Pediatric home health care is an effective and holistic venue of treatment of children with medical complexity or developmental disabilities who otherwise may experience frequent and/or prolonged hospitalizations or who may enter chronic institutional care. Demand for pediatric home health care is increasing while the provider base is eroding, primarily because of inadequate payment or restrictions on benefits. As a result, home care responsibilities assumed by family caregivers have increased and imposed financial, physical, and psychological burdens on the family. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act set forth 10 mandated essential health benefits. Home care should be considered as an integral component of the habilitative and rehabilitative services and devices benefit, even though it is not explicitly recognized as a specific category of service. Pediatric-specific home health care services should be defined clearly as components of pediatric services, the 10th essential benefit, and recognized by all payers. Payments for home health care services should be sufficient to maintain an adequate provider work force with the pediatric-specific expertise and skills to care for children with medical complexity or developmental disability. Furthermore, coordination of care among various providers and the necessary direct patient care from which these care coordination plans are developed should be required and enabled by adequate payment. The American Academy of Pediatrics advocates for high-quality care by calling for development of pediatric-specific home health regulations and the licensure and certification of pediatric home health providers.
Sexual violence is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of sexual victimizations. Since the American Academy of Pediatrics published its last policy statement on sexual assault in 2008, additional information and data have emerged about sexual violence affecting adolescents and the treatment and management of the adolescent who has been a victim of sexual assault. This report provides new information to update physicians and focuses on the acute assessment and care of adolescent victims who have experienced a recent sexual assault. Follow-up of the acute assault, as well as prevention of sexual assault, are also discussed.
To improve hospital to home transitions, a 4-element pediatric patient-centered transition bundle was developed, including: a transition readiness checklist; predischarge teach-back education; timely and complete written handoff to the primary care provider; and a postdischarge phone call. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility of bundle implementation and report initial outcomes at 4 pilot sites. Outcome measures included postdischarge caregiver ability to teach-back key home management information and 30-day reuse rates.METHODS:
A multisite, observational time series using multiple planned sequential interventions to implement bundle components with non–technology-supported and technology-supported patients. Data were collected via electronic health record reviews and during postdischarge phone calls. Statistical process control charts were used to assess outcomes.RESULTS:
Four pilot sites implemented the bundle between January 2014 and May 2015 for 2601 patients, of whom 1394 had postdischarge telephone encounters. Improvement was noted in the implementation of all bundle elements with the transitions readiness checklist posing the greatest feasibility challenge. Phone contact connection rates were 69%. Caregiver ability to teach-back essential home management information postdischarge improved from 18% to 82%. No improvement was noted in reuse rates, which differed dramatically between technology-supported and non–technology-supported patients.CONCLUSIONS:
A pediatric care transition bundle was successfully tested and implemented, as demonstrated by improvement in all process measures, as well as caregiver home management skills. Important considerations for successful implementation and evaluation of the discharge bundle include the role of local context, electronic health record integration, and subgroup analysis for technology-supported patients.
Infants are at greatest risk for severe disease and death from pertussis; most acquire it from household contacts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines recommend tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis, adsorbed (Tdap) vaccination for infant caregivers, especially postpartum women who did not receive it during pregnancy. Our objective was to increase the percentage of women receiving Tdap vaccine before postpartum discharge.METHODS:
An interdisciplinary workgroup identified barriers to improvement of postpartum Tdap vaccination from which a 5-step intervention was created: (1) provide education on Tdap and pertussis; (2) offer Tdap throughout hospitalization; (3) create a Tdap standing order; (4) keep Tdap as floor stock; and (5) document administration. Pre- and postintervention data were collected from monthly chart reviews. Our main outcome measures were the proportion of postpartum women eligible for Tdap and the proportion of those eligible who received Tdap.RESULTS:
Preintervention baseline data (202 charts) described 166 postpartum women eligible to receive Tdap. Of the eligible women, 91 (55%) received the Tdap vaccine. During the 9-month postintervention period, 844 charts were reviewed (average, 93 per month; range, 82–104). Of the 632 women eligible to receive the Tdap vaccine, 462 (73% overall [range, 67%–79%]) received it. Thirty-three percent more postpartum mothers received the Tdap vaccine before discharge in the postintervention period (P < .01). The percentage of women eligible decreased from 82% to 75%.CONCLUSIONS:
This quality improvement initiative substantially increased Tdap immunization in the immediate postpartum period. Efforts to increase immunization during pregnancy for passive transfer of maternal antibodies remain preferable.
A 17-year-old male subject with a history of deep venous thrombosis presented with acute unilateral severe chest pain. His examination was nonspecific, and vital signs were normal. His initial laboratory evaluation revealed mild thrombocytopenia, elevated troponin levels, and critically elevated activated partial thromboplastin time. A computed tomography angiogram of the chest revealed a pulmonary embolus, and anticoagulation therapy was initiated. His course was complicated by the development of multiple thrombi and respiratory failure. Extensive evaluation revealed a rare, underlying diagnosis in time for life-saving treatment to be initiated.
Minimally Important Differences in Patient or Proxy-Reported Outcome Studies Relevant to Children: A Systematic Review
No study has characterized and appraised all anchor-based minimally important differences (MIDs) associated with patient-reported outcome (PRO) instruments in pediatric studies.OBJECTIVE:
To complete a comprehensive systematic survey and appraisal of published anchor-based MIDs associated with PRO instruments used in children.DATA SOURCES:
Medline, Embase, and PsycINFO (1989 to February 11, 2015).STUDY SELECTION:
Studies reporting empirical ascertainment of anchor-based MIDs among PROs used in pediatric care.DATA EXTRACTION:
All pertinent data items related to the characteristics of PRO instruments, anchors, and MIDs.RESULTS:
Of 4179 unique citations, 30 studies (including 32 cohorts) proved eligible and reported on 28 unique PROs (8 generic, 13 disease-specific, 5 symptoms-specific, 2 function-specific), with 9 (32%) classified as patient-reported, 11 (39%) proxy-reported, and 8 (29%) both patient- and proxy-reported. Of the 30 studies, we rated 14 (44%) as providing highly credible estimates of the MID. Most cohorts (n = 20, 62%) recorded patients’ direct response to the target PRO and the use of an independent standard of comparison (n = 25, 78%). Most, however, failed to effectively report measurement properties of the anchor (n = 24, 75%).LIMITATIONS:
We have not yet addressed the measurement properties of instrument to measure credibility; our search was restricted to 3 electronic sources, and we used a single data abstractor.CONCLUSIONS:
Our study found 28 PROs that have been developed for children, with fewer than half providing credible estimates. Clinicians, clinical trialists, systematic reviewers, and guideline developers seeking to effectively summarize and interpret results of studies addressing PROs in child health are likely to find our comprehensive compendium of MIDs of use, both in providing best estimates of MIDs and identifying credible estimates.
Research in high-income countries has repeatedly demonstrated that intimate partner violence (IPV) experienced by women negatively affects the health and behavior of children in their care. However, there is little research on the topic in lower- and middle-income countries. The population-based Asenze Study gathered data on children and their caregivers in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This data analysis explores the association of caregiver IPV on child behavior outcomes in children <12 years old and is the first such study in Africa.METHODS:
This population-based study was set in 5 Zulu tribal areas characterized by poverty, food insecurity, unemployment, and a high HIV prevalence. The Asenze Study interviewed caregivers via validated measures of IPV, alcohol use, caregiver mental health difficulties, and child behavior disorders in their preschool children.RESULTS:
Among the 980 caregivers assessed, 37% had experienced IPV from their current partner. Experience of partner violence (any, physical, or sexual) remained strongly associated with overall child behavior problems (odds ratio range: 2.46–3.10) even after age, HIV status, cohabitation with the partner, alcohol use, and posttraumatic stress disorder were accounted for.CONCLUSIONS:
Childhood behavioral difficulties are associated with their caregiver’s experience of IPV in this population, even after other expected causes of child behavior difficulties are adjusted for. There is a need to investigate the longer-term impact of caregiver partner violence, particularly sexual IPV, on the health and well-being of vulnerable children in lower- and middle-income countries. Studies should also investigate whether preventing IPV reduces the occurrence of childhood behavior difficulties.
Beals syndrome, also known as congenital contractural arachnodactyly (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man: 121050), is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by a mutation in FBN2 that is typically characterized by congenital contractures and arachnodactyly. It shares a number of phenotypic features with Loeys-Dietz syndrome (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man: 609192). Loeys-Dietz syndrome, initially described in 2005, is associated with mutations for the transforming growth factor β receptor and is characterized by findings of cerebral, thoracic, and abdominal arterial aneurysms. This report describes a 17-year-old male patient with a typical neonatal diagnosis of Beals syndrome. At age 15 years, an echocardiogram conducted in response to an aortic dissection in his father showed moderate aortic root dilation, prompting comprehensive testing for aortopathies, revealing a mutation in TGFBR1, thereby changing the diagnosis to Loeys-Dietz syndrome. Previously published reports have not implicated any mutation of the transforming growth factor β receptor genes in cases of Beals syndrome. This case underscores that due to significant phenotypic overlap, there is utility in a full panel of testing, including genes for hereditary connective tissue disorders with vascular involvement, as well as FBN2. Likewise, young patients who have tested negative for FBN2 should be tested for hereditary connective tissue disorders with vascular involvement.
Clostridium septicum is an anaerobic bacterium that causes rapidly progressive myonecrosis, bacteremia, and central nervous system infection. It has been reported as a complication of Escherichia coli hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in 8 children worldwide; 5 children died, and the 3 reported survivors had surgically treated disease. We present 3 cases of C septicum complicating HUS in children, including the first 2 reported cases of survival without surgical intervention. All patients presented with classic cases of HUS with initial clinical improvement followed by deterioration. Patient 1 had rising fever, tachycardia, and severe abdominal pain 24 hours after admission. She developed large multifocal intraparenchymal cerebral hemorrhages and died 12 hours later. Autopsy revealed C septicum intestinal necrosis, myonecrosis, and encephalitis. Patient 2 had new fever, increasing leukocytosis, and severe abdominal pain on hospital day 4. She was diagnosed with C septicum bacteremia and treated with metronidazole, meropenem, and clindamycin. Patient 3 had new fever and increasing leukocytosis on hospital day 3; blood cultures grew C septicum, and she was treated with penicillin. Patients 2 and 3 improved rapidly and did not require surgery. C septicum is a potential co-infection with E coli. It thrives in the anaerobic environment of E coli–damaged intestinal mucosa and translocates to cause systemic infection. Fever, tachycardia, a rising white blood cell count, and abdominal pain out of proportion to examination are key findings for which physicians should be vigilant. Timely evaluation by anaerobic blood culture and early initiation of antibiotics are necessary to prevent fatalities.