Asthma is a significant public health issue, impacting quality of life, morbidity, and health care costs nationally. Stock asthma rescue medication policies authorize school districts to maintain unassigned albuterol and enable trained staff members to administer the medication in response to asthma symptoms, exercise premedication, and asthma emergencies. Stock asthma rescue (or reliever) medication laws serve as an important fail-safe measure. Such laws provide districts with the ability to respond if a student has an asthma emergency at school but either lacks a diagnosis or does not have access to their own medication. As of September 2019, 13 states have enacted either a law or regulation authorizing the stocking of asthma rescue medication in schools: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. Three additional states provide stock albuterol asthma guidelines but do not have legislation: Indiana, New York, and Nebraska. Some states have found that these policies reduce the need for 911 calls and emergency medical services transports as a result of asthma exacerbations. Initial data also demonstrate that these policies reach populations in need and improve health outcomes. This case study will describe the current state of asthma in Illinois, an innovative policy solution to address asthma emergencies in schools, and the steps taken to advocate for stock asthma rescue medication in Illinois. Legislation for stock albuterol in Illinois was signed into law in August 2018.
Pediatric thrombocytopenia has a wide differential diagnosis, and recently, genetic testing to identify its etiology has become more common. We present a case of a 16-year-old boy with a history of chronic moderate thrombocytopenia, who later developed constitutional symptoms and bilateral hand edema with cold exposure. Laboratory evaluation revealed evidence both of inflammation and elevated muscle enzymes. These abnormalities persisted over months. His thrombocytopenia was determined to be immune mediated. Imaging revealed lymphadenopathy and asplenia, and a muscle biopsy was consistent with tubular aggregate myopathy. Ophthalmology evaluation noted photosensitivity, pupillary miosis, and iris hypoplasia. Genetic testing demonstrated a pathogenic variant in STIM1 consistent with autosomal dominant Stormorken syndrome. Our case is novel because of the overlap of phenotypes ascribed to both gain-of-function and loss-of-function pathogenic variants in STIM1, thereby blurring the distinctions between these previously described syndromes. Pediatricians should consider checking muscle enzymes when patients present with thrombocytopenia and arthralgia, myalgia, and/or muscle weakness. Our case highlights the importance of both multidisciplinary care and genetic testing in cases of chronic unexplained thrombocytopenia. By understanding the underlying genetic mechanism to a patient’s thrombocytopenia, providers are better equipped to make more precise medical management recommendations.
Elevated non–high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels are used to identify children at increased cardiovascular risk, but the use of non–HDL-C in childhood to predict atherosclerosis is unclear. We examined whether the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute classification of youth non–HDL-C status predicts high common carotid artery intima-media thickness in adulthood.METHODS:
We analyzed data from 4 prospective cohorts among 4582 children aged 3 to 19 years who were remeasured as adults (mean follow-up of 26 years). Non–HDL-C status in youth and adulthood was classified according to cut points of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III. High carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) in adulthood was defined as at or above the study visit-, age-, sex-, race-, and cohort-specific 90th percentile of intima-media thickness.RESULTS:
In a log-binomial regression analysis adjusted with age at baseline, sex, cohort, length of follow-up, baseline BMI, and systolic blood pressure, children with dyslipidemic non–HDL-C were at increased risk of high cIMT in adulthood (relative risk [RR], 1.29; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.07–1.55). Compared with the persistent normal group, the persistent dyslipidemia group (RR, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.37–2.37) and incident dyslipidemia (normal to dyslipidemia) groups (RR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.07–1.96) had increased risk of high cIMT in adulthood, but the risk was attenuated for the resolution (dyslipidemia to normal) group (RR, 1.17; 95% CI, 0.97–1.41).CONCLUSIONS:
Dyslipidemic non–HDL-C levels predict youth at risk for developing high cIMT in adulthood. Those who resolve their non–HDL-C dyslipidemia by adulthood have normalized risk of developing high cIMT in adulthood.
In the United States, transgender youth are at especially high risk for HIV infection. Literature regarding HIV prevention strategies for this vulnerable, often-hidden population is scant. Before effective, population-based HIV prevention strategies may be adequately developed, it is necessary to first enhance the contextual understanding of transgender youth HIV risk and experiences with HIV preventive services.METHODS:
Two 3-day, online, asynchronous focus groups were conducted with transgender youth from across the United States to better understand participant HIV risk and experiences with HIV preventive services. Participants were recruited by using online advertisements posted via youth organizations. Qualitative data were analyzed by using content analysis.RESULTS:
A total of 30 transgender youth participated. The average age was 18.6 years, and youth reported a wide range of gender identities (eg, 27% were transgender male, 17% were transgender female, and 27% used ≥1 term) and sexual orientations. Four themes emerged: (1) barriers to self-efficacy in sexual decision-making; (2) safety concerns, fear, and other challenges in forming romantic and/or sexual relationships; (3) need for support and education; and (4) desire for affirmative and culturally competent experiences and interactions (eg, home, school, and health care).CONCLUSIONS:
Youth discussed experiences and perspectives related to their gender identities, sexual health education, and HIV preventive services. Findings should inform intervention development to improve support and/or services, including the following: (1) increasing provider knowledge and skills to provide gender-affirming care, (2) addressing barriers to services (eg, accessibility and affordability as well as stigma and discrimination), and (3) expanding sexual health education to be inclusive of all gender identities, sexual orientations, and definitions of sex and sexual activity.
Rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have increased over the decade. Guidelines recommend HIV testing with incident STIs. Prevalence and factors associated with HIV testing in acute STIs are unknown in adolescents. Our objective was to determine the prevalence of completed HIV testing among adolescents with incident STIs and identify patient and health care factors associated with HIV testing.METHODS:
Retrospective study of STI episodes (gonorrhea, Chlamydia, trichomoniasis, or syphilis) of adolescents between 13 and 24 years old from July 2014 to December 2017 in 2 urban primary care clinics. We performed mixed effects logistic regression modeling to identify patient and health care factors associated with HIV testing within 90 days of STI diagnosis.RESULTS:
The 1313 participants contributed 1816 acute STI episodes. Mean age at STI diagnosis was 17.2 years (SD = 1.7), 75% of episodes occurred in females, and 97% occurred in African Americans. Only half (55%) of acute STI episodes had a completed HIV test. In the adjusted model, female sex, previous STIs, uninsured status, and confidential sexual health encounters were associated with decreased odds of HIV testing. Patients enrolled in primary care at the clinics, compared with those receiving sexual health care alone, and those with multipathogen STI diagnoses were more likely to have HIV testing.CONCLUSIONS:
HIV testing rates among adolescents with acute STIs are suboptimal. Patient and health care factors were found to be associated with receipt of testing and should be considered in clinical practice.
The American Academy of Neurology believes that doctors have the right to do tests to evaluate whether a patient is brain dead even if the family does not consent. They argue that physicians have "both the moral authority and professional responsibility" to do such evaluations, just as they have the authority and responsibility to declare someone dead by circulatory criteria. Not everyone agrees. Truog and Tasker argue that apnea testing to confirm brain death has risks and that, for some families, those risks may outweigh the benefits. So, what should doctors do when caring for a patient whom they believe to be brain dead but whose parents refuse to allow testing to confirm that the patient meets neurologic criteria for death? In this article, we analyze the issues that arise when parents refuse such testing.
Annual incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) including postoperative VTE in hospitalized children is rising significantly. A growing body of evidence supports the role of red blood cells (RBCs) in pathologic thrombosis. In this study, we examined the association of perioperative RBC transfusion with postoperative VTE in pediatric patients.METHODS:
The pediatric databases of the American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Project from 2012 to 2017 were used. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the association between perioperative RBC transfusion status and the development of new or progressive VTE within 30 days of surgery. The analyses were age stratified, as follows: neonates (≤28 days), infants (>28 days and <1 year), and children (≥1 year).RESULTS:
In this study, we included 20 492 neonates, 79 744 infants, and 382 862 children. Postoperative development of VTE was reported in 99 (0.48%) neonates, 147 (0.2%) infants, and 374 (0.1%) children. In all age groups, development of VTE was significantly more common among patients with a perioperative RBC transfusion than patients without a perioperative RBC transfusion (neonates: adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 4.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.5–6.7; infants: aOR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.7–3.6; children: aOR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.7–2.9). Among children who received an intra- or postoperative transfusion, the weight-based volume of RBCs (mL/kg) transfused was associated with postoperative VTE in a dose-dependent manner: second tertile (odds ratio = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.3–4.1) and third tertile (odds ratio = 4.1, 95% CI = 2.3–7.4) versus first tertile.CONCLUSIONS:
Perioperative RBC transfusions are independently associated with development of new or progressive postoperative VTE in children, infants, and neonates. These findings need further validation in prospective studies and emphasize the need for evidence-based perioperative pediatric blood transfusion decisions.
Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a rare congenital anomaly with a mortality of ~27%. The Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Study Group (CDHSG) developed a simple postnatal clinical prediction rule to predict mortality in newborns with CDH. Our aim for this study is to externally validate the CDHSG rule in the European population and to improve its prediction of mortality by adding prenatal variables.METHODS:
We performed a European multicenter retrospective cohort study and included all newborns diagnosed with unilateral CDH who were born between 2008 and 2015. Newborns born from November 2011 onward were included for the external validation of the rule (n = 343). To improve the prediction rule, we included all patients born between 2008 and 2015 (n = 620) with prenatally diagnosed CDH and collected pre- and postnatal variables. We build a logistic regression model and performed bootstrap resampling and computed calibration plots.RESULTS:
With our validation data set, the CDHSG rule had an area under the curve of 79.0%, revealing a fair predictive performance. For the new prediction rule, prenatal herniation of the liver was added, and absent 5-minute Apgar score was taken out. The new prediction rule revealed good calibration, and with an area under the curve of 84.6%, it had good discriminative abilities.CONCLUSIONS:
In this study, we externally validated the CDHSG rule for the European population, which revealed fair predictive performance. The modified rule, with prenatal liver herniation as an additional variable, appears to further improve the model’s ability to predict mortality in a population of patients with prenatally diagnosed CDH.
Children with medical complexity (CMC) comprise only 6% of the pediatric population, account for ~40% of pediatric health care spending, and provide an important opportunity for cost saving. Savings in this group can have an important impact on pediatric health care costs. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of a multicenter care management program on spending and use in CMC.DESIGN AND METHODS:
We conducted a prospective cohort analysis of a population of 4530 CMC enrolled in a learning collaborative designed to improve care for CMC ages 0 to 21 years identified using 3M Clinical Risk Group categories 5b through 9. The primary outcome was total per-member per-year standardized spending; secondary outcomes included inpatient and emergency department (ED) spending and use. We used a 1:1 propensity score match to compare enrolled patients to eligible nonenrolled patients and statistical process control methods to analyze spending and usage rates.RESULTS:
Comparison with the matched group showed a 4.6% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.9%–7.3%) decrease in total per-member per-year spending (P < .001), a 7.7% (95% CI: 1.2%–13.5%) decrease in inpatient spending (P = .04), and an 11.6% (95% CI: 3.9%–18.4%) decrease in ED spending (P = .04). Statistical process control analysis showed a decrease in hospitalization rate and ED visits.CONCLUSIONS:
CMC enrolled in a learning collaborative showed significant decreases in total spending and a significant decrease in the number of hospitalizations and ED visits. Additional research is needed to determine more specific causal factors for the results and if these results are sustainable over time and replicable in other settings.
To determine if a multicomponent intervention was associated with increased use of first-line antibiotics (cephalexin or sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) among children with uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) in outpatient settings.METHODS:
The study was conducted at Kaiser Permanente Colorado, a large health care organization with ~127 000 members <18 years of age. After conducting a gap analysis, an intervention was developed to target key drivers of antibiotic prescribing for pediatric UTIs. Intervention activities included development of new local clinical guidelines, a live case-based educational session, pre- and postsession e-mailed knowledge assessments, and a new UTI-specific order set within the electronic health record. Most activities were implemented on April 26, 2017. The study design was an interrupted time series comparing antibiotic prescribing for UTIs before versus after the implementation date. Infants <60 days old and children with complex urologic or neurologic conditions were excluded.RESULTS:
During January 2014 to September 2018, 2142 incident outpatient UTIs were identified (1636 preintervention and 506 postintervention). Pyelonephritis was diagnosed for 7.6% of cases. Adjusted for clustering of UTIs within clinicians, the proportion of UTIs treated with first-line antibiotics increased from 43.4% preintervention to 62.4% postintervention (P < .0001). The use of cephalexin (first-line, narrow spectrum) increased from 28.9% preintervention to 53.0% postintervention (P < .0001). The use of cefixime (second-line, broad spectrum) decreased from 17.3% preintervention to 2.6% postintervention (P < .0001). Changes in prescribing practices persisted through the end of the study period.CONCLUSIONS:
A multicomponent intervention with educational and process-improvement elements was associated with a sustained change in antibiotic prescribing for uncomplicated pediatric UTIs.
A previously healthy 9-year-old immigrant girl from Mexico was evaluated in the emergency department (ED) with one week of fatigue, fevers, rhinorrhea, and cough. She initially presented to her primary pediatrician, where a complete blood count revealed neutropenia, prompting referral to the ED. In the ED, she was found to be influenza A–positive. Because of dehydration, she received intravenous fluids and was admitted to the pediatric hospital medicine service. After 2 days, influenza symptoms improved, and oral intake increased. However, she was noted to have decreased bilateral lower-extremity strength, absent Achilles reflexes, decreased lower-extremity sensation and proprioception, a positive result on the Romberg sign, and abnormal heel-to-shin testing results. These findings prompted an urgent neurology consultation. After extensive imaging, laboratory evaluation, and further consultations, a diagnosis was established.
Runaway youth and homeless youth are at risk for adverse mental health outcomes. These 2 populations are frequently pooled together in both research and interventions yet may have unique health needs. We sought to assess differences in mental health outcomes among these populations.METHODS:
We conducted a secondary data analysis of ninth- and 11th-graders in the 2016 minnesota Student Survey (n = 68 785). We categorized youth into 4 subgroups based on housing status in the previous year: (1) unaccompanied homeless youth (0.5%), (2) runaway youth (4%), (3) youth who had both run away and been homeless (0.6%), and (4) stably housed youth (95%). We performed multivariable logistic regression to compare 4 mental health outcomes (self-injury, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and depressive symptoms) across groups, controlling for demographics and abuse history.RESULTS:
Unstably housed youth had poorer mental health outcomes when compared with their stably housed peers (P < .05). For example, 11% of homeless youth, 20% of runaways, and 33% of youth who had experienced both had attempted suicide in the previous year compared with 2% of stably housed youth (adjusted odds ratios 2.4, 4.9, and 7.1, respectively). Other outcomes showed a similar pattern.CONCLUSIONS:
Our findings suggest that runaway and homeless youth represent unique populations with high levels of mental health needs who would benefit from targeted clinical and community interventions. Pediatric clinicians represent one potential point of screening and intervention.
Mexican-origin women breastfeed at similar rates as white women in the United States, yet they usually breastfeed for less time. In our study, we seek to identify differences in Mexican-origin women’s breastfeeding intentions, initiation, continuation, and supplementation across nativity and country-of-education groups.METHODS:
The data are from a prospective cohort study of postpartum women ages 18 to 44 recruited from 8 Texas hospitals. We included 1235 Mexican-origin women who were born and educated in either Texas or Mexico. Women were interviewed at delivery and at 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months post partum. Breastfeeding intentions and initiation were reported at baseline, continuation was collected at each interview, and weeks until supplementation was assessed for both solids and formula. Women were classified into 3 categories: born and educated in Mexico, born and educated in the United States, and born in Mexico and educated in the United States.RESULTS:
Breastfeeding initiation and continuation varied by nativity and country of birth, although all women reported similar breastfeeding intentions. Women born and educated in Mexico initiated and continued breastfeeding in higher proportions than women born and educated in the United States. Mexican-born and US-educated women formed an intermediate group. Early supplementation with formula and solid foods was similar across groups, and early supplementation with formula negatively impacted duration across all groups.CONCLUSIONS:
Nativity and country of education are important predictors of breastfeeding and should be assessed in pediatric and postpartum settings to tailor breastfeeding support. Support is especially warranted among US-born women, and additional educational interventions should be developed to forestall early supplementation with formula across all acculturation groups.
The association of dietary fat distribution with markers of subclinical atherosclerosis during early life is unknown. We examined whether success in achieving the main target of an infancy-onset dietary intervention based on the distribution of dietary fat was associated with aortic and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and distensibility from childhood to young adulthood.METHODS:
In the prospective randomized controlled Special Turku Coronary Risk Factor Intervention Project trial, personalized dietary counseling was given biannually to healthy children from infancy to young adulthood. The counseling was based on Nordic Nutrition Recommendations, with the main aim of improving the distribution of dietary fat in children’s diets. IMT and distensibility of the abdominal aorta and common carotid artery were measured repeatedly at ages 11 (n = 439), 13 (n = 499), 15 (n = 506), 17 (n = 477), and 19 years (n = 429). The targeted distribution of dietary fat was defined as a ratio of saturated fatty acids to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids of <1:2 and as an intake of saturated fatty acids of <10% of energy intake. Participants who met ≥1 of these 2 criteria were defined to achieve the main intervention target.RESULTS:
Individuals who achieved the main intervention target had lower aortic IMT (age- and sex-adjusted mean difference 10.4 µm; 95% confidence interval: 0.3 to 20.5 µm) and better aortic distensibility (0.13% per 10 mm Hg; 95% confidence interval: 0.00% to 0.26% per10 mm Hg) compared with their peers who did not meet the target.CONCLUSIONS:
Achieving the main target of an infancy-onset dietary intervention, reflecting dietary guidelines, was favorably associated with aortic IMT and distensibility during the early life course. These data support the recommendation of favoring unsaturated fat to enhance arterial health.
Approximately 25% of children with concussion have persistent postconcussive symptoms (PPCS) with resultant significant impacts on quality of life. Melatonin has significant neuroprotective properties, and promising preclinical data suggest its potential to improve outcomes after traumatic brain injury. We hypothesized that treatment with melatonin would result in a greater decrease in PPCS symptoms when compared with a placebo.METHODS:
We conducted a randomized, double-blind trial of 3 or 10 mg of melatonin compared with a placebo (NCT01874847). We included youth (ages 8–18 years) with PPCS at 4 to 6 weeks after mild traumatic brain injury. Those with significant medical or psychiatric histories or a previous concussion within the last 3 months were excluded. The primary outcome was change in the total youth self-reported Post-Concussion Symptom Inventory score measured after 28 days of treatment. Secondary outcomes included change in health-related quality of life, cognition, and sleep.RESULTS:
Ninety-nine children (mean age: 13.8 years; SD = 2.6 years; 58% girls) were randomly assigned. Symptoms improved over time with a median Post-Concussion Symptom Inventory change score of –21 (95% confidence interval [CI]: –16 to –27). There was no significant effect of melatonin when compared with a placebo in the intention-to-treat analysis (3 mg melatonin, –2 [95% CI: –13 to 6]; 10 mg melatonin, 4 [95% CI: –7 to 14]). No significant group differences in secondary outcomes were observed. Side effects were mild and similar to the placebo.CONCLUSIONS:
Children with PPCS had significant impairment in their quality of life. Seventy-eight percent demonstrated significant recovery between 1 and 3 months postinjury. This clinical trial does not support the use of melatonin for the treatment of pediatric PPCS.
For children who cannot be discharged from the emergency department, definitive care has become less frequent at most hospitals. It is uncertain whether this is true for common conditions that do not require specialty care. We sought to determine how the likelihood of definitive care has changed for 3 common pediatric conditions: asthma, croup, and gastroenteritis.METHODS:
We used the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample database to study children <18 years old presenting to emergency departments in the United States from 2008 to 2016 with a primary diagnosis of asthma, croup, or gastroenteritis, excluding critically ill patients. The primary outcome was referral rate: the number of patients transferred among all patients who could not be discharged. Analyses were stratified by quartile of annual pediatric volume. We used logistic regression to determine if changes over time in demographics or comorbidities could account for referral rate changes.RESULTS:
Referral rates increased for each condition in all volume quartiles. Referral rates were greatest in the lowest pediatric volume quartile. Referral rates in the lowest pediatric volume quartile increased for asthma (13.6% per year; 95% confidence interval [CI] 5.6%–22.2%), croup (14.8% per year; 95% CI 2.6%–28.3%), and gastroenteritis (16.4% per year; 95% CI 3.5%–31.0%). Changes over time in patient age, sex, comorbidities, weekend presentation, payer mix, urban-rural location of presentation, or area income did not account for these findings.CONCLUSIONS:
Increasing referral rates over time suggest decreasing provision of definitive care and regionalization of inpatient care for 3 common, generally straightforward conditions.
Our first aim was to examine baseline differences in body dissatisfaction, depression, and anxiety symptoms by gender, age, and Tanner (ie, pubertal) stage. Our second aim was to test for changes in youth symptoms over the first year of receiving gender-affirming hormone therapy. Our third aim was to examine potential differences in change over time by demographic and treatment characteristics. Youth experiences of suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, and nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) are also reported.METHODS:
Participants (n = 148; ages 9–18 years; mean age 14.9 years) were receiving gender-affirming hormone therapy at a multidisciplinary program in Dallas, Texas (n = 25 puberty suppression only; n = 123 feminizing or masculinizing hormone therapy). Participants completed surveys assessing body dissatisfaction (Body Image Scale), depression (Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptoms), and anxiety (Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders) at initial presentation to the clinic and at follow-up. Clinicians completed the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptoms and collected information on youth experiences of suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, and NSSI.RESULTS:
Affirmed males reported greater depression and anxiety at baseline, but these differences were small (P < .01). Youth reported large improvements in body dissatisfaction (P < .001), small to moderate improvements in self-report of depressive symptoms (P < .001), and small improvements in total anxiety symptoms (P < .01). No demographic or treatment-related characteristics were associated with change over time. Lifetime and follow-up rates were 81% and 39% for suicidal ideation, 16% and 4% for suicide attempt, and 52% and 18% for NSSI, respectively.CONCLUSIONS:
Results provide further evidence of the critical role of gender-affirming hormone therapy in reducing body dissatisfaction. Modest initial improvements in mental health were also evident.