The nutritional and immunologic properties of human milk, along with clear evidence of dose-dependent optimal health outcomes for both mothers and infants, provide a compelling rationale to support exclusive breastfeeding. US women increasingly intend to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months. Because establishing lactation can be challenging, exclusivity is often compromised in hopes of preventing feeding-related neonatal complications, potentially affecting the continuation and duration of breastfeeding. Risk factors for impaired lactogenesis are identifiable and common. Clinicians must be able to recognize normative patterns of exclusive breastfeeding in the first week while proactively identifying potential challenges. In this review, we provide new evidence from the past 10 years on the following topics relevant to exclusive breastfeeding: milk production and transfer, neonatal weight and output assessment, management of glucose and bilirubin, immune development and the microbiome, supplementation, and health system factors. We focus on the early days of exclusive breastfeeding in healthy newborns ≥35 weeks’ gestation managed in the routine postpartum unit. With this evidence-based clinical review, we provide detailed guidance in identifying medical indications for early supplementation and can inform best practices for both birthing facilities and providers.
The albuterol dropper bottle used to prepare solutions for continuous nebulization contains the preservative benzalkonium chloride (BAC). BAC, by itself, has been shown to cause bronchospasm. We hypothesized that BAC would decrease the therapeutic efficacy of albuterol in patients with acute asthma exacerbations.METHODS:
We performed a retrospective cohort study comparing the clinical outcomes of patients <18 years of age receiving continuous nebulized albuterol with and without BAC. For the primary end point (duration of continuous albuterol nebulization), we compared the 2 groups with Kaplan-Meier estimate of survival curves, conducted a log-rank test of difference, and adjusted for baseline characteristics using multivariable Cox regression. A P value <.05 was considered significant.RESULTS:
A total of 477 patients were included in the analysis (236 exposed to BAC and 241 controls). The duration of continuous nebulization was significantly longer in the BAC group than in the control group (median of 9 vs 6 hours; 15.7% required continuous nebulization compared to 5.8% of controls at 24 hours). The control group was 79% more likely to stop continuous nebulization at any particular point in time (hazard ratio 1.79; 95% confidence interval: 1.45 to 2.22; P < .001) and 43% more likely to stop additional respiratory support (hazard ratio 1.43; 95% confidence interval: 1.16 to 1.75; P < .001).CONCLUSIONS:
BAC is a functional albuterol antagonist associated with a longer duration of continuous albuterol nebulization treatment and additional respiratory support, suggesting that preservative-free albuterol formulations are safer for use in continuous nebulization.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) (pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine [PCV-13] and pneumococcal 10-valent conjugate vaccine [PCV-10]) are available for prevention of pneumococcal infections in children.OBJECTIVE:
To determine the vaccine effectiveness (VE) of PCV-13 and PCV-10 in preventing invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and acute otitis media (AOM) in children <5 years.DATA SOURCES:
Systematic searches of Medline, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Web of Science, and Cochrane.STUDY SELECTION:
Eligible studies examined the direct effectiveness and/or efficacy of PCV-10 and PCV-13 in reducing the incidence of disease in healthy children <5 years.DATA EXTRACTION:
Two reviewers independently conducted data extraction and methodologic quality assessment.RESULTS:
Significant effectiveness against vaccine-type IPD in children ≤5 years was reported for ≥1 dose of PCV-13 in the 3 + 1 (86%–96%) and 2 + 1 schedule (67.2%–86%) and for PCV-10 for the 3 + 1 (72.8%–100%) and 2 + 1 schedules (92%–97%). In children <12 months of age, PCV-13 VE against serotype 19A post–primary series was significant for the 3 + 1 but not the 2 + 1 schedule. PCV-10 crossprotection against 19A was significant in children ≤5 years with ≥1 dose (82.2% and 71%). Neither PCVs were found effective against serotype 3. PCV-13 was effective against AOM (86%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 61 to 94). PCV-10 was effective against clinically defined (26.9%; 95% CI: 5.9 to 43.3) and bacteriologically confirmed AOM (43.3%; 95% CI: 1.7 to 67.3).LIMITATIONS:
Because of the large heterogeneity in studies, a meta-analysis for pooled estimates was not done.CONCLUSIONS:
Both PCVs afford protection against pneumococcal infections, with PCV-10 protecting against 19A IPD, but this VE has not been verified in the youngest age groups.
Pediatricians are less frequently sued than other physicians. When suits are successful, however, the average payout is higher. Little is known about changes in the risk of litigation over time. We sought to characterize malpractice lawsuit trends for pediatricians over time.METHODS:
The Periodic Survey is a national random sample survey of American Academy of Pediatrics members. Seven surveys between 1987 and 2015 asked questions regarding malpractice (n = 5731). Bivariate and multivariable analyses examined trends and factors associated with risk and outcome of malpractice claims and lawsuits. Descriptive analyses examined potential change in indemnity amount over time.RESULTS:
In 2015, 21% of pediatricians reported ever having been the subject of any claim or lawsuit, down from a peak of 33% in 1990. Report of successful outcomes in the most-recent suit trended upward between 1987 and 2015, greatest in 2015 at 58%. Median indemnity was unchanged, averaging $128 000 in 2018 dollars. In multivariate analysis, male sex, hospital-based subspecialty (neonatology, pediatric critical care, pediatric emergency medicine, and hospital medicine), longer career, and more work hours were associated with a greater risk of malpractice claim.CONCLUSIONS:
From 1987 to 2015, the proportion of pediatricians sued has decreased and median indemnity has remained unchanged. Male pediatricians and hospital-based subspecialists were more likely to have been sued. Greater knowledge of the epidemiology of malpractice claims against pediatricians is valuable because it can impact practice arrangements, advise risk-management decisions, influence quality and safety projects, and provide data to guide advocacy for appropriate tort reform and future research.
Current guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend screening children for developmental problems by using a standardized screening tool and referring at-risk patients to early intervention (EI) or subspecialists. Adoption of guidelines has been gradual, with research showing many children still not being screened and referred.METHODS:
We analyzed American Academy of Pediatrics Periodic Survey data from 2002 (response rate = 58%; N = 562), 2009 (response rate = 57%; N = 532), and 2016 (response rate = 47%, N = 469). Surveys included items on pediatricians’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding screening and referring children for developmental problems. We used descriptive statistics and a multivariable logistic regression model to examine trends in screening and referral practices and attitudes.RESULTS:
Pediatricians’ reported use of developmental screening tools increased from 21% in 2002 to 63% in 2016 (P < .001). In 2016, on average pediatricians reported referring 59% of their at-risk patients to EI, up from 41% in 2002 (P < .001), and pediatricians in 2016 were more likely than in 2002 to report being "very likely" to refer a patient with global developmental delay, milestone loss, language delay, sensory impairment, motor delays, and family concern to EI.CONCLUSIONS:
Pediatricians’ reported use of a standardized developmental screening tool has tripled from 2002 to 2016, and more pediatricians are self-reporting making referrals for children with concerns in developmental screening. To sustain this progress, additional efforts are needed to enhance referral systems, improve EI programs, and provide better tracking of child outcomes.
Reduce postoperative hypothermia by up to 50% over a 12-month period in children’s hospital NICUs and identify specific clinical practices that impact success.METHODS:
Literature review, expert opinion, and benchmarking were used to develop clinical practice recommendations for maintaining perioperative euthermia that included the following: established euthermia before transport to the operating room (OR), standardized practice for maintaining euthermia on transport to and from the OR, and standardized practice to prevent intraoperative heat loss. Process measures were focused on maintaining euthermia during these time points. The outcome measure was the proportion of patients with postoperative hypothermia (temperature ≤36°C within 30 minutes of a return to the NICU or at the completion of a procedure in the NICU). Balancing measures were the proportion of patients with postoperative temperature >38°C or the presence of thermal burns. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify key practices that improved outcome.RESULTS:
Postoperative hypothermia decreased by 48%, from a baseline of 20.3% (January 2011 to September 2013) to 10.5% by June 2015. Strategies associated with decreased hypothermia include >90% compliance with patient euthermia (36.1–37.9°C) at times of OR arrival (odds ratio: 0.58; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.43–0.79; P < .001) and OR departure (odds ratio: 0.0.73; 95% CI: 0.56–0.95; P = .017) and prewarming the OR ambient temperature to >74°F (odds ratio: 0.78; 95% CI: 0.62–0.999; P = .05). Hyperthermia increased from a baseline of 1.1% to 2.2% during the project. No thermal burns were reported.CONCLUSIONS:
Reducing postoperative hypothermia is possible. Key practices include prewarming the OR and compliance with strategies to maintain euthermia at select time points throughout the perioperative period.
Infantile hemangiomas (IHs) are common; some cases require timely referral and treatment to prevent complications. We developed and validated a reliable instrument for timely and adequate referral of patients with IH to experts by nonexpert primary physicians.METHODS:
In this multicenter, cross-sectional, observational study, we used a 3-stage process: (1) development of the Infantile Hemangioma Referral Score (IHReS) tool by IH experts who selected a representative set of 42 IH cases comprising images and a short clinical history, (2) definition of the gold standard for the 42 cases by a second independent committee of IH experts, and (3) IHReS validation by nonexpert primary physicians using the 42 gold standard cases.RESULTS:
A total of 60 primary physicians from 7 different countries evaluated the 42 gold standard cases (without reference to the IHReS tool); 45 primary physicians evaluated these cases using the IHReS questionnaire, and 44 completed retesting using the instrument. IHReS had a sensitivity of 96.9% (95% confidence interval 96.1%–97.8%) and a specificity of 55.0% (95% confidence interval 51.0%–59.0%). The positive predictive value and negative predictive value were 40.5% and 98.3%, respectively. Validation by experts and primary physicians revealed substantial agreement for interrater reliability and intrarater repeatability.CONCLUSIONS:
IHReS, a 2-part algorithm with a total of 12 questions, is an easy-to-use tool for primary physicians for the purpose of facilitating correct and timely referral of patients with IH. IHReS may help practitioners in their decision to refer patients to expert centers.
Children born very preterm (VPT) are at high risk of cognitive impairment that impacts their educational and social opportunities. This study examined the predictive accuracy of assessments at 2, 4, 6, and 9 years in identifying preterm children with cognitive impairment by 12 years.METHODS:
We prospectively studied a regional cohort of 103 children born VPT (≤32 weeks’ gestation) and 109 children born term from birth to corrected age 12 years. Cognitive functioning was assessed by using age-appropriate, standardized measures: Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Second Edition (age 2); Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (ages 4 and 6); and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition (ages 9 and 12).RESULTS:
By 12 years, children born VPT were more likely to have severe (odds ratio 3.9; 95% confidence interval 1.1–13.5) or any (odds ratio 3.2; 95% confidence interval 1.8–5.6) cognitive impairment compared with children born term. Adopting a severe cognitive impairment criterion at age 2 under-identified 44% of children born VPT with later severe impairment, whereas a more inclusive earlier criterion identified all severely affected children at 12 years. Prediction improved with age, with any delay at age 6 having the highest sensitivity (85%) and positive predictive value (66%) relative to earlier age assessments. Inclusion of family-social circumstances further improved diagnostic accuracy.CONCLUSIONS:
Cognitive risk prediction improves with age, with assessments at 6 years offering optimal diagnostic accuracy. Intervention for children with early mild delay may be beneficial, especially for those raised in socially disadvantaged family contexts.
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.