The latest medical research on Pediatrics

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 pediatrics gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Characteristics and Outcomes of Children With Necrotizing Pneumonia.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

In this study, we describe the characteristics and outcomes of pediatric necrotizing pneumonia in the United States.

Children with necrotizing pneumonia with and without bacterial isolation and with and without complex chronic conditions were compared. Sample weighting was employed to produce national estimates.

Of the 2,296,220 discharges, 746 patients had necrotizing pneumonia (prevalence: 3.2/10,000 discharges). In patients with necrotizing pneumonia, 46.6% required chest tubes, 6.1% underwent video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, and 27.6% were mechanically ventilated. Pneumothorax was identified in 16.7% and pyothorax in 27.4%. The overall mortality rate was 4.1% (n = 31). Bacterial isolation was documented in 40.9%. The leading organisms identified in patients without a complex chronic condition were Streptococcus pneumoniae (12.6%) and Staphylococcus aureus (9.2%) and in patients with a complex chronic condition were S. aureus (13.4%) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (12.8%). Patients with bacterial isolation were significantly more likely to develop pneumothorax (odds ratio, 2.6; CI, 1.6-4.2) or septic shock (odds ratio, 3.2; CI, 1.9-5.4) and require a chest tube (odds ratio, 2.5; CI, 1.7-3.5) or mechanical ventilation (odds ratio, 2.3; CI, 1.5-3.3) than patients without bacterial isolation.

Bacterial etiology of necrotizing pneumonia in children varied with the presence or absence of a complex chronic condition. Bacterial isolation is associated with increased invasive procedures and complications. The mortality rate is higher in children with complex chronic conditions. This study provides national data on necrotizing pneumonia among hospitalized children.

Derivation and Validation of the Critical Bronchiolitis Score for the PICU.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

To derive and internally validate a bronchiolitis-specific illness severity score (the Critical Bronchiolitis Score) that out-performs mortality-based illness severity scores (e.g., Pediatric Risk of Mortality) in measuring expected duration of respiratory support and PICU length of stay for critically ill children with bronchiolitis.

Patient-level variables available at 12 hours from PICU admission, duration of ICU-level respiratory support, and PICU length of stay data were extracted for analysis. After randomly dividing the cohort into derivation and validation groups, patient-level variables that were significantly associated with the study outcomes were selected in a stepwise backward fashion for inclusion in the final score. Score performance in the validation cohort was assessed using root mean squared error and mean absolute error, and performance was compared with that of existing PICU illness severity scores.

Twelve commonly available patient-level variables were included in the Critical Bronchiolitis Score. Outcomes calculated with the score were similar to actual outcomes in the validation cohort. The Critical Bronchiolitis Score demonstrated a statistically significantly stronger association with duration of ICU-level respiratory support and PICU length of stay than mortality-based scores as measured by root mean squared error and mean absolute error.

The Critical Bronchiolitis Score performed better than PICU mortality-based scores in measuring expected duration of ICU-level respiratory support and ICU length of stay. This score may have utility to enrich interventional trials and adjust for illness severity in observational studies in this very common PICU condition.

The Use of Extracorporeal Life Support in Children With Immune-Mediated Diseases.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

To describe the use and outcomes of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support among children with immune-mediated conditions.


During the study period, 207 patients with an immune-mediated condition received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and 50% survived to discharge. Most patients (63%) received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for respiratory support with 53% survival, 21% received cardiac support (55% survival), and 15% received extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (34% survival). The most common diagnosis among nonsurvivors was hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis/macrophage activation syndrome with 37% survival. Patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (23%) and dermatomyositis (25%) had the lowest survival. Nonsurvivors had a higher frequency of infections, neurologic complications, and renal replacement therapy use. Use of preextracorporeal membrane oxygenation corticosteroids was associated with mortality.

Children with immune-mediated conditions can be successfully supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use has increased over time, and survival varies considerably by diagnosis.

Transfusion Practices in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Requiring Cardiopulmonary Bypass: A Secondary Analysis of a Clinical Database.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

To describe blood component usage in transfused children with congenital heart disease undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass surgery across perioperative settings and diagnostic categories.


Eight-hundred eighty-two transfused patients were included. Most of the 185 children with single ventricular surgery received multiple blood products: 81% RBCs, 79% platelets, 86% plasma, and 56% cryoprecipitate. In the 678 patients undergoing biventricular surgery, 85% were transfused plasma, 75% platelets, 74% RBCs, and 48% cryoprecipitate. All 19 patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation were transfused RBCs, plasma, and cryoprecipitate, and 18 were transfused platelets. Intraoperatively, patients commonly received all three components, while postoperative transfusions were predominantly single blood components. Pretransfusion hemoglobin values were normal/low-normal for age for all phases of care for single ventricular surgery (median hemoglobin 13.2-13.5 g/dL). Pretransfusion hemoglobin values for biventricular surgeries were higher intraoperatively compared with other timing (12.2 g/dL vs 11.2 preoperative and postoperative; p < 0.0001). Plasma transfusions for all patients were associated with a near normal international normalized ratio: single ventricular surgeries median international normalized ratio was 1.3 postoperative versus 1.8 intraoperative and biventricular surgeries median international normalized ratio was 1.1 intraoperative versus 1.7 postoperative. Intraoperative platelet transfusions with biventricular surgeries had higher median platelet count compared with postoperative pretransfusion platelet count (244 × 109/L intraoperative vs 69 × 109/L postoperative).

Children with congenital heart disease undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass surgery are transfused many blood components both intraoperatively and postoperatively. Multiple blood components are transfused intraoperatively at seemingly normal/low-normal pretransfusion values. Pediatric evidence guiding blood component transfusion in this population at high risk of bleeding and with limited physiologic reserve is needed to advance safe and effective blood conservation practices.

Transport Medical Control Education for Pediatric Critical Care Fellows: A National Needs Assessment Study.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Characterize transport medical control education in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine fellowship.


We achieved a 74% (53/72) response rate. A majority of programs (85%) require fellows to serve as transport medical control, usually while carrying out other clinical responsibilities and sometimes without supervision. Fellows at most programs (80%) also accompany the transport team on patient retrievals. Most respondents (72%) reported formalized transport medical control teaching, primarily in a didactic format (76%). Few programs (25%) use a standardized assessment tool. Transport medical control was identified as requiring all six Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competencies, with emphasis on professionalism and interpersonal and communication skills.

Transport medical control responsibilities are common for Pediatric Critical Care Medicine fellows, but training is inconsistent, assessment is not standardized, and supervision may be lacking. Fellow performance in transport medical control may help inform assessment in multiple domains of competencies. Further study is needed to identify effective methods for transport medical control education.

Long-Term Increases in Mental Disorder Diagnoses After Invasive Mechanical Ventilation for Severe Childhood Respiratory Disease: A Propensity Matched Observational Cohort Study.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

To evaluate neurodevelopmental and mental disorders after PICU hospitalization in children requiring invasive mechanical ventilation for severe respiratory illness.

We examined rates of International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision-coded mental disorder diagnoses and psychotropic medication use following discharge among children requiring invasive mechanical ventilation for severe respiratory illness, compared with general hospital patients propensity score matched on sociodemographic and clinical characteristics prior to admission. Children admitted to the PICU for respiratory illness not necessitating invasive mechanical ventilation were also compared with matched general hospital patients as a negative control exposure.

Of 115,335 eligible children, 1,351 required invasive mechanical ventilation and were matched to 6,755 general hospital patients. Compared with general hospital patients, children requiring invasive mechanical ventilation had increased mental disorder diagnoses (hazard ratio, 1.43 [95% CI, 1.26-1.64]; p < 0.0001) and psychotropic medication use (hazard ratio, 1.67 [1.34-2.08]; p < 0.0001) following discharge. Seven-thousand seven-hundred eighty children admitted to the PICU without invasive mechanical ventilation were matched to 38,900 general hospital patients and had increased mental disorder diagnoses (hazard ratio, 1.08 [1.02-1.15]; p = 0.01) and psychotropic medication use (hazard ratio, 1.11 [1.00-1.22]; p = 0.049).

Children without major comorbidity requiring invasive mechanical ventilation for severe respiratory illness had a 43% higher incidence of subsequent mental disorder diagnoses and a 67% higher incidence of psychotropic medication use. Both increases were substantially higher than in PICU patients with respiratory illness not necessitating invasive mechanical ventilation. Invasive mechanical ventilation is a life-saving therapy, and its application is interwoven with underlying health, illness severity, and PICU management decisions. Further research is required to determine which factors related to invasive mechanical ventilation and severe respiratory illness are associated with abnormal neurodevelopment. Given the increased risk in these children, identification of strategies for prevention, neurodevelopmental surveillance, and intervention after discharge may be warranted.

Pediatric Chronic Critical Illness: Validation, Prevalence, and Impact in a Children's Hospital.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Large populations of chronically critically ill patients test the critical care system's resource utilization ability. Defining and tracking this group is necessary for census predictions.


Demographics and resource utilization variables were sampled in PICU, intermediate care unit, cardiovascular ICU, and neonatal ICU on 3 random days in 3 consecutive months. The attendings' perception of pediatric chronic critical illness was contrasted to Shapiro's definition of chronic critical care criteria. Each unit's active and maximal capacity census was computed: the occurrence rate of pediatric chronic critical illness was 34%, the prevalence was 44.5%, and the tolerance, or percentage pediatric chronic critical illness patients to all available beds, was 36.8%. The median length of stay for the nonpatients with pediatric critical care illness to patients with pediatric critical care illness was 9 versus 46 days (1/5.1). The attending's decision was 58 times more concordant with the criteria. Pediatric chronic critical illness bed occupancy was 40.6% in PICU, 97.2% in intermediate care unit, 47.8% in cardiovascular ICU, and 33.9% in neonatal ICU.

Pediatric chronic critical illness patients occupied more than one third of the ICU beds and have five times longer stay. This mounting load needs to be uniformly defined, addressed at regional and national levels, and considered in the current pandemic planning.

Overall Health Following Pediatric Critical Illness: A Scoping Review of Instruments and Methodology.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Families identify overall health as a key outcome after pediatric critical illness. We conducted a planned secondary analysis of a scoping review to determine the methods, populations, and instruments used to evaluate overall health outcomes for both children and their families after critical illness.


Among the 407 articles which measured outcomes following pediatric critical illness, 161 (40%) measured overall health. The overall health domain was most commonly measured in traumatic brain injury (44%) and the general PICU populations (16%). In total, there were 39 unique measures used to evaluate overall health. Across all subjects, seven measures accounted for 89% of instruments, with the Glasgow Outcome Scale (47%) and the Pediatric Overall Performance Category (17%) being most commonly used. Excluding studies targeting survivors of traumatic brain injury, Pediatric Overall Performance Category, Glasgow Outcome Scale, and the General Health Questionnaire were the most commonly used instruments. Patients were followed for a median 10.5 months (interquartile range, 4.5-21 mo).

Overall health was commonly assessed post-PICU discharge, especially in the traumatic brain injury population, using a heterogenous array of measures. Evaluation and consensus are imperative to identify the most appropriate method to measure overall health with the goal of improving care efficacy and facilitating recovery across populations of critically ill children.

Characteristics and Physiologic Changes After 4% Albumin Fluid Boluses in a PICU.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

To describe the characteristics, hemodynamic, and physiologic changes after 4% albumin fluid boluses in critically ill children.


Between January 2017 and May 2019, there were 1,003 fluid boluses of 4% albumin during 420 of 5,731 admissions (7.8%), most commonly in children with congenital/acquired heart disease (71.2%) and sepsis (7.9%). The median fluid bolus dose was 10 mL/kg (interquartile range, 5.8-14.6 mL/kg), and its duration 30 minutes (interquartile range, 14.0-40.0 min; n = 223). After the fluid bolus, a significant change in mean arterial pressure (2.3 mm Hg [5.1%], 2.7 mm Hg [5.8%], 2.9 mm Hg [6.1%], and 3.8 mm Hg [8.0%] at 1, 2, 3, and 4 hr, respectively [p ≤ 0.001]) only occurred in children less than or equal to 12 months old. A mean arterial pressure response, defined by an increase greater than or equal to 10% from baseline, occurred in 290 of 887 patients (33%) with maximal response at 1 hour. Hypotension at baseline predicted the magnitude of mean arterial pressure increase at 60 (coefficient 24.3 [95% CI, 0.79-7.87]; p = 0.04) and 120 minutes (coefficient 26.1 [95% CI, 2.75-48.2]; p = 0.02). There were no biochemical or hematocrit changes within 4 hours of the fluid bolus. Urine output for the entire cohort was 2 mL/kg/hr at baseline and did not change with the fluid bolus.

Fluid boluses of 4% albumin were common and predominantly in children with cardiac disease and sepsis with a median dose of 10 mL/kg given over half an hour. Such treatment was associated with significant hemodynamic changes only in children less than 12 months old, and we failed to identify an association with urine output.

Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Distance to Pediatric Critical Care.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

To describe the geography of pediatric critical care services and the relationship between poverty and distance to these services across the United States.


Pediatric critical care services were geographically concentrated within urban areas, with half of all PICUs located within 9.5 miles of another (interquartile range, 3.4-51.5 miles). Median distances from neighborhoods to the nearest unit increased linearly with Area Deprivation Index (p < 0.001), such that the median distance from the least privileged neighborhoods was nearly three times that of the most privileged neighborhoods (first decile = 7.8 miles [interquartile range, 3.4-15.8 miles] vs tenth decile = 22.6 miles [interquartile range, 4.2-52.5 miles]; p < 0.001). A relationship between neighborhood poverty and distance to a PICU was present across all U.S. regions and within urban/suburban and rural areas.

In the United States, the distance to pediatric critical care services increases with poverty. This carries implications for access to care and health outcome disparities.

Geographic Distance to Extracorporeal Life Support Centers for Pediatric Patients Within the Continental United States.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Distance to subspecialty surgical care is a known impediment to the delivery of high-quality healthcare. Extracorporeal life support is of benefit to pediatric patients with specific medical conditions. Despite a continued increase in the number of extracorporeal life support centers, not all children have equal access to extracorporeal life support due to geographic constraints, creating a potential disparity in healthcare. We attempted to better define the variation in geographic proximity to extracorporeal life support centers for pediatric patients using the U.S. Decennial Census.

Large database review.

There were 136 centers providing pediatric extracorporeal life support in 2019. The distribution varied by state with Texas, California, and Florida having the most centers. Over 16 million children (23% of the pediatric population) live greater than 60 miles from an extracorporeal life support center. Significant disparity exists between urban and rural locations with over 47% of children in a rural setting living greater than 60 miles from an extracorporeal life support center compared with 17% of children living in an urban setting.

Disparities in proximity to extracorporeal life support centers were present and persistent across states. Children in rural areas have less access to extracorporeal life support centers based upon geographic distance alone. These findings may affect practice patterns and treatment decisions and are important to the development of regionalization strategies to ensure all children have subspecialty surgical care available to them, including extracorporeal life support.

Application of Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction for Pathogen Identification and Antibiotic Use in Children With Respiratory Infections in a PICU.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

To compare the pathogen identification rate and use of antibiotics before and after the implementation of multiplex polymerase chain reaction testing in children with respiratory infections in a PICU.

Conventional rapid antigen tests and bacterial culture tests were performed throughout the study period. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction testing using the FilmArray respiratory panel (BioFire Diagnostics, Salt Lake City, UT) was conducted to detect 17 viruses and three bacterial pathogens. During the postmultiplex polymerase chain reaction period, we did not recommend prescribing antibiotics for stable children, depending on the virus species and laboratory test results.

Ninety-six and 85 children were enrolled during the pre- and postmultiplex polymerase chain reaction periods, respectively. Rapid antigen tests identified pathogens in 22% of the children (n = 21) during the premultiplex polymerase chain reaction period, whereas rapid antigen tests and/or multiplex polymerase chain reaction testing identified pathogens in 67% of the children (n = 57) during the postmultiplex polymerase chain reaction period (p < 0.001). The most commonly identified pathogen using multiplex polymerase chain reaction testing was human rhino/enterovirus. Bacterial pathogens were identified in 50% of the children (n = 48) and 60% of the children (n = 51) during the pre- and postmultiplex polymerase chain reaction periods (p = 0.18). There were no differences in antibiotic use (84% vs 75%; p = 0.14), broad-spectrum antibiotic use (33% vs 34%; p = 0.91), or the duration of antibiotic use within 14 days of admission (6.0 vs 7.0 d; p = 0.45) between the pre- and postmultiplex polymerase chain reaction periods.

Although the pathogen identification rate, especially for viral pathogens, increased using multiplex polymerase chain reaction testing, antibiotic use did not reduce in children with respiratory infections in the PICU. Definitive identification of bacterial pathogens and implementation of evidence-based antimicrobial stewardship programs employing multiplex polymerase chain reaction testing are warranted.