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Seven years after its addition to the US Recommended Uniform Screening Panel, newborn screening for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) using pulse oximetry became mandatory in the United States. Although CCHD newborn screening reduces morbidity and mortality, there remain important opportunities to improve. An expert panel convened for a 1-day meeting in September 2018, including subject matter experts and representatives from stakeholder organizations. Presentations on CCHD outcomes, variations in approach to screening, and data and quality improvement helped identify improvement opportunities. The expert panel concluded that sufficient evidence exists to recommend modifying the current American Academy of Pediatrics algorithm by (1) requiring an oxygen saturation of at least 95% in both (formerly either) the upper and lower extremities to pass and (2) requiring only 1 repeat screen instead of 2 for cases that neither pass nor fail initially. The panel underscored the importance of improving public health reporting by further specifying the targets of screening and criteria for reporting outcomes (false-negative and false-positive cases). The panel also highlighted the need to ensure sufficient public health funding for CCHD newborn screening and opportunities for education and global implementation. Newborn screening for CCHD using pulse oximetry has led to significant improvements in child health outcomes. However, further important work is required to understand and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of screening.
To evaluate parent-child agreement on postconcussion symptom severity within 48 hours of injury and examine the comparative predictive power of a clinical prediction rule when using parent or child symptom reporting.METHODS:
Both patients and parents quantified preinjury and current symptoms using the Postconcussion Symptom Inventory (PCSI) in the pediatric emergency department. Two-way mixed, absolute measure intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated to evaluate the agreement between patient and parent reports. A multiple logistic regression was run with 9 items to determine the predictive power of the Predicting and Preventing Postconcussive Problems in Pediatrics clinical prediction rule when using the child-reported PCSI. Delong’s receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to compare the area under the curve (AUC) for the child-report models versus previously published parent-report models.RESULTS:
Overall parent-child agreement for the total PCSI score was fair (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.66). Parent-child agreement was greater for (1) postinjury (versus preinjury) ratings, (2) physical (versus emotional) symptoms, and (3) older (versus younger) children. Applying the clinical prediction rule by using the child-reported PCSI maintained similar predictive power to parent-reported PCSI (child AUC = 0.70 [95% confidence interval: 0.67–0.72]; parent AUC = 0.71 [95% confidence interval: 0.68–0.74]; P = .23).CONCLUSIONS:
Overall parent-child agreement on postconcussion symptoms is fair but varies according to several factors. The findings for physical symptoms and the clinical prediction rule have high agreement; information in these domains are likely to be similar regardless of whether they are provided by either the parent or child. Younger children and emotional symptoms show poorer agreement; interviewing both the child and the parent would provide more comprehensive information in these instances.
An 8-year-old boy with no significant past medical history presented to his pediatrician with 5 days of fever, diffuse abdominal pain, and pallor. The pediatrician referred the patient to the emergency department (ED), out of concern for possible malignancy. Initial vital signs indicated fever, tachypnea, and tachycardia. Physical examination was significant for marked abdominal distension, hepatosplenomegaly, and abdominal tenderness in the right upper and lower quadrants. Initial laboratory studies were notable for pancytopenia as well as an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein. Computed tomography (CT) of the abdomen and pelvis showed massive splenomegaly. The only significant history of travel was immigration from Albania 10 months before admission. The patient was admitted to a tertiary care children’s hospital and was evaluated by hematology–oncology, infectious disease, genetics, and rheumatology subspecialty teams. Our multidisciplinary panel of experts will discuss the evaluation of pancytopenia with apparent multiorgan involvement and the diagnosis and appropriate management of a rare disease.
To estimate the risk of neonatal outcomes from patterns of prenatal antidepressant use.METHODS:
From the OptumLabs Data Warehouse, 226 932 singleton deliveries were identified. Antidepressant claims with coverage between the last menstrual period and 35 weeks’ gestation were converted to fluoxetine equivalents, and a longitudinal cluster analysis was performed. Outcomes included major cardiac malformations (11.7 of 1000 births), preterm birth (75.7 of 1000 births), and newborn respiratory distress (54.2 of 1000 births). The lowest trajectory was the primary reference group, and depression and anxiety with no antidepressant claims served as secondary reference groups.RESULTS:
From 15 041 (6.6%) pregnancies exposed to an antidepressant, use patterns were best described as (1) low use (~10 mg/day) with first-trimester reduction, (2) low sustained use (~20 mg/day), (3) moderate use (~40 mg/day) with first-trimester reduction, (4) moderate sustained use (~40 mg/day), and (5) high sustained use (~75 mg/day). Moderate sustained use increased the risk of major cardiac malformations, although results included the null when compared with depression or anxiety reference groups. Moderate sustained (adjusted risk ratio [RR] 1.31; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.16–1.49) and high sustained (adjusted RR 1.78; 95% CI 1.48–2.14) trajectories were associated with an increased risk of preterm birth. All 4 trajectories increased the risk of neonatal respiratory distress in a dose-response fashion (adjusted RRs 1.36 [95% CI 1.20–1.50] to 2.23 [95% CI 1.83–2.77]).CONCLUSIONS:
Although findings support continuation of the lowest effective dose to treat depression or anxiety, which benefits the mother, they also highlight an increased risk for newborn respiratory distress in all groups and preterm birth at moderate to high sustained doses.
Flecainide acetate is a Vaughan-Williams class IC antiarrhythmic drug prescribed for the treatment of supraventricular arrhythmias. It has a narrow therapeutic index and proarrhythmic effects even at therapeutic doses. Flecainide is metabolized by a CYP2D6 enzyme that exhibits polymorphism. In this case report, we present, to our best knowledge, the first case of toxicity contributed by genetic polymorphism in an infant. Our patient with recurrent supraventricular tachycardia was treated with a therapeutic dose of flecainide but developed heart block requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support and subsequent treatment with lipid emulsion therapy. He was found to have supratherapeutic serum flecainide concentration, and gene testing revealed the patient to be an intermediate metabolizer. With this case report, we reinforce the importance of evaluating the CYP2D6 genotype before drug initiation in the neonatal population and recommend regular monitoring of serum flecainide levels and electrocardiograms in these patients.
Estimates of children and adolescents with disabilities worldwide are needed to inform global intervention under the disability-inclusive provisions of the Sustainable Development Goals. We sought to update the most widely reported estimate of 93 million children <15 years with disabilities from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2004.METHODS:
We analyzed Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 data on the prevalence of childhood epilepsy, intellectual disability, and vision or hearing loss and on years lived with disability (YLD) derived from systematic reviews, health surveys, hospital and claims databases, cohort studies, and disease-specific registries. Point estimates of the prevalence and YLD and the 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs) around the estimates were assessed.RESULTS:
Globally, 291.2 million (11.2%) of the 2.6 billion children and adolescents (95% UI: 249.9–335.4 million) were estimated to have 1 of the 4 specified disabilities in 2017. The prevalence of these disabilities increased with age from 6.1% among children aged <1 year to 13.9% among adolescents aged 15 to 19 years. A total of 275.2 million (94.5%) lived in low- and middle-income countries, predominantly in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The top 10 countries accounted for 62.3% of all children and adolescents with disabilities. These disabilities accounted for 28.9 million YLD or 19.9% of the overall 145.3 million (95% UI: 106.9–189.7) YLD from all causes among children and adolescents.CONCLUSIONS:
The number of children and adolescents with these 4 disabilities is far higher than the 2004 estimate, increases from infancy to adolescence, and accounts for a substantial proportion of all-cause YLD.
To evaluate the effectiveness of a stepped-wedge randomized trial of Development of Systems and Education for Human Papillomavirus Vaccination (DOSE HPV), a multilevel intervention.METHODS:
DOSE HPV is a 7-session program that includes interprofessional provider education, communication training, data feedback, and tailored systems change. Five primary care pediatric and/or family medicine practices completed interventions between 2016 and 2018; all chose to initiate vaccination at ages 9 to 10. We compared vaccination rates in the preintervention, intervention, and postintervention periods among 9- to 17-year-olds using random-effects generalized linear regression models appropriate for stepped-wedge design, accounting for calendar time and clustering of patients by providers and clinic. Outcomes included (1) the likelihood that eligible patients would receive vaccination during clinic visits; (2) the likelihood that adolescents would complete the series by age 13; and (3) the cumulative effect on population-level vaccine initiation and completion rates. Postintervention periods ranged from 6 to 18 months.RESULTS:
In the intervention and postintervention periods, the adjusted likelihood of vaccination at an eligible visit increased by >10 percentage points for ages 9 to 10 and 11 to 12, and completion of the vaccine series by age 13 increased by 4 percentage points (P < .001 for all comparisons). Population-level vaccine initiation coverage increased from 75% (preintervention) to 84% (intervention) to 90% (postintervention), and completion increased from 60% (preintervention) to 63% (intervention) to 69% (postintervention).CONCLUSIONS:
Multilevel interventions that include provider education, data feedback, tailored systems changes, and early initiation of the human papillomavirus vaccine series may improve vaccine series initiation and completion beyond the conclusion of the intervention period.
Serum creatinine is typically used to evaluate kidney function. Yet, it is a marker that can only provide estimations of kidney function because it can be influenced by other factors, such as dietary intake. The expanding field of infant formula selection in recent history has given many options for parents who are unable to provide breastmilk. Standard infant formulas and breastmilk generally fall within a select range of creatine content. With greater accessibility to internet-based medical advice (licensed or unlicensed), parents and families have more chances to be exposed to opportunistic websites and opinions that may provide harmful information. In this report, we describe the case of excessive dietary creatine intake in an infant who presented with elevated creatinine while otherwise appearing healthy and having normal cystatin C. After in-depth evaluation of nutritional intake, there was a suspicion for high creatine load of the infant’s homemade formula, which was composed of beef liver and various unregulated nutritional powders. Within 12 hours of stopping the infant’s homemade formula and providing intravenous fluids, the infant’s creatinine normalized. We highlight the importance of in-depth nutrition assessments and education on the health risks associated with improper formula selection.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication use and psychotherapeutic polypharmacy is increasing. This study was designed to assess annual rates of ADHD medication prescribing and psychotherapeutic polypharmacy among patients 2 to 24 years old in the United States, identify commonly prescribed ADHD medications and concomitant psychotropic agents, and assess if specific characteristics are associated with polypharmacy.METHODS:
In this cross-sectional study, we used publicly available ambulatory health care data sets to evaluate ADHD and psychotropic polypharmacy use in patients 2 to 24 years old from 2006 to 2015. National rates were estimated by using sampling weights, and common ADHD and psychotropic drugs prescribed were identified. Multivariate logistic regression models were developed to assess the strength of association between polypharmacy and patient or provider characteristics.RESULTS:
Between 2006 and 2015, ADHD medication prescribing increased from 4.8% to 8.4%. ADHD polypharmacy increased from 16.8% to 20.5%, whereas psychotropic polypharmacy increased from 26.0% to 40.7%. The most common ADHD combinations were stimulants and α-2 agonists (67.1%), whereas the most common concomitant psychotropic agents were selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (14.4%) and second-generation antipsychotics (11.8%). Factors associated with polypharmacy were age, female sex (psychotropic), nonprivate insurance, northeast and south regions (ADHD), receipt of mental health counseling or psychotherapy, and calendar year.CONCLUSIONS:
ADHD and psychotropic polypharmacy use is increasing and associated with specific patient characteristics. These patterns should spark further inquiry about the appropriateness, efficacy, and safety of psychotherapeutic polypharmacy in children and young adults, particularly within subgroups in which the use is high.
Hypertension is highly prevalent in pediatric kidney transplant recipients and contributes to cardiovascular death and graft loss. Improper blood pressure (BP) measurement limits the ability to control hypertension in this population. Here, we report multicenter efforts from the Improving Renal Outcomes Collaborative (IROC) to standardize and improve appropriate BP measurement in transplant patients.METHODS:
Seventeen centers participated in structured quality improvement activities facilitated by IROC, including formal training in quality improvement methods. The primary outcome measure was the proportion of transplant clinic visits with appropriate BP measurement according to published guidelines. Prospective data were analyzed over a 12-week pre-intervention period and a 20-week active intervention period for each center and then aggregated as of the program-specific start date. We used control charts to quantify improvements across IROC centers. We applied thematic analysis to identify patterns and common themes of successful interventions.RESULTS:
We analyzed data from 5392 clinic visits. At baseline, BP was measured and documented appropriately at 11% of visits. Center-specific interventions for improving BP measurement included educating clinic staff, assigning specific team member roles, and creating BP tracking tools and alerts. Appropriate BP measurement improved throughout the 20-week active intervention period to 78% of visits.CONCLUSIONS:
We standardized appropriate BP measurement across 17 pediatric transplant centers using the infrastructure of the IROC learning health system and substantially improved the rate of appropriate measurement over 20 weeks. Accurate BP assessment will allow further interventions to reduce complications of hypertension in pediatric kidney transplant recipients.
There is an urgent need to prepare pediatricians to care for children with behavioral and mental health (B/MH) conditions. In this study, we evaluate the perceived competence of pediatric residents and recent graduates in the assessment and treatment of B/MH conditions, characterize variation in competence across residency programs, and identify program characteristics associated with high competence.METHODS:
Cross-sectional survey of applicants for the initial certifying examination in pediatrics. Questions were focused on (1) who should be competent in B/MH skills, (2) institutional support around B/MH training, and (3) perceived competence in 7 B/MH assessment skills and 9 treatment skills. Competence was rated on a 5-point scale, and high levels of assessment and treatment competence were defined as scores of ≥4. Composite measures for B/MH assessment and treatment were calculated as mean scores for each domain. We examined variation in residents’ self-reported competence across programs and used linear regression to identify factors associated with high levels of competence at the program level.RESULTS:
Of applicants, 62.3% responded to the survey (n = 2086). Of these, 32.8% (n = 595) reported high competence in assessment skills and 18.9% (n = 337) in treatment skills. There were large variations in reported competence across programs. Respondents from smaller programs (<30 trainees) reported higher competence in assessment and treatment than those from large programs (P < .001).CONCLUSIONS:
Current and recent pediatric trainees do not report high levels of perceived competence in the assessment and treatment of children with B/MH conditions. The substantial variation across programs indicates that the pediatric community should create standards for B/MH training.
In-hospital formula feeding (IHFF) of breastfed infants is associated with shorter duration of breastfeeding. Despite evidence-based guidelines on when IHFF is appropriate, many infants are given formula unnecessarily during the postpartum hospital stay. To account for selection bias inherent in observational data, in this study, we estimate liberal and conservative bounds for the association between hospital formula feeding and duration of breastfeeding.METHODS:
Infants enrolled in the Minnesota Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children were selected. Breastfed infants given formula were matched with infants exclusively breastfed (n = 5310) by using propensity scoring methods to adjust for potential confounders. Cox regression of the matched sample was stratified on feeding status. A second, more conservative analysis (n = 4836) was adjusted for medical indications for supplementation.RESULTS:
Hazard ratios (HR) for weaning increased across time. In the first analysis, the HR across the first year was 6.1 (95% confidence interval [CI] 4.9–7.5), with HRs increasing with age (first month: HR = 4.1 [95% CI 3.5–4.7]; 1–6 months: HR = 8.2 [95% CI 5.6–12.1]; >6 months: HR = 14.6 [95% CI 8.9–24.0]). The second, more conservative analysis revealed that infants exposed to IHFF had 2.5 times the hazard of weaning compared with infants who were exclusively breastfed (HR = 2.5; 95% CI 1.9–3.4).CONCLUSIONS:
IHFF was associated with earlier weaning, with infants exposed to IHFF at 2.5 to 6 times higher risk in the first year than infants exclusively breastfed. Strategies to reduce IHFF include prenatal education, peer counseling, hospital staff and physician education, and skin-to-skin contact.
Flualprazolam is a nonregistered drug in the benzodiazepine family and constitutes a new psychoactive substance (NPS). Since 2014, a growing number of designer benzodiazepines have become available over the Internet and on the counterfeit drug market. In June 2019, a cluster of patients intoxicated with flualprazolam was identified by the Oregon Poison Center. As an emerging drug of abuse, the clinical characteristics of flualprazolam have been poorly characterized thus far. Over a one-week period, 6 teenagers presented to local emergency departments after ingesting illegally obtained counterfeit alprazolam, which led to sedation. Other symptoms included slurred speech, confusion, and mild respiratory depression. All 6 patients had resolution of their symptoms within 6 hours of ingestion. Blood and urine samples, as well as a tablet fragment, were obtained from 3 patients. The tablet and biological samples were analyzed by using liquid chromatography–quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry and were found to contain the NPS flualprazolam without other drugs or intoxicants. With this case series, we add to the medical literature a clinical description of an emerging drug of abuse. Flualprazolam appears to share the clinical properties of other benzodiazepines. As flualprazolam and other NPSs become more common, physicians must be aware of their availability and characteristics. Sedation lasting <6 hours was observed in 6 of 6 patients exposed to flualprazolam. No effects that would be unexpected from benzodiazepine intoxication were seen among the patients. Specifically, none developed prolonged symptoms or required intubation and mechanical ventilation, ICU admission, or antidotal therapy.
Dyslexia is a common learning disorder that renders children susceptible to poor health outcomes and many elements of socioeconomic difficulty. It is commonly undiagnosed until a child has repeatedly failed to learn to read in elementary school; this late diagnosis not only places the child at an academic disadvantage but also can be a precursor to psychiatric comorbidities such as anxiety and depression. Genetic and neuroimaging research have revealed that dyslexia is heritable and that it is undergirded by brain differences that are present even before reading instruction begins. Cognitive-behavioral research has revealed that there are early literacy skill deficits that represent red flags for dyslexia risk and can be measured at a preschool age. Altogether, this evidence points to dyslexia as a disorder that can be flagged by a pediatrician before school entry, during a period of heightened brain plasticity when interventions are more likely to be effective. In this review, we discuss the clinical implications of the most recent advances in dyslexia research, which converge to indicate that early identification and screening are crucial to the prevention or mitigation of adverse secondary consequences of dyslexia. We further highlight evidence-based and practical strategies for the implementation of early risk identification in pediatric practice so that physicians can be empowered in their ability to treat, educate, and advocate for their patients and families with dyslexia.
Teenagers aged 16 to 18 are at increased risk for iron deficiency, exacerbated by losses with whole blood (WB) or double red blood cell (2RBC) donations. Required 56-day (WB) or 112-day (2RBC) interdonation intervals (IDIs) are too short for many to replace lost iron without supplements.METHODS:
Teenagers donating WB or 2RBCs at Vitalant, a national blood provider, had serum ferritin measured at their first and immediately subsequent successful donation from December 2016 to 2018. We modeled postindex log-ferritin as a function of IDI to estimate the shortest intervals that corresponded with 50% to 95% prevalence of adequate donor iron stores (ferritin ≥20 ng/mL female donors, ≥30 ng/mL male donors) at the subsequent donation.RESULTS:
Among 30 806 teenagers, 11.4% of female and 9.7% of male donors had inadequate iron stores at index donation. Overall, 92.6% had follow-up ferritin values within 13 months. Approximately 12 months after WB index donations, >60% of female and >80% of male donors had adequate iron stores (>50% and >70% after 2RBC donations). Follow-up–donation iron stores were highly dependent on index ferritin. Less than half of WB donors with low ferritin at index achieved adequate stores within 12 months. Achieving a ≥90% prevalence of adequate ferritin at 12 months required index values >50 ng/mL.CONCLUSIONS:
These findings suggest that postdonation low-dose iron supplements should be strongly encouraged in teenagers with borderline or low iron stores to permit donation without increased risk for symptoms of mild iron depletion. Increasing the minimum recommended IDI to allow time for replacing donation-related iron losses may be desirable for teenagers.
In 2013, New York introduced regulations mandating that hospitals develop pediatric-specific protocols for sepsis recognition and treatment.METHODS:
We used hospital discharge data from 2011 to 2015 to compare changes in pediatric sepsis outcomes in New York and 4 control states: Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey. We examined the effect of the New York regulations on 30-day in-hospital mortality using a comparative interrupted time-series approach, controlling for patient and hospital characteristics and preregulation temporal trends.RESULTS:
We studied 9436 children admitted to 237 hospitals. Unadjusted pediatric sepsis mortality decreased in both New York (14.0% to 11.5%) and control states (14.4% to 11.2%). In the primary analysis, there was no significant effect of the regulations on mortality trends (differential quarterly change in mortality in New York compared with control states: –0.96%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: –1.95% to 0.02%; P = .06). However, in a prespecified sensitivity analysis excluding metropolitan New York hospitals that participated in earlier sepsis quality improvement, the regulations were associated with improved mortality trends (differential change: –2.08%; 95% CI: –3.79% to –0.37%; P = .02). The regulations were also associated with improved mortality trends in several prespecified subgroups, including previously healthy children (differential change: –1.36%; 95% CI: –2.62% to –0.09%; P = .04) and children not admitted through the emergency department (differential change: –2.42%; 95% CI: –4.24% to –0.61%; P = .01).CONCLUSIONS:
Implementation of statewide sepsis regulations was generally associated with improved mortality trends in New York State, particularly in prespecified subpopulations of patients, suggesting that the regulations were successful in affecting sepsis outcomes.
Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed to treat anxiety disorders and have been associated with falls and fractures in older adults. It is unknown whether benzodiazepines increase fracture risk in youth. We examined whether youth with anxiety disorders initiating benzodiazepine treatment have an increased risk of fractures compared with youth initiating selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).METHODS:
We used claims from commercially insured children (6–17 years) and young adults (18–24) with a recent anxiety disorder diagnosis, initiating benzodiazepines or SSRIs (2008–2016). Youth were followed until fracture, treatment discontinuation or switching, disenrollment, 3 months, or December 31, 2016. The primary end point was diagnostic codes for upper and lower limb fractures. Incident fracture rates, incident rate ratios (IRRs), and incident rate differences (IRDs) were estimated with propensity score inverse probability of treatment weighting.RESULTS:
The cohort included 120 715 children and 179 768 young adults. In children, crude fracture rates during treatment were 33.1 per 1000 person-years (PYs) for benzodiazepine initiators and 25.1 per 1000 PYs for SSRI initiators. Adjusted IRR and IRD were 1.53 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.94–2.50) and 13.4 per 1000 PYs. Risk was heightened in children initiating long-acting benzodiazepines versus SSRIs (adjusted IRR = 2.30 [95% CI: 1.08–4.91]). Fracture rates were lower in young adults, with minimal differences between treatments (adjusted IRR = 0.85 [95% CI: 0.57–1.27]; adjusted IRD = –1.3 per 1000 PYs).CONCLUSIONS:
An increased rate of fractures in children, but not young adults, with anxiety disorders initiating benzodiazepine treatment compared to SSRI treatment suggests a need for increased caution in the weeks after benzodiazepine initiation in children.
Child mobile device use is increasingly prevalent, but research is limited by parent-report survey methods that may not capture the complex ways devices are used. We aimed to implement mobile device sampling, a set of novel methods for objectively measuring child mobile device use.METHODS:
We recruited 346 English-speaking parents and guardians of children aged 3 to 5 years to take part in a prospective cohort study of child media use. All interactions with participants were through e-mail, online surveys, and mobile device sampling; we used a passive-sensing application (Chronicle) in Android devices and screenshots of the battery feature in iOS devices. Baseline data were analyzed to describe usage behaviors and compare sampling output with parent-reported duration of use.RESULTS:
The sample comprised 126 Android users (35 tablets, 91 smartphones) and 220 iOS users (143 tablets, 77 smartphones); 35.0% of children had their own device. The most commonly used applications were YouTube, YouTube Kids, Internet browser, quick search or Siri, and streaming video services. Average daily usage among the 121 children with their own device was 115.3 minutes/day (SD 115.1; range 0.20–632.5) and was similar between Android and iOS devices. Compared with mobile device sampling output, most parents underestimated (35.7%) or overestimated (34.8%) their child’s use.CONCLUSIONS:
Mobile device sampling is an unobtrusive and accurate method for assessing mobile device use. Parent-reported duration of mobile device use in young children has low accuracy, and use of objective measures is needed in future research.