The American Academy of Pediatrics published a clinical report on late-preterm (LPT) infants in 2007 that was largely based on a summary of a 2005 workshop convened by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, at which a change in terminology from "near term" to "late preterm" was proposed. This paradigm-shifting recommendation had a remarkable impact: federal agencies (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), professional societies (the American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), and organizations (March of Dimes) initiated nationwide monitoring and educational plans that had a significant effect on decreasing the rates of iatrogenic LPT deliveries. However, there is now an evolving concern. After nearly a decade of steady decreases in the LPT birth rate that largely contributed to the decline in total US preterm birth rates, the birth rate in LPT infants has been inching upward since 2015. In addition, evidence revealed by strong population health research demonstrates that being born as an early-term infant poses a significant risk to an infant’s survival, growth, and development. In this report, we summarize the initial progress and discuss the potential reasons for the current trends in LPT and early-term birth rates and propose research recommendations.
Pediatricians have unique opportunities and an increasing sense of responsibility to promote healthy social-emotional development of children and to prevent and address their mental health and substance use conditions. In this report, the American Academy of Pediatrics updates its 2009 policy statement, which proposed competencies for providing mental health care to children in primary care settings and recommended steps toward achieving them. This 2019 policy statement affirms the 2009 statement and expands competencies in response to science and policy that have emerged since: the impact of adverse childhood experiences and social determinants on mental health, trauma-informed practice, and team-based care. Importantly, it also recognizes ways in which the competencies are pertinent to pediatric subspecialty practice. Proposed mental health competencies include foundational communication skills, capacity to incorporate mental health content and tools into health promotion and primary and secondary preventive care, skills in the psychosocial assessment and care of children with mental health conditions, knowledge and skills of evidence-based psychosocial therapy and psychopharmacologic therapy, skills to function as a team member and comanager with mental health specialists, and commitment to embrace mental health practice as integral to pediatric care. Achievement of these competencies will necessarily be incremental, requiring partnership with fellow advocates, system changes, new payment mechanisms, practice enhancements, and decision support for pediatricians in their expanded scope of practice.
Mental health disorders affect 1 in 5 children; however, the majority of affected children do not receive appropriate services, leading to adverse adult outcomes. To meet the needs of children, pediatricians need to take on a larger role in addressing mental health problems. The accompanying policy statement, "Mental Health Competencies for Pediatric Practice," articulates mental health competencies pediatricians could achieve to improve the mental health care of children; yet, the majority of pediatricians do not feel prepared to do so. In this technical report, we summarize current initiatives and resources that exist for trainees and practicing pediatricians across the training continuum. We also identify gaps in mental health clinical experience and training and suggest areas in which education can be strengthened. With this report, we aim to stimulate efforts to address gaps by summarizing educational strategies that have been applied and could be applied to undergraduate medical education, residency and fellowship training, continuing medical education, maintenance of certification, and practice quality improvement activities to achieve the pediatric mental health competencies. In this report, we also articulate the research questions important to the future of pediatric mental health training and practice.
Gender bias and discrimination have profound and far-reaching effects on the health care workforce, delivery of patient care, and advancement of science and are antithetical to the principles of professionalism. In the quest for gender equity, medicine, with its abundance of highly educated and qualified women, should be leading the way. The sheer number of women who comprise the majority of pediatricians in the United States suggests this specialty has a unique opportunity to stand out as progressively equitable. Indeed, there has been much progress to celebrate for women in medicine and pediatrics. However, many challenges remain, and there are areas in which progress is too slow, stalled, or even regressing. The fair treatment of women pediatricians will require enhanced and simultaneous commitment from leaders in 4 key gatekeeper groups: academic medical centers, hospitals, health care organizations, and practices; medical societies; journals; and funding agencies. In this report, we describe the 6-step equity, diversity, and inclusion cycle, which provides a strategic methodology to (1) examine equity, diversity, and inclusion data; (2) share results with stakeholders; (3) investigate causality; (4) implement strategic interventions; (5) track outcomes and adjust strategies; and (6) disseminate results. Next steps include the enforcement of a climate of transparency and accountability, with leaders prioritizing and financially supporting workforce gender equity. This scientific and data-driven approach will accelerate progress and help pave a pathway to better health care and science.
Ongoing monitoring of concussion rates and distributions is important in assessing temporal patterns. Examinations of high school sport-related concussions need to be updated. This study describes the epidemiology of concussions in 20 high school sports during the 2013–2014 to 2017–2018 school years.METHODS:
In this descriptive epidemiology study, a convenience sample of high school athletic trainers provided injury and athlete exposure (AE) data to the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study (High School Reporting Information Online). Concussion rates per 10 000 AEs with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and distributions were calculated. Injury rate ratios and injury proportion ratios examined sex differences in sex-comparable sports (soccer, basketball, baseball and softball, cross country, track, and swimming). We also assessed temporal trends across the study period.RESULTS:
Overall, 9542 concussions were reported for an overall rate of 4.17 per 10 000 AEs (95% CI: 4.09 to 4.26). Football had the highest concussion rate (10.40 per 10 000 AEs). Across the study period, football competition-related concussion rates increased (33.19 to 39.07 per 10 000 AEs); practice-related concussion rates decreased (5.47 to 4.44 per 10 000 AEs). In all sports, recurrent concussion rates decreased (0.47 to 0.28 per 10 000 AEs). Among sex-comparable sports, concussion rates were higher in girls than in boys (3.35 vs 1.51 per 10 000 AEs; injury rate ratio = 2.22; 95% CI: 2.07 to 2.39). Also, among sex-comparable sports, girls had larger proportions of concussions that were recurrent than boys did (9.3% vs 6.4%; injury proportion ratio = 1.44; 95% CI: 1.11 to 1.88).CONCLUSIONS:
Rates of football practice-related concussions and recurrent concussions across all sports decreased. Changes in concussion rates may be associated with changes in concussion incidence, diagnosis, and management. Future research should continue to monitor trends and examine the effect of prevention strategies.
Point-of-care ultrasound is currently widely used across the landscape of pediatric care. Ultrasound machines are now smaller, are easier to use, and have much improved image quality. They have become common in emergency departments, ICUs, inpatient wards, and outpatient clinics. Recent growth of supportive evidence makes a strong case for using point-of-care ultrasound for pediatric interventions such as vascular access (in particular, central-line placement), lumbar puncture, fluid drainage (paracentesis, thoracentesis, pericardiocentesis), suprapubic aspiration, and soft tissue incision and drainage. Our review of this evidence reveals that point-of-care ultrasound has become a powerful tool for improving procedural success and patient safety. Pediatric patients and clinicians performing procedures stand to benefit greatly from point-of-care ultrasound, because seeing is believing.
Niemann-Pick disease type C is a rare progressive genetic disorder that leads to the abnormal accumulation of lipids within various tissues of the body, including brain tissue and liver. There is a rapid progression of the disease, resulting in severe disability in only a few years after the first symptoms, and survival is not much longer. Spasticity, dystonia, and chronic pain are common findings that severely impact quality of life in these patients. Analgesic management with traditional pain medications is not always effective, and the risk for secondary effects in medically complex patients is high. Liver function is also a limiting factor in these patients. This is a case report of a boy with advanced Niemann-Pick disease type C with developmental regression, cataplexia, and seizures. His severe spasticity made positioning and care difficult, and intense pain required multiple hospitalizations. He had unsuccessfully trialed multiple drugs. An intrathecal baclofen pump was placed without surgical complications and resulted in positive clinical effects. Baclofen pumps have classically been used for spasticity management in adults and children with nonprogressive diseases such as cerebral palsy or spinal cord injury with relatively long life expectancies. In adults, they have been used in patients with multiple sclerosis; however, use in pediatric neurodegenerative diseases has scarcely been reported. The use of intrathecal baclofen in palliative settings might provide an additional resource to provide comfort and quality of life for children with neurodegenerative diseases not only at end-of-life stages but also earlier on.