The latest medical research on Paediatric Emergency Medicine

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about paediatric emergency medicine gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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A Multistate Survey of Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator Activities.

Pediatric Emergency Care

Pediatric emergency care coordinators (PECCs) are associated with pediatric readiness of emergency departments (EDs). National organizations have called for PECCs in all EDs. Although the National Pediatric Readiness Program provides a list of suggested tasks for each PECC, little is known about implementation. Our objective was to describe the role of PECCs in EDs.

We analyzed data from the 2019 National ED Inventory-USA to identify EDs with PECCs in 8 states (Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, New York, Vermont, and Wisconsin). We called each ED that reported having a PECC to administer a standardized survey assessing NRPP tasks, specifically quality improvement (QI), education provision, skill verification, equipment responsibilities, and how many hours the PECC devoted to the role.

Of the 201 of 830 EDs (24%) that reported a PECC, 167 (83%) completed the survey, with >80% response rate in each state. Of these, 153 EDs (92%) confirmed a PECC, and during the past year, 81% participated in QI initiatives, 93% provided pediatric education, 90% verified staff skills, and 90% were responsible for ensuring medications, equipment, supplies, and resources for children. The median number of hours per week that PECCs devoted to this role was 12 (interquartile range, 5-40). There was wide variation between states (eg, 50% of PECCs in Vermont participating in QI activities, as compared with 100% in Nebraska).

Most PECCs report participating in the suggested National Pediatric Readiness Program tasks, although there was variation by state. Future directions for this work include assessing the association between PECC tasks and patient outcomes.

Low Relevancy of Outcome Measurements of Studies of Pediatric Pain in the Emergency Department.

Pediatric Emergency Care

Many children visiting the emergency department (ED) experience pain. Several pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions are used for pain control. Little is known about the outcome measurements in studies about pain in children in the ED.Furthermore, it is not known if complete pain relief was reached.

PubMed, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and EMBASE were searched for articles on clinical trials for pain relief in children in the ED. Inclusion criteria contained predictable and identifiable pain such as after trauma or during procedures.

Of 620 articles found, 45 fulfilled the criteria. Twenty studies (44%) used pharmacological interventions, and 25 (56%) studied nonpharmacological interventions. In 24 studies (53%), a statistically significant pain reduction was described in the intervention group. In 21 studies (47%), a clinically relevant reduction in pain was found. In only 1 study, the reported aim was to reach absence of pain.

Half of the interventions decreased pain in children in the ED. However, most studies did not aim at complete pain relief. Even in intervention groups with statistically significant decrease in pain, children still had pain. Children in the ED deserve better.Complete pain relief should be the goal of any intervention for these children in the ED.Studies on pain treatment in the ED should have complete pain relief as primary end point.

0.45% Versus 0.9% Saline in 5% Dextrose as Maintenance Fluids in Children Admitted With Acute Illness: A Randomized Control Trial.

Pediatric Emergency Care

The safety of giving intravenous (IV) maintenance fluids according to Holliday and Segar's recommendations of 1957 has recently been questioned after reports of complications caused by iatrogenic hyponatremia in children receiving hypotonic fluids. However, the current practice of choice of maintenance IV fluids for hospitalized children varies worldwide. This study was planned to compare 0.45% and 0.9% saline in 5% dextrose at standard maintenance rates in hospitalized children aged 3 months to 12 years.

Primary objective was to study change in serum sodium level at 24 hours in children receiving total IV fluid maintenance therapy as 0.45% or 0.9% normal saline in 5% dextrose. Secondary objectives of this study were to estimate change in serum sodium levels from the baseline to 48 or 72 hours, if IV fluids were continued, and to find incidence of hyponatremia and hypernatremia after administering these 2 types of maintenance fluids.

This study was an open-label, randomized control trial conducted at the Department of Pediatrics of a tertiary care hospital from July 22, 2019, to October 28, 2019. Two hundred children aged 3 months to 12 years admitted in pediatric emergency and requiring IV maintenance fluid were randomized into 2 groups (group A received 0.45% saline in 5% dextrose, group B received 0.9% normal saline in 5% dextrose) with 100 in each group.

Both groups were comparable for baseline characteristics. Fall in mean serum sodium from baseline was more with increasing duration of IV fluids until 24 hours in 0.45% saline group as compared with 0.9% saline group, which was statistically significant (P < 0.001). The incidence of mild and moderate hyponatremia was significantly more in hypotonic group at 12 hours (P < 0.001) and 24 hours (P < 0.001). However, there was no significant difference at 48 hours.

The fall in serum sodium values was significant, and there was significant risk of hyponatremia with the use of hypotonic fluids at 12 and 24 hours. Hence, the use of isotonic fluids seems to be more appropriate among the hospitalized children.Trial Registration: CTRI/2019/10/021791.

Accuracy and Interrater Reliability of Point-of-Care Ultrasonography Image Interpretation for Intussusception.

Pediatric Emergency Care

The aim of this study was to determine the accuracy and interrater reliability of (1) point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) image interpretation for identification of intussusception and (2) reliability of secondary signs associated with intussusception among experts compared with novice POCUS reviewers.

We conducted a planned secondary analysis of a prospective, convenience sample of children aged 3 months to 6 years who were evaluated with POCUS for intussusception across 17 international pediatric emergency departments between October 2018 and December 2020. A random sample of 100 POCUS examinations was reviewed by novice and expert POCUS reviewers. The primary outcome was identification of the presence or absence of intussusception. Secondary outcomes included intussusception size and the presence of trapped free fluid or echogenic foci. Accuracy was summarized using sensitivity and specificity, which were estimated via generalized mixed effects logistic regression. Interrater reliability was summarized via Light's κ statistics with bootstrapped standard errors (SEs). Accuracy and reliability of expert and novice POCUS reviewers were compared.

Eighteen expert and 16 novice POCUS reviewers completed the reviews. The average expert sensitivity was 94.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 88.6-97.5), and the specificity was 94.3% (95% CI, 90.3-96.7), significantly higher than the average novice sensitivity of 84.7% (95% CI, 74.3-91.4) and specificity of 80.4% (95% CI, 72.4, 86.7). κ was significantly greater for expert (0.679, SE 0.039) compared with novice POCUS reviewers (0.424, SE 0.044; difference 0.256, SE 0.033). For our secondary outcome measure of intussusception size, κ was significantly greater for experts (0.661, SE 0.038) compared with novices (0.397, SE 0.041; difference 0.264, SE 0.029). Interrater reliability was weak for expert and minimal for novice reviewers regarding the detection of trapped free fluid and echogenic foci.

Expert POCUS reviewers demonstrate high accuracy and moderate interrater reliability when identifying intussusception via image interpretation and perform better than novice reviewers.

Anaphylaxis in Children.

Pediatric Emergency Care

Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening event in children, commonly encountered in the prehospital and emergency department settings. Recentl...

Emerging Trends in Smartphone Photo Documentation of Child Physical Abuse.

Pediatric Emergency Care

Photo documentation of injuries on children is universally recommended in cases of suspected child physical abuse. As technology improves, the abil...

SARS-CoV-2 With Concurrent Respiratory Viral Infection as a Risk Factor for a Higher Level of Care in Hospitalized Pediatric Patients.

Pediatric Emergency Care

As of early 2021, there have been over 3.5 million pediatric cases of SARS-CoV-2, including 292 pediatric deaths in the United States. Although most pediatric patients present with mild disease, they are still at risk for developing significant morbidity requiring hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) level of care. This study was performed to evaluate if the presence of concurrent respiratory viral infections in pediatric patients admitted to the hospital with SARS-CoV-2 was associated with an increased rate of ICU level of care.


A total of 922 patients were included. Among these patients, 391 required ICU level care and 31 had concurrent non-SARS-CoV-2 viral coinfection. In a multivariate analysis, after accounting for age, positive blood culture, positive sputum culture, preexisting chronic medical conditions, the presence of a viral respiratory coinfection was associated with need for ICU care (odds ratio, 3.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.6-9.4; P < 0.01).

This study demonstrates an association between concurrent SARS-CoV-2 infection with viral respiratory coinfection and the need for ICU care. Further research is needed to identify other risk factors that can be used to derive and validate a risk-stratification tool for disease severity in pediatric patients with SARS-CoV-2.

Assault-Related Concussion in a Pediatric Population.

Pediatric Emergency Care

The aim of this study was to compare demographic characteristics, medical care, and outcomes among patients with assault-related concussion (ARC) versus sports and recreation-related concussion (SRC).

We conducted a retrospective chart review of 124 patients (62 ARC, 62 SRC) aged 8 to 17 years presenting to the care network of a large tertiary care pediatric hospital between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2014 with a concussion diagnosis at time of presentation. We abstracted patient demographics, initial medical care visit characteristics, and outcome data, and compared proportions using χ2 testing and Fisher exact test and medians using Wilcoxon rank sum test.

Patients with ARC were more likely to be Black, publicly insured, and present first for care to the emergency department. Significantly fewer patients with ARC received visio-vestibular testing at initial visit (27% vs 74%, P < 0.001). During recovery, the total number of reported physical, cognitive, emotional, and sleep symptoms did not differ between groups; however, more than twice as many patients with ARC reported decline in grades postinjury compared with patients with SRC (47% vs 20%, P = 0.012). There were trends toward prolonged symptom recovery and time to physician clearance for full return to activities among patients with ARC compared with SRC.

This study highlights potential disparities in the initial evaluation and outcomes of pediatric concussion patients based on mechanism of injury. Patients with ARC were less likely to receive a concussion-specific diagnostic evaluation and reported a greater impact on educational outcomes, suggesting differences in concussion diagnosis and management among assault-injured patients. Further examination in larger populations with prospective studies is needed to address potential inequities in concussion care and outcomes among patients with ARC.

Accuracy of Weight Estimation in Children Using the Broselow, PAWPER XL, PAWPER XL-MAC, and Mercy Tapes.

Pediatric Emergency Care

Quick and accurate estimate of a child's weight is often required for medical interventions like drug dose calculation when scale measured weights cannot be obtained safely. Length-based methods of weight estimation are more accurate than age-based methods, with the most accurate being the length-based, habitus-modified methods. This study sought to determine and compare the accuracies of the 2017 Broselow tape, Paediatric Advanced Weight Prediction in the Emergency Room Extra-Long (PAWPER XL) tape, Paediatric Advanced Weight Prediction in the Emergency Room Extra-Long Mid-Arm Circumference (PAWPER XL-MAC) tape, and the 2-dimensional (2D) Mercy tape in Ghanaian children.

A cross-sectional study was conducted at the Tamale Teaching Hospital in Ghana. Eight hundred forty children between 2 months and 13 years had their weights estimated by the 2017 Broselow, PAWPER XL, PAWPER XL-MAC, and 2D Mercy tapes. Accuracy of the methods was determined by percentage of weight estimated to within 10% and 20% of actual weight. Mean percentage error and the Bland-Altman analysis were used to assess bias and precision.

The proportion of weight estimates within 10% and 20% of actual weight for Broselow tape were 47.5% and 82.3%, for 2D Mercy tape were 73.1% and 96.3%, for PAWPER XL-MAC were 77.6% and 97.5%, and for PAWPER XL were 81.7% and 96.8%, respectively. The Broselow tape had the greatest bias and least precision among the 4 methods. The Mercy, PAWPER XL-MAC, and PAWPER XL tapes had similar performance, but all performed significantly better than the Broselow tape in pairwise comparison. The best weight estimation method overall was the PAWPER XL tape as it also had the least bias and greatest precision.

The Mercy, PAWPER XL-MAC, and PAWPER XL tapes were more accurate than the 2017 Broselow tape and should be used in preference in Ghana and countries with similar population structure.

Anatomic Characteristics of the Adolescent Cricothyroid Membrane on Computed Tomography Scans.

Pediatric Emergency Care

The cricothyroid membrane (CTM) is the most important anatomic structure when performing emergency front-of-neck access (FONA) procedures. Adolescence is a period of rapid morphologic change in laryngeal structures, including the CTM. We hypothesized that the adolescent CTM would be sufficiently different from pediatric or adult anatomy to merit special consideration in FONA.

The aim of the study was to define the procedurally relevant CTM anatomy in an adolescent population.

This was a retrospective, multicenter cohort study composed of patients who underwent a diagnostic computed tomography scan during routine clinical care. Inclusion criteria were ages 16 to 19 years and a computed tomography of the neck with or without contrast. The primary outcome was CTM height measured in the midsagittal plane using electronic calipers.

One hundred thirty-four imaging studies met inclusion criteria. The average CTM height was strongly associated with age and ranged between 5.4 and 6.2 mm in male adolescents and 4.6 and 5.8 mm in female adolescents. We predicted that standard cuffed endotracheal and tracheostomy tubes recommended for FONA procedures (5.0- and 6.0-mm devices) could potentially fail for most patients in our cohort.

The adolescent CTM is smaller than previously recognized. We recommend having a variety of equipment sizes readily available at any site where airway management in adolescents may occur.

Comparison Between Physicians' and Nurse Practitioners' Resource Utilization in the Diagnosis and Management of Bronchiolitis in the Pediatric Emergency Department.

Pediatric Emergency Care

This study aimed to describe the resource utilization of nurse practitioners (NPs) in the pediatric emergency department (ED) and compare among physicians.

A retrospective cross-sectional study of secondary data analysis in a level 1 academic pediatric trauma center was conducted. Patients were aged 1 to 24 months, evaluated in the ED between January 1, 2014, and November 30, 2018, with a diagnosis of bronchiolitis or wheezing. Data included age group, length of stay, disposition, diagnostic tests (chest radiography [CXR], viral testing, respiratory syncytial virus test), treatment (bronchodilator, corticosteroid, antibiotic), and medical provider (physician, NP, combination of both). Resources were evaluated before (early era) and after (late era) the implementation of an institutional clinical practice guideline.Comparisons between groups were done through χ2, Fisher exact, or Kruskal-Wallis test, as appropriate.

A total of 5311 cases were treated by a physician (65.3%), an NP (30.3%), or a combination of both (4.3%). The was a difference in the use of CXR, respiratory syncytial virus testing, bronchodilators, and corticosteroids among providers (P = 0.001). In the late era, NPs were less likely to order a bronchodilator (odds ratio [OR], 0.390 [95% confidence interval, 0.318-0.478; P < 0.001]), whereas physicians were less likely to order a CXR (OR, 0.772 [0.667-0.894, P = 0.001]), bronchodilator (OR, 0.518 [0.449-0.596, P < 0.001]), or a corticosteroid (OR, 0.630 [0.531-0.749, P < 0.001]).

Nurse practitioners made fewer diagnostic and therapeutic orders. A clinical practice guideline on the diagnosis and management of children with bronchiolitis successfully decreased the use of nonrecommended tests and therapies among NP and physicians.

Utility of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire to Identify Developmental Delay in Children Aged 12 to 60 Months: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

JAMA Pediatrics

The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is a commonly used developmental screening tool, but its utility is debated.

To conduct a a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate ASQ's utility as a screening or diagnostic tool to identify developmental delay in children aged 12-60 months.

Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Mednar were searched from inception until December 2021.

Studies meeting both criteria were included. ASQ was performed at age 12 to 60 months or where the median age at ASQ was at least 12 months and formal developmental assessments were done within 2 months of ASQ.

True positive, false positive, false negative, and true negatives from individual studies were extracted. Meta-analysis was conducted with Stata version 16.1. Risk of bias was assessed using the QUADAS-2 tool. Certainty of evidence (COE) was assessed using GRADE guidelines.

Ability of ASQ scores more than 2 SDs below the mean in more than 1 domain (ASQ-2SD) to identify any developmental delay or severe delay. Based on generally accepted interpretation of likelihood ratio (LR) values, a positive LR (PLR) more than 5 and a negative LR (NLR) of 0.2 or less were considered necessary to rule in or rule out developmental delay, respectively, with at least moderate probability.

Initial search yielded 5777 citations of which 43 were included in the review. Of them, 36 were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled sensitivity, specificity, PLR, and NLR are as follows: ASQ-2SD to predict any delay in 1 or more domain (n = 16), 0.77 (95% CI, 0.64-0.86), 0.81 (95% CI, 0.75-0.86), 4.10 (95% CI, 3.17-5.30), and 0.28 (95% CI, 0.18-0.44); ASQ-2SD to predict severe delay in 1 or more domain (n = 15), 0.84 (95% CI, 0.75-0.90), 0.77 (95% CI, 0.71-0.82), 3.72 (95% CI, 2.98-4.64), and 0.20 (95% CI, 0.13-0.32); ASQ-2SD motor domain to predict motor delay (n = 7), 0.41 (95% CI, 0.26-0.57), 0.94 (95% CI, 0.87-0.97), 6.5 (95% CI, 3.8-11.1), and 0.63 (95% CI, 0.50-0.81); and ASQ-2SD cognitive domain to predict cognitive delay (n = 2), 0.44 (95% CI, 0.24-0.65), 0.93 (95% CI, 0.81-0.95), 6.4 (95% CI, 2.4-16.8), and 0.61 (95% CI, 0.43-0.86). The COE was low/very low.

If a child aged 12 to 60 months passes all ASQ domains, there is a moderate probability that they do not have severe developmental delay (low COE). If a child aged 12-60 months fails the motor or cognitive domain of ASQ, there is a moderate probability that they have some motor or cognitive delay, respectively (very low COE).

PROSPERO (CRD42021268543).