improving Infant Vaccination Status in a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Infants in NICUs are at risk for underimmunization. Adherence to the routine immunization schedule recommended by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices minimizes the risk of contracting vaccine-preventable illnesses in this vulnerable population. From January 2015 to June 2017, only 56% (419 of 754) of the infants in our Mayo Clinic level IV NICU were fully up to date for recommended immunizations at the time of discharge or hospital unit transfer. We aimed to increase this rate to 80% within 6 months.

METHODS:

Using the quality improvement methodology of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control, we analyzed baseline data, including provider and nursing surveys using a fishbone diagram, the 5 Whys, and a Pareto chart. We identified 3 major root causes of the quality gap: lack of provider knowledge of the routine immunization schedule, failure of providers to order vaccines when due, and hesitancy of parents toward vaccination. Using plan-do-study-act cycles, 5 improvement interventions were implemented. These included an intranet resource for NICU providers on the routine immunization schedule, an Excel-based checklist to track when immunizations were due, and provider education on parental vaccine hesitancy and vaccine safety.

RESULTS:

During the 19-month improve and control phases of the project, the fully immunized rate at the time of NICU discharge or transfer rose from a baseline of 56% (419 of 754) to 93% (453 of 488), with a P value <.001.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our NICU significantly improved infant immunization rates with a small number of interventions. These interventions may be generalizable to other NICUs with low infant immunization rates.

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