PEDIATRICS recent issues

Improving Care and Outcomes for Pediatric Musculoskeletal Infections

BACKGROUND:

Pediatric musculoskeletal infection (MSKI) is a common cause of hospitalization with associated morbidity. To improve the care of pediatric MSKI, our objectives were to achieve 3 specific aims within 24 months of our quality improvement (QI) interventions: (1) 50% reduction in peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) use, (2) 25% reduction in sedations per patient, and (3) 50% reduction in empirical vancomycin administration.

METHODS:

We implemented 4 prospective QI interventions at our tertiary children’s hospital: (1) provider education, (2) centralization of admission location, (3) coordination of radiology-orthopedic communication, and (4) implementation of an MSKI infection algorithm and order set. We included patients 6 months to 18 years of age with acute osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, or pyomyositis and excluded patients with complex chronic conditions or ICU admission. We used statistical process control charts to analyze outcomes over 2 general periods: baseline (January 2015–October 17, 2016) and implementation (October 18, 2016–April 2019).

RESULTS:

In total, 224 patients were included. The mean age was 6.1 years, and there were no substantive demographic or clinical differences between baseline and implementation groups. There was an 81% relative reduction in PICC use (centerline shift 54%–11%; 95% confidence interval 70–92) and 33% relative reduction in sedations per patient (centerline shift 1.8–1.2; 95% confidence interval 21–46). Empirical vancomycin use did not change (centerline 20%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Our multidisciplinary MSKI QI interventions were associated with a significant decrease in the use of PICCs and sedations per patient but not empirical vancomycin administration.

Standard Versus Long Peripheral Catheters for Multiday IV Therapy: A Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVES:

In children, intravenous therapy (IVT) is generally administered via peripheral intravenous catheters (PIVCs) (2–6 cm in length). There is evidence that PIVCs are unreliable after 2 days. Long peripheral catheters (LPCs) (6–15 cm in length) could improve the delivery of IVT. The aim of this trial was to determine if LPCs could decrease catheter failure and the number of catheters in children receiving multiday IVT.

METHODS:

This was an open-label randomized controlled trial conducted at Monash Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Participants were from the ages of 1 to 17 years, undergoing surgery and requiring >48 hours of postoperative IVT. Participants were randomly assigned to a 2.5-cm 22G PIVC or an 8-cm 22G LPC.

RESULTS:

Seventy-two children were randomly assigned, 36 received PIVCs, and 36 received LPCs. The median duration of IVT was 5.1 days and was similar between groups (P = .9). Catheter failure was higher for PIVCs than LPCs (66.7% vs 19.4%; relative risk [RR]: 3.4; P = .0001 or 187.9 vs 41.0 failures per 1000 catheter-days). Infiltration was the most common reason for PIVC failure (33.3% vs 2.8%; RR: 12.0; P = .001). LPCs exhibited superior life span (4.7 vs 3.5 days [median]; P = .01). Children with LPCs were twice as likely to complete therapy with a single catheter (80.6% vs 38.9%; RR: 2.1; P = .0006).

CONCLUSIONS:

LPCs reduce catheter failure and total catheters in children. They should be considered as the first-line device for peripheral access in any child receiving prolonged IVT.

Romantic Relationships in Transgender Adolescents: A Qualitative Study

BACKGROUND:

Identity formation and exploration of interpersonal relationships are important tasks that occur during adolescence. Transgender, gender diverse, and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) individuals must face these developmental milestones in the context of their transgender identity. Our aim with this article is to describe adolescents’ history and experiences with romantic partners.

METHODS:

We conducted phenomenological, qualitative semistructured interviews with transgender adolescents. Questions were focused on romantic experiences, thoughts, and perceptions. All interviews were coded by 2 members of the research team, with disagreements resolved by discussion and, if needed, with a third member of the research team. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data, as well as descriptive categorization.

RESULTS:

In total, 30 adolescents (18 transmasculine and 12 transfeminine) between the ages of 15 and 20 years were interviewed. Themes included (1) engagement in romantic relationships, (2) disclosure of gender identity and romantic relationships, (3) experience with abusive relationships, and (4) perceived impact of gender-affirming hormone care on romantic experiences.

CONCLUSIONS:

TGNC adolescents are engaged in romantic experiences before and during social and/or medical transitioning and are cultivating relationships through both proximal peers and online connections. There is perceived benefit of gender-affirming hormone care on romantic experiences. Risk of transphobia in romantic relationships impacts the approach that transgender adolescents take toward romance and influences decisions of identity disclosure. TGNC adolescents have experience with relationship abuse in different forms. Providers can incorporate these findings in their approach to counseling and screening when caring for TGNC youth.

Timing of Co-occurring Chronic Conditions in Children With Neurologic Impairment

BACKGROUND:

Children with neurologic impairment (NI) are at risk for developing co-occurring chronic conditions, increasing their medical complexity and morbidity. We assessed the prevalence and timing of onset for those conditions in children with NI.

METHODS:

This longitudinal analysis included 6229 children born in 2009 and continuously enrolled in Medicaid through 2015 with a diagnosis of NI by age 3 in the IBM Watson Medicaid MarketScan Database. NI was defined with an existing diagnostic code set encompassing neurologic, genetic, and metabolic conditions that result in substantial functional impairments requiring subspecialty medical care. The prevalence and timing of co-occurring chronic conditions was assessed with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Chronic Condition Indicator system. Mean cumulative function was used to measure age trends in multimorbidity.

RESULTS:

The most common type of NI was static (56.3%), with cerebral palsy (10.0%) being the most common NI diagnosis. Respiratory (86.5%) and digestive (49.4%) organ systems were most frequently affected by co-occurring chronic conditions. By ages 2, 4, and 6 years, the mean (95% confidence interval [CI]) numbers of co-occurring chronic conditions were 3.7 (95% CI 3.7–3.8), 4.6 (95% CI 4.5–4.7), and 5.1 (95% CI 5.1–5.2). An increasing percentage of children had ≥9 co-occurring chronic conditions as they aged: 5.3% by 2 years, 10.0% by 4 years, and 12.8% by 6 years.

CONCLUSIONS:

Children with NI enrolled in Medicaid have substantial multimorbidity that develops early in life. Increased attention to the timing and types of multimorbidity in children with NI may help optimize their preventive care and case management health services.

Variability in Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis

BACKGROUND:

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common childhood motor disability. The emergence of genetic CP etiologies, variable inclusion of hypotonic CP in international registries, and involvement of different medical disciplines in CP diagnosis can promote diagnostic variability. This variability could adversely affect patients’ understanding of their symptoms and access to care. Therefore, we sought to determine the presence and extent of practice variability in CP diagnosis.

METHODS:

We surveyed physicians in the United States and Canada interested in CP on the basis of membership in the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine or the Child Neurology Society Neonatal Neurology, Movement Disorders, or Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Special Interest Groups. The survey included the 2007 consensus definition of CP and 4 hypothetical case scenarios.

RESULTS:

Of 695 contacted physicians, 330 (47%) completed the survey. Two scenarios yielded consensus: (1) nonprogressive spastic diplegia after premature birth with periventricular leukomalacia on brain MRI (96% would diagnose CP) and (2) progressive spastic diplegia (92% would not diagnose CP). Scenarios featuring genetic etiologies or hypotonia as the cause of nonprogressive motor disability yielded variability: only 46% to 67% of practitioners would diagnose CP in these settings.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is practice variability in whether a child with a nonprogressive motor disability due to a genetic etiology or generalized hypotonia will be diagnosed with CP. This variability occurred despite anchoring questions with the 2007 consensus definition of CP. On the basis of these results, we have suggested ways to reduce diagnostic variability, including clarification of the consensus definition.

Early Motor Function of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review

CONTEXT:

Early motor impairments have been reported in children with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD), but it is not clear if early detection of motor impairments can identify children at risk for NDD or how early such impairments might be detected.

OBJECTIVE:

To characterize early motor function in children later diagnosed with NDD relative to typically developing children or normative data.

DATA SOURCES:

The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Embase, Medline, PsycINFO, and Scopus electronic databases were searched.

STUDY SELECTION:

Eligible studies were required to include an examination of motor function in children (0–24 months) with later diagnosis of NDD by using standardized assessment tools.

DATA EXTRACTION:

Data were extracted by 4 independent researchers. The quality of the studies was assessed by using the Standard Quality Assessment Criteria for Evaluating Primary Research Papers from a Variety of Fields checklist.

RESULTS:

Twenty-five studies were included in this review; in most of the studies, the authors examined children with later autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Early motor impairments were detected in children later diagnosed with ASD. The meta-analysis results indicated that differences in fine, gross, and generalized motor functions between the later ASD and typically developing groups increased with age. Motor function across different NDD groups was found to be mixed.

LIMITATIONS:

Results may not be applicable to children with different types of NDD not reported in this review.

CONCLUSIONS:

Early motor impairments are evident in children later diagnosed with ASD. More research is needed to ascertain the clinical utility of motor impairment detection as an early transdiagnostic marker of NDD risk.

Contemporary Management of Urinary Tract Infection in Children

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is common in children, and girls are at a significantly higher risk, as compared to boys, except in early infancy. Most cases are caused by Escherichia coli. Collection of an uncontaminated urine specimen is essential for accurate diagnosis. Oral antibiotic therapy for 7 to 10 days is adequate for uncomplicated cases that respond well to the treatment. A renal ultrasound examination is advised in all young children with first febrile UTI and in older children with recurrent UTI. Most children with first febrile UTI do not need a voiding cystourethrogram; it may be considered after the first UTI in children with abnormal renal and bladder ultrasound examination or a UTI caused by atypical pathogen, complex clinical course, or known renal scarring. Long-term antibiotic prophylaxis is used selectively in high-risk patients. Few patients diagnosed with vesicoureteral reflux after a UTI need surgical correction. The most consequential long-term complication of acute pyelonephritis is renal scarring, which may increase the risk of hypertension or chronic kidney disease later in life. Treatment of acute pyelonephritis with an appropriate antibiotic within 48 hours of fever onset and prevention of recurrent UTI lowers the risk of renal scarring. Pathogens causing UTI are increasingly becoming resistant to commonly used antibiotics, and their indiscriminate use in doubtful cases of UTI must be discouraged.

Pyuria and Urine Concentration for Identifying Urinary Tract Infection in Young Children

OBJECTIVES:

Accuracy of pyuria for urinary tract infection (UTI) varies with urine concentration. Our objective of this study was to determine the optimal white blood cell (WBC) cutoff for UTI in young children at different urine concentrations as measured by urine specific gravity.

METHODS:

Retrospective cross-sectional study of children <24 months of age evaluated in the emergency department for suspected UTI with paired urinalysis and urine culture during a 6-year period. The primary outcome was positive urine culture result as described in the American Academy of Pediatrics clinical practice guideline culture thresholds. Test characteristics for microscopic pyuria cut points and positive leukocyte esterase (LE) were calculated across 3 urine specific gravity groups: low <1.011, moderate 1.011 to 1.020, and high >1.020.

RESULTS:

Of the total 24 171 patients analyzed, urine culture result was positive in 2003 (8.3%). Urine was obtained by transurethral in-and-out catheterization in 97.9%. Optimal WBC cutoffs per high-power field (HPF) were 3 (positive likelihood ratio [LR+] 10.5; negative likelihood ratio [LR–] 0.12) at low, 6 (LR+ 12; LR– 0.14) at moderate, and 8 (LR+ 11.1; LR– 0.35) at high urine concentrations. Likelihood ratios for small positive LE from low to high urine concentrations (LR+ 25.2, LR– 0.12; LR+ 33.1, LR– 0.15; LR+ 37.6, LR– 0.41) remained excellent.

CONCLUSIONS:

Optimal pyuria cut point in predicting positive urine culture results changes with urine concentration in young children. Pyuria thresholds of 3 WBCs per HPF at low urine concentrations whereas 8 WBCs per HPF at high urine concentrations have optimal predictive value for UTI. Positive LE is a strong predictor of UTI regardless of urine concentration.

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