Expert consensus recommends rest after concussion with stepwise return to activity. Animal and retrospective human data suggest that early mental and physical activity may worsen outcome. There are no pediatric studies testing the efficacy of recommending strict rest after concussion.
Recommending strict rest postinjury did not improve outcome and may have contributed to increased symptom reporting. Usual care (rest for 1–2 days with stepwise return to activity) is currently the best discharge strategy for pediatric mild traumatic brain injury/concussion. (Read the full article)
In most previous studies, transcutaneous bilirubin measurement has been found to provide an accurate estimate of total serum bilirubin levels. However, most of these studies were conducted in settings that optimized accuracy.
This study provides a "real-world" assessment of the accuracy of transcutaneous bilirubin measurements in multiple clinical settings and identification of sources of discrepancy between transcutaneous and total serum bilirubin measurements. (Read the full article)
Migraine headaches are a common presenting complaint in emergency departments. Abortive treatment in this setting is not well studied, leading to considerable variation in treatment. The relationship between acute medications and emergency department revisits has not been studied.
Eighty-five percent of children with migraine are successfully discharged from the emergency department; only 1 in 18 children require a return visit. Prochlorperazine is associated with less revisits than metoclopramide, and diphenhydramine use is associated with increased risk of return visits. (Read the full article)
Both early and late introduction to gluten has been associated with increased risk for celiac disease (CD) and being breastfed at time of gluten introduction has been associated with a lower risk for CD.
In this prospective multinational study, time to first introduction to gluten-containing cereals is not an independent risk factor for developing CD, by a 5-year follow-up, neither on an overall level nor on country-level comparison. (Read the full article)
Light and intermittent smoking are harmful, but increasingly common, smoking patterns. It is unknown how adolescents perceive these smoking patterns, and whether these views differ by sociodemographic characteristics, and exposure to and use of tobacco.
US adolescents perceive light and intermittent smoking as significantly less dangerous than heavier smoking. One in 4 adolescents believes intermittent smoking causes little to no harm. Perceptions of relative safety were common among smokers. (Read the full article)
Early first sexual intercourse (FSI) is a risk factor for unplanned teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infection, and adverse health outcomes in adolescence and into adulthood. In girls, externalizing behaviors are more strongly associated with earlier FSI than internalizing behaviors.
Externalizing behavior from as early as 5 in boys and 10 in girls is a significant risk factor for earlier age at FSI. Internalizing behavior at ages 8 and 10 was associated with early FSI for boys but not girls. (Read the full article)
Asthma is heterogeneous and 40% to 70% of patients fail to achieve control with current treatment strategies. To delineate relevant subphenotypes of asthma, identify key factors, and test novel interventions, comprehensive repositories linking clinical, environmental, and biologic data are required.
This is the first statewide repository for inpatient pediatric asthma. The data collected will better define asthma phenotypes, identify care practices associated with the best health outcomes, and inform personalized care plans to reduce reutilization and readmission for pediatric asthma. (Read the full article)
Parent refusal and delay of childhood vaccines has increased in recent years and is believed to cluster in communities. Such clustering could pose public health risks and barriers to achieving quality benchmarks for immunization coverage.
We found that underimmunization and vaccine refusal cluster geographically. Spatial scan analysis may be a useful tool to identify locations where clinicians may face challenges to achieving benchmarks for immunization coverage and that deserve special focus for interventions. (Read the full article)
Adults born very preterm or with very low birth weight have a lower likelihood of leaving their childhood home, and starting romantic relationships, and are older when experiencing first intercourse or having their first child than their term-born peers.
Compared with term-born individuals, those born preterm perceived themselves less attractive and were less likely to have cohabited or experienced first-time sexual intercourse by young adulthood. This outcome indicates that social outcomes are different among preterm-born individuals. (Read the full article)
The number of nurse practitioner graduates in the United States has nearly doubled over the past 2 decades. However, the number of pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) graduates has remained relatively flat, although the demand for PNPs is expected to increase.
This study estimates the best-case shortage of PNPs over the next 25 years. We propose possible policy interventions to address key areas of the PNP workforce system and we compute their impact on the forecasted PNP shortage. (Read the full article)
Sleep apnea is a common condition in childhood, mainly managed by tonsillectomy. Codeine was recently contraindicated for pain management after surgery. Controversy exists regarding the safety and effectiveness of alternative medications, morphine, and ibuprofen.
Our findings suggest that ibuprofen does not increase tonsillar bleeding and in combination with acetaminophen is effective for pain management after tonsillectomy. Furthermore, standard morphine doses increased postoperative respiratory events and were not safe in all children. (Read the full article)
Studies examining early postnatal discharge and readmission for jaundice report conflicting results. Infants born 37 to 38 weeks’ gestation have an increased risk for readmission for jaundice; however, the impact of early discharge on this group has not been investigated.
Early postnatal discharge was significantly associated with readmission for jaundice. Of the infants discharged early, those born 37 to 38 weeks’ gestation, born via vaginal delivery, born to Asian mothers, or were breastfed had the greatest risk for readmission. (Read the full article)
Among all age groups, children aged 6 to 11 years and adolescents aged 12 to 19 are the most frequent consumers of pizza. Pizza consumption is the second highest source of daily energy among children 2 to 18 years old.
This study examines changes in children’s patterns of pizza consumption by demographic characteristics, source, and meal occasion. Using an individual-level fixed effects model, we examined the impact of pizza consumption on excess energy intake and diet quality. (Read the full article)
Although pediatric professional guidelines emphasize addressing a child’s social environment in the context of well child care, it remains unclear whether screening for unmet basic needs at visits increases low-income families’ receipt of community-based resources.
This study demonstrates that systematically screening and referring for social determinants of health during primary care can lead to the receipt of more community resources for families. (Read the full article)
Meningococcal disease is a serious but rare infectious disease. In 2012, the incidence of meningococcal disease was at a historic low in the United States; however, incidence remained highest among infants aged <1 year.
This report describes the epidemiology and burden of meningococcal disease in infants aged <1 year in the United States and potential risk factors for transmission to this vulnerable group. These data are key to informing future meningococcal disease vaccination strategies. (Read the full article)
Bruising is common in young victims of physical abuse as well as in cases of accidental trauma. There is uncertainty regarding which young children with bruising require evaluation with skeletal survey for possible abuse.
The results of this study provide guidelines, based on the literature and knowledge of experts, for identifying children <24 months presenting for care in the hospital setting with bruises, who should and should not undergo skeletal survey. (Read the full article)
Measles-containing vaccines are associated with several types of adverse events. Because measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) versus separate measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and varicella (MMR + V) vaccine increases a toddler’s risk for febrile seizures, we investigated whether MMRV is riskier than MMR + V and whether either vaccine elevates risk for additional safety outcomes.
Comparing MMRV with MMR + V, no increased risk of immune thrombocytopenia purpura, anaphylaxis, ataxia, arthritis, meningitis/encephalitis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, and Kawasaki disease was detected. No new safety concerns were identified after either vaccine, and most outcomes studied were unlikely after either vaccine. (Read the full article)
Behavioral observations influence a clinician’s decision to diagnose or refer, and may even override formal screening results. In the case of autism spectrum disorder, an expected rate of atypical behavior during the span of a medical visit is unknown.
We are the first to quantify the high base rates of typical behavior in young children who have autism and language delay. When observation times are brief, the preponderance of typical behaviors may negatively impact referral decision accuracy. (Read the full article)
Parental depression is associated with adverse child outcomes. It is important to understand possible mediators and moderators. Several studies suggest that the family environment or parenting style may be potential pathways for transmission of risk from parents to children.
Paternal depression appears to exert its influence on children’s outcomes through an effect on family functioning (couple conflict and maternal depression), whereas maternal postnatal depression appears to affect children through other mechanisms, potentially including direct mother-infant interaction and care. (Read the full article)
Previous trials reported no significant effect of triamcinolone acetonide aqueous nasal spray on growth velocity of children with perennial allergic rhinitis. However, they did not conform to Food and Drug Administration guidelines for evaluating effects of intranasal corticosteroids on growth.
This is the first published study consistent with the 2007 Food and Drug Administration–recommended study design evaluating growth velocity in children aged 3–9 years with perennial allergic rhinitis treated with triamcinolone acetonide or placebo for 12 months. (Read the full article)
Immune-related bioactive proteins are highly concentrated in the colostrum of mothers who deliver preterm infants. Oropharyngeal administration was proposed as a safe and feasible alternative method of providing colostrum to immunocompromised premature infants.
Oropharyngeally administered colostrum during the first few days of life increased urinary secretory immunoglobulin A and lactoferrin, decreased urinary interleukin-1β, reduced salivary transforming growth factor-β1 and interleukin-8, and reduced the occurrence of clinical sepsis in extremely premature infants. (Read the full article)
Inadequate sleep has been identified as a risk factor for obesity and other outcomes. Screen time and the presence of a television in the bedroom have been associated with inadequate sleep, but little is known about small screens (eg, smartphones).
Among 2048 fourth- and seventh-graders, children who slept near a small screen reported shorter sleep durations and perceived insufficient rest or sleep. Presence of a television in the bedroom and more screen time were also associated with poorer sleep. (Read the full article)
Menu labels depicting physical activity calorie equivalents may lead to ordering of fast food meals totaling fewer calories for adults. The effects of physical activity calorie equivalent labeling on parents’ fast food decisions for their children have not been examined.
Parents shown menus with any type of caloric content label may order fast food meals totaling fewer calories for their children. Menu labels showing physical activity equivalents may be more likely to influence parents to encourage their children to exercise. (Read the full article)
Increased central adrenergic activity occurs with opiate withdrawal. Clonidine is an effective drug as an adjunct to morphine in the treatment of neonatal abstinence syndrome. It is unclear whether clonidine is effective as single-drug therapy.
Clonidine, a α2-adrenergic agonist, seems to be as effective as morphine when used as a single-drug therapy for neonatal abstinence syndrome. Its administration results in improvement in neurobehavioral performance. (Read the full article)
Tapentadol is used in the treatment of chronic pain, specifically diabetic neuropathy. It has known action on the μ-opioid receptor leading to drowsiness and apneas. There is no published information on the effects of tapentadol in small children.
After an accidental overdose in a child, tapentadol may be expected to cause μ-opioid clinical effects similar to other opioids. While the opioid effects predominate sympathomimetic effects are also seen. The risk of respiratory depression and dyspnea should be acknowledged. (Read the full article)
Application of antenatal corticosteroids to mothers before delivery is highly beneficial to very low birth weight infants. Yet despite widespread quality improvement efforts, many eligible infants fail to receive this therapy.
We demonstrate improvement in antenatal corticosteroid use during the study period. However, significant regional variation persists, which network-level quality improvement efforts might help eliminate. (Read the full article)
Administration of repeat doses of antenatal glucocorticoids to women at risk for preterm birth after an initial course reduces neonatal morbidity, without affecting rates of neurologic disability in early childhood. However, data on long-term effects on cardiometabolic health are limited.
Exposure to repeat doses of antenatal betamethasone did not increase cardiovascular risk factors at early school age. Clinicians wishing to use repeat antenatal glucocorticoids can be reassured that the risk of future cardiometabolic disease from this therapy is low. (Read the full article)
Poverty is prevalent among children in the United States, and it has a clear association with negative health outcomes. Smoking and passive smoke exposure are both more common among socioeconomically disadvantaged populations and are associated with asthma morbidity.
Reported family hardships were common among children admitted for asthma or wheezing, and most were associated with detectable tobacco smoke exposure. The cumulative number of hardships was also associated with greater odds of tobacco smoke exposure. (Read the full article)
Exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of an infant’s age is described as the safest, most powerful and cost-effective intervention to reduce infant morbidity and mortality globally. In developing countries, only ~25% of infants are exclusively breastfed for 6 months.
We developed a psycho-educational intervention combining education with techniques of cognitive-behavioral therapy, integrated it into the routine work of community health workers, which increased the rate and duration of exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of an infant’s age. (Read the full article)
Uptake of rotavirus vaccines has increased steadily since introduction. Despite their demonstrated impact, rotavirus vaccine coverage is lower than for other vaccines recommended in infancy and disease continues to occur.
We observed higher rotavirus detection rates among patients from provider locations with lower rotavirus vaccine coverage; providers who do not offer rotavirus vaccine to age-eligible children may create pockets of susceptible children that serve as reservoirs of ongoing disease transmission. (Read the full article)
Previous research has established steep socioeconomic status gradients in children’s cognitive ability at kindergarten entry. Few studies have had comprehensive data to examine the contribution of a wide range of risk and protective factors across early childhood to these gradients.
Family background, health, home learning, parenting, and early care and education factors explain over half the gaps in reading and math ability between US children in the lowest versus highest socioeconomic status quintiles, suggesting a need for comprehensive early interventions. (Read the full article)
Head Start, a federally funded preschool program for low-income US children, has been reported to have beneficial effects on developmental outcomes. The association of Head Start participation with changes in children’s BMI has not been examined.
Preschool-aged children with an unhealthy weight status who participated in Head Start had a significantly healthier BMI by kindergarten entry age than comparison children in a primary care health system (both those receiving and those not receiving Medicaid). (Read the full article)
Sustained lung inflation and positive end-expiratory pressure would permit lung recruitment immediately after birth, improving lung mechanics and reducing the need for respiratory support. Previous clinical studies in preterm infants provided promising results but have some limitations.
This randomized controlled study found that prophylactic sustained lung inflation and positive end-expiratory pressure in the delivery room decreased the need for mechanical ventilation in the first 72 hours of life in preterm infants at high risk of respiratory distress syndrome. (Read the full article)
Retrospective studies have shown that the majority of parents, independent of their country of origin, prefer a shared approach over a paternalistic approach or an informed approach when an end-of-life decision must be made for their children.
In actual conversations parents act in line with their preference for a shared approach. This behavior contrasts with the "some sharing" approach of physicians who carefully prepare parents for an end-of-life decision already being made by the medical team. (Read the full article)
Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) has been associated with decreased health-related quality of life (QoL). Observational studies suggest that adenotonsillectomy for pediatric OSAS improves QoL, but these studies did not use a randomized study design or a control group of children with OSAS managed nonsurgically.
A prospective, randomized controlled study of adenotonsillectomy for pediatric OSAS showed significantly greater QoL and symptom improvements in children undergoing adenotonsillectomy than in the nonsurgical control arm. The extent of improvement was not appreciably influenced by baseline OSAS severity or obesity. (Read the full article)
Pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) contributes to impairments in functioning across multiple settings. Online family problem-solving therapy may be effective in reducing adolescent behavioral morbidity after TBI. However, less is known regarding maintenance of effects over time.
This large randomized clinical trial in adolescents with TBI is the only study to examine maintenance of treatment effects. Findings reveal that brief, online treatment may result in long-term improvements in child functioning, particularly among families of lower socioeconomic status. (Read the full article)
To determine if recommending strict rest improved concussion recovery and outcome after discharge from the pediatric emergency department (ED).
Patients aged 11 to 22 years presenting to a pediatric ED within 24 hours of concussion were recruited. Participants underwent neurocognitive, balance, and symptom assessment in the ED and were randomized to strict rest for 5 days versus usual care (1–2 days rest, followed by stepwise return to activity). Patients completed a diary used to record physical and mental activity level, calculate energy exertion, and record daily postconcussive symptoms. Neurocognitive and balance assessments were performed at 3 and 10 days postinjury. Sample size calculations were powered to detect clinically meaningful differences in postconcussive symptom, neurocognitive, and balance scores between treatment groups. Linear mixed modeling was used to detect contributions of group assignment to individual recovery trajectory.
Ninety-nine patients were enrolled; 88 completed all study procedures (45 intervention, 43 control). Postdischarge, both groups reported a 20% decrease in energy exertion and physical activity levels. As expected, the intervention group reported less school and after-school attendance for days 2 to 5 postconcussion (3.8 vs 6.7 hours total, P < .05). There was no clinically significant difference in neurocognitive or balance outcomes. However, the intervention group reported more daily postconcussive symptoms (total symptom score over 10 days, 187.9 vs 131.9, P < .03) and slower symptom resolution.
Recommending strict rest for adolescents immediately after concussion offered no added benefit over the usual care. Adolescents’ symptom reporting was influenced by recommending strict rest.
To characterize discrepancies between transcutaneous bilirubin (TcB) measurements and total serum bilirubin (TSB) levels among newborns receiving care at multiple nursery sites across the United States.
Medical records were reviewed to obtain data on all TcB measurements collected during two 2-week periods on neonates admitted to participating newborn nurseries. Data on TSB levels obtained within 2 hours of a TcB measurement were also abstracted. TcB – TSB differences and correlations between the values were determined. Data on demographic information for individual newborns and TcB screening practices for each nursery were also collected. Multivariate regression analysis was used to identify characteristics independently associated with the TcB – TSB difference.
Data on 8319 TcB measurements were collected at 27 nursery sites; 925 TSB levels were matched to a TcB value. The mean TcB – TSB difference was 0.84 ± 1.78 mg/dL, and the correlation between paired measurements was 0.78. In the multivariate analysis, TcB – TSB differences were 0.67 mg/dL higher in African-American newborns than in neonates of other races (P < .001). The TcB – TSB difference also varied significantly based on brand of TcB meter used and hour of age of the infant. For 2.2% of paired measurements, the TcB measurement underestimated the TSB level by ≥3 mg/dL.
During routine clinical care, TcB measurement provided a reasonable estimate of TSB levels in healthy newborns. Discrepancies between TcB and TSB levels were increased in African-American newborns and varied based on brand of meter used.
Migraine headache is a common pediatric complaint among emergency department (ED) patients. There are limited trials on abortive therapies in the ED. The objective of this study was to apply a comparative effectiveness approach to investigate acute medication regimens for the prevention of ED revisits.
Retrospective study using administrative data (Pediatric Health Information System) from 35 pediatric EDs (2009–2012). Children aged 7 to 18 years with a principal diagnosis of migraine headache were studied. The primary outcome was a revisit to the ED within 3 days for discharged patients. The primary analysis compared the treatment regimens and individual medications on the risk for revisit.
The study identified 32 124 children with migraine; 27 317 (85%) were discharged, and 5.5% had a return ED visit within 3 days. At the index visit, the most common medications included nonopioid analgesics (66%), dopamine antagonists (50%), diphenhydramine (33%), and ondansetron (21%). Triptans and opiate medications were administered infrequently (3% each). Children receiving metoclopramide had a 31% increased odds for an ED revisit within 3 days compared with prochlorperazine. Diphenhydramine with dopamine antagonists was associated with 27% increased odds of an ED revisit compared with dopamine antagonists alone. Children receiving ondansetron had similar revisit rates to those receiving dopamine antagonists.
The majority of children with migraines are successfully discharged from the ED and only 1 in 18 required a revisit within 3 days. Prochlorperazine appears to be superior to metoclopramide in preventing a revisit, and diphenhydramine use is associated with increased rates of return.
The goal of this study was to determine whether age at introduction to gluten was associated with risk for celiac disease (CD) in genetically predisposed children.
TEDDY (The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young) is a prospective birth cohort study. Newborn infants (N = 6436) screened for high-risk HLA-genotypes for CD were followed up in Finland, Germany, Sweden, and the United States. Information about infant feeding was collected at clinical visits every third month. The first outcome was persistent positive for tissue transglutaminase autoantibodies (tTGA), the marker for CD. The second outcome was CD, defined as either a diagnosis based on intestinal biopsy results or on persistently high levels of tTGA.
Swedish children were introduced to gluten earlier (median: 21.7 weeks) compared with children from Finland (median: 26.1 weeks), Germany, and the United States (both median: 30.4 weeks) (P < .0001). During a median follow-up of 5.0 years (range: 1.7–8.8 years), 773 (12%) children developed tTGA and 307 (5%) developed CD. Swedish children were at increased risk for tTGA (hazard ratio: 1.74 [95% CI: 1.47–2.06]) and CD (hazard ratio: 1.76 [95% CI: 1.34–2.24]) compared with US children, respectively (P < .0001).Gluten introduction before 17 weeks or later than 26 weeks was not associated with increased risk for tTGA or CD, adjusted for country, HLA, gender, and family history of CD, neither in the overall analysis nor on a country-level comparison.
In TEDDY, the time to first introduction to gluten introduction was not an independent risk factor for developing CD.
Light smoking, consuming a few cigarettes daily, and intermittent, or nondaily, smoking patterns are increasingly common but carry health risks comparable to heavier smoking patterns. Nearly all smokers begin smoking as adolescents, who are at risk for developing these smoking patterns. Previous research suggests that smokers underestimate the risks associated with smoking. The extent to which adolescents perceive light and intermittent smoking as harmful has not been previously assessed.
Data from 24 658 US adolescents sampled by the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey, a national, school-based, cross-sectional survey, were examined. Cross-tabulations and multivariate ordered probit regression models were constructed to describe correlates of US adolescents’ perception of light and intermittent smoking.
Although most adolescents (88.0%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 87.2% to 88.8%) reported beliefs that a heavier smoking pattern is very harmful, only 64.3% (95% CI; 63.2% to 65.3%) and 33.3% (95% CI; 32.0% to 34.6%) reported that light and intermittent smoking, respectively, are very harmful. Conversely, nearly one-quarter of US adolescents believed intermittent smoking causes little or no harm. Males, younger adolescents, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic blacks were more likely than their peers to view light and intermittent smoking patterns as less harmful. Those who were already light or intermittent smokers, those who used other tobacco products, and those who had a family member who used tobacco were also less likely to view their smoking patterns as harmful.
Misconceptions about the safety of light and intermittent smoking are widespread among US adolescents. Significant public health attention is needed to redress these misperceptions.
Early first sexual intercourse (FSI) is a risk factor for unplanned teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infection, and adverse social, emotional, and physical health outcomes in adolescence and into adulthood. The aim of this study was to examine relationships between internalizing (eg, anxious/depressed, withdrawn) and externalizing (eg, delinquent, aggressive) behavior problems in childhood and age at FSI.
We used a large, population-based birth cohort (The Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort [Raine] Study) to address this question. Child behavior was measured by using the Child Behavior Checklist collected from parents at ages 2, 5, 8, 10, and 14 and scores calculated for total, internalizing, and externalizing behavior problems. At age 17, 1200 participants reported sexual behavior.
Participants with clinically significant Child Behavior Checklist scores (T ≥60) were at increased risk for earlier first sexual intercourse (FSI) (<16 years). Adjusted odds ratios revealed that total and externalizing behavior problems from age 5 years onward significantly increased the risk of earlier FSI for boys. In girls, externalizing problems from age 10 years increased the risk for earlier FSI. Internalizing problems at ages 8 and 10 were significantly associated with early FSI for boys but not girls.
Externalizing behavior from as early as 5 in boys and 10 in girls is a significant risk factor for earlier age at FSI. Adolescent sexual health promotion should consider early intervention in children with behavior problems, particularly boys.
The purpose of this article is to assess the rate of misdiagnosis and missed diagnoses of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) among a population of foster and adopted youth referred to a children’s mental health center.
Data were collected from a sample of 547 children who underwent a comprehensive multidisciplinary diagnostic evaluation. Utilizing current diagnostic criteria, children were diagnosed, as appropriate, with fetal alcohol syndrome, partial fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder, or alcohol-related birth defects. Changes in rates of alcohol exposure-related diagnoses and cooccurring mental health disorders pre- and postassessment were analyzed by using McNemar’s test for dependent proportions.
Among 156 children and adolescents who met criteria for a diagnosis within the fetal alcohol spectrum, 125 had never been diagnosed as affected by prenatal alcohol exposure, a missed diagnosis rate of 80.1%. Of the 31 who had been recognized before referral as affected by prenatal alcohol exposure, 10 children’s FASD diagnoses were changed within the spectrum, representing a misdiagnosis rate of 6.4%. The remaining 21 (13.5%) children’s diagnoses stayed the same. There also were significant changes in the rate of mental health diagnosis, and learning disorders, communication disorders, and intellectual disability, objective signs of neurocognitive damage, were not recognized in a significant number of children with FASD.
Within this clinical sample, 86.5% of youth with FASD had never been previously diagnosed or had been misdiagnosed. These high rates of missed diagnoses and misdiagnosis have significant implications for intervention and therapeutic services.
Asthma heterogeneity causes difficulty in studying and treating the disease. We built a comprehensive statewide repository linking questionnaire and medical record data with health outcomes to characterize the variability of clinical practices at Ohio children’s hospitals for the treatment of hospitalized asthma.
Children hospitalized at 6 participating Ohio children’s hospitals for asthma exacerbation or reactive airway disease aged 2 to 17 were eligible. Medical, social, and environmental histories and past asthma admissions were collected from questionnaires and the medical record.
From December 2012 to September 2013, 1012 children were enrolled. There were significant differences in the population served, emergency department and inpatient practices, intensive care unit usage, discharge criteria, and length of stay across the sites (all P < .0001, total n = 1012). Public insurance was highest in Cleveland and Cincinnati (72 and 65%). In the emergency department, Cincinnati and Akron had the highest intravenous magnesium sulfate use (37% and 33%); Columbus administered the most intramuscular epinephrine (15%). Cleveland and Columbus had the highest intensive care unit admittance (44% and 41%) and proportion of long-stay patients (95% and 85%). Moderate/severe asthma severity classification was associated with discharge prescription for inhaled corticosteroids (odds ratio = 2.7; 95% confidence interval: 1.6–4.5; P = .004) but not stay length.
These data highlight the need for standardization of treatment practices for inpatient asthma care. There is considerable opportunity for personalized care plans that incorporate a patient’s asthma impairment, risk, and treatment response history into hospital practices for asthma exacerbation treatment. The Ohio Pediatric Asthma Repository is a unique statewide resource in which to conduct observational, comparative effectiveness, and ultimately intervention studies for pediatric asthma.
Parental refusal and delay of childhood vaccines has increased in recent years and is believed to cluster in some communities. Such clusters could pose public health risks and barriers to achieving immunization quality benchmarks. Our aims were to (1) describe geographic clusters of underimmunization and vaccine refusal, (2) compare clusters of underimmunization with different vaccines, and (3) evaluate whether vaccine refusal clusters may pose barriers to achieving high immunization rates.
We analyzed electronic health records among children born between 2000 and 2011 with membership in Kaiser Permanente Northern California. The study population included 154 424 children in 13 counties with continuous membership from birth to 36 months of age. We used spatial scan statistics to identify clusters of underimmunization (having missed 1 or more vaccines by 36 months of age) and vaccine refusal (based on International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes).
We identified 5 statistically significant clusters of underimmunization among children who turned 36 months old during 2010–2012. The underimmunization rate within clusters ranged from 18% to 23%, and the rate outside them was 11%. Children in the most statistically significant cluster had 1.58 (P < .001) times the rate of underimmunization as others. Underimmunization with measles, mumps, rubella vaccine and varicella vaccines clustered in similar geographic areas. Vaccine refusal also clustered, with rates of 5.5% to 13.5% within clusters, compared with 2.6% outside them.
Underimmunization and vaccine refusal cluster geographically. Spatial scan statistics may be a useful tool to identify locations with challenges to achieving high immunization rates, which deserve focused intervention.