Evidence suggests that average performance on quality measures for bronchiolitis has been improving over time, but it is unknown whether optimal performance, as defined by Achievable Benchmarks of Care (ABCs), has also changed. Thus, we aimed to compare ABCs for established bronchiolitis quality measures between 2 consecutive time periods. As a secondary aim, we evaluated performance gaps, defined as the difference between median performance and ABCs, to identify measures that may benefit most from targeted quality initiatives.METHODS
We used hospital administrative data from the Pediatric Health Information System database to calculate ABCs and performance gaps for nonrecommended bronchiolitis tests and treatments in 2 groups (patients discharged from the emergency department [ED] and those hospitalized) over 2 time periods (2006–2014 and 2014–2019) corresponding to publication of national bronchiolitis guidelines.RESULTS
Substantial improvements were identified in ABCs for chest radiography (ED –8.8% [confidence interval (CI) –8.3% to –9.4%]; hospitalized –17.5% [CI –16.3% to –18.7%]), viral testing (hospitalized –14.6% [CI –13.5% to –15.7%]), antibiotic use (hospitalized –10.4% [CI –8.9% to –11.1%]), and bronchodilator use (ED –9.0% [CI –8.4% to –9.6%]). Viral testing (ED 11.5% [CI 10.9% to 12.1%]; hospitalized 21.5% [CI 19.6% to 23.4%]) and bronchodilator use (ED 13.8% [CI 12.8% to 14.8%]; hospitalized 22.8% [CI 20.6% to 25.1%]) demonstrated the largest performance gaps.CONCLUSIONS
Marked changes in ABCs over time for some bronchiolitis quality measures highlight the need to reevaluate improvement targets as practice patterns evolve. Measures with large performance gaps, such as bronchodilator use and viral testing, are recommended as targets for ongoing quality improvement initiatives.
With this study, our aim was to quantify the relative risk (RR) of diabetic ketoacidosis at diagnosis of type 1 diabetes during the year 2020 and to assess whether it was associated with the regional incidence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and deaths.METHODS
Multicenter cohort study based on data from the German Diabetes Prospective Follow-up Registry. The monthly RR for ketoacidosis in 2020 was estimated from observed and expected rates in 3238 children with new-onset type 1 diabetes. Expected rates were derived from data from 2000 to 2019 by using a multivariable logistic trend regression model. The association between the regional incidence of COVID-19 and the rate of ketoacidosis was investigated by applying a log-binomial mixed-effects model to weekly data with Germany divided into 5 regions.RESULTS
The observed versus expected frequency of diabetic ketoacidosis was significantly higher from April to September and in December (mean adjusted RRs, 1.48–1.96). During the first half of 2020, each increase in the regional weekly incidence of COVID-19 by 50 cases or 1 death per 100 000 population was associated with an increase in the RR of diabetic ketoacidosis of 1.40 (95% confidence interval, 1.10–1.77; P = .006) and 1.23 (1.14–1.32; P < .001), respectively. This association was no longer evident during the second half of 2020.CONCLUSIONS
These findings suggest that the local severity of the pandemic rather than health policy measures appear to be the main reason for the increase in diabetic ketoacidosis and thus the delayed use of health care during the pandemic.
Families and physicians alike benefit from the advances and ease of the Internet. Similarly, both can be unaware of harmful misinformation circulating the Web. In this article, we describe the presentation of 2 unrelated infants, within 1 week of each other, with vitamin D deficiency rickets and severe extraskeletal manifestations of hypocalcemia, including seizures and cardiac arrest, from homemade, vegan formula found through Pinterest (San Francisco, CA). Despite good parental intentions this formula did not meet macronutrient and micronutrient standards, particularly regarding vitamin D, phosphorus, and calcium content, and led to rare, life-threatening complications in both cases. Before presentation, both patients followed appropriately with their pediatrician and discussed feeding in detail, although neither family disclosed the use of homemade formula. Pediatricians must be aware of these dangerous homemade alternative formulas, consider the manner and depth of their feeding history questioning, and continue to counsel against homemade formula to prevent further harm to children.
Infant influenza and pertussis disease causes considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide. We examined the effectiveness of maternal influenza and pertussis vaccines in preventing these diseases in infants.METHODS
This inception cohort study comprised women whose pregnancies ended between September 1, 2015, and December 31, 2017, in Victoria, Australia. Maternal vaccination status was sourced from the Victorian Perinatal Data Collection and linked to 5 data sets to ascertain infant outcomes and vaccination. The primary outcome of interest was laboratory-confirmed influenza or pertussis disease in infants aged <2 months, 2 to <6 months, and <6 months combined. Secondary outcomes included infant hospitalization (emergency presentation or admission) and death. Risk ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated by Poisson regression. Vaccine effectiveness (VE) was estimated as (1 minus the risk ratio) x 100%.RESULTS
Among 186 962 pregnant women, 85 830 (45.9%) and 128 060 (68.5%) were vaccinated against influenza and pertussis, respectively. There were 175 and 51 infants with laboratory-confirmed influenza and pertussis disease, respectively. Influenza VE was 56.1% (95% CI, 23.3% to 74.9%) for infants aged <2 months and 35.7% (2.2% to 57.7%) for infants aged 2 to <6 months. Pertussis VE was 80.1% (95% CI, 37.1% to 93.7%) for infants aged <2 months and 31.8% (95% CI, –39.1% to 66.6%) for infants aged 2 to <6 months.CONCLUSIONS
Our study provides evidence of the direct effectiveness of maternal influenza and pertussis vaccination in preventing these diseases in infants aged <2 months. The findings strengthen the importance of maternal vaccination to prevent these diseases in infants.
Electronic nicotine delivery system use contributes to the epidemic of youth vaping. Regulations to curtail or prohibit the sale of flavored nicotine products aim to disrupt initiation of child nicotine use by reducing access to enticing nicotine flavorings. A total of 6 states and >300 localities have restricted or banned flavored nicotine product sales. In this case study, we outline the use of a localized town-based strategy, which offered 2 potential bills to incrementally restrict or prohibit sale of flavored vape products when county or state legislation was not politically feasible. Over the course of 18 months, these bills reduced the number of municipalities where these products could be sold or advertised until county, city, and statewide bans were effectively in place, ultimately making the passage of a bill in the statehouse palatable. Strong partnerships with officials who had expertise in local town government, local American Academy of Pediatrics chapter physician champions, and a diverse coalition were instrumental in motivating smaller governments, which often pass legislation faster than larger legislatures, to create child-protective tobacco policies.
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a serious, sometimes life-threatening late complication of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with multiorgan involvement and evidence of immune activation. The pathogenesis of MIS-C is not known, nor is the pathogenesis of the severe organ damage that is the hallmark of MIS-C. Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), the virus responsible for roseola, is a ubiquitous herpesvirus that causes close to universal infection by the age of 3 years. HHV-6 remains latent for life and can be activated during inflammatory states, by other viruses, and by host cell apoptosis. HHV-6 has been associated with end-organ diseases, including hepatitis, carditis, and encephalitis. In addition, ~1% of people have inherited chromosomally integrated human herpesvirus 6 (iciHHV-6), which is HHV-6 that has been integrated into chromosomal telomeric regions and is transmitted through the germ line. iciHHV-6 can be reactivated and has been associated with altered immune responses. We report here a case of MIS-C in which an initial high HHV-6 DNA polymerase chain reaction viral load assay prompted testing for iciHHV-6, which yielded a positive result. Additional research may be warranted to determine if iciHHV-6 is commonly observed in patients with MIS-C and, if so, whether it may play a part in MIS-C pathogenesis.
In fall 2020, community hubs opened in San Francisco, California, to support vulnerable groups of students in remote learning. Our objectives were to (1) describe adherence to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mitigation policies in these urban, low-income educational settings; (2) assess associations between policy adherence and in-hub COVID-19 transmission; and (3) identify barriers to and facilitators of adherence.METHODS
We conducted a mixed-methods study from November 2020 to February 2021. We obtained COVID-19 case data from the San Francisco Department of Public Health, conducted field observations to observe adherence to COVID-19 mitigation policies, and surveyed hub leaders about barriers to and facilitators of adherence. We summarized quantitative data using descriptive statistics and qualitative data using thematic content analysis.RESULTS
A total of 1738 children were enrolled in 85 hubs (39% Hispanic, 29% Black). We observed 54 hubs (n = 1175 observations of children and 295 observations of adults). There was high community-based COVID-19 incidence (2.9–41.2 cases per 100 000 residents per day), with 36 cases in hubs and only 1 case of hub-based transmission (adult to adult). Sixty-seven percent of children and 99% of adults were masked. Fifty-five percent of children and 48% of adults were distanced ≥6 ft. Facilitators of mitigation policies included the following: for masking, reminders, adequate supplies, and "unmasking zones"; for distancing, reminders and distanced seating.CONCLUSIONS
We directly observed COVID-19 mitigation in educational settings, and we found variable adherence. However, with promotion of multiple policies, there was minimal COVID-19 transmission (despite high community incidence). We detail potential strategies for increasing adherence to COVID-19 mitigation.
Adolescent nonmedical prescription opioid use is associated with overdose and other adverse outcomes, but its risk factors are poorly understood.METHODS
Data were drawn from a prospective cohort study of Los Angeles, California, high school students. At baseline (mean age = 14.6 years), students completed self-report screening measures of problem alcohol, cannabis, and drug use and 6 mental health problems (major depression, generalized anxiety, panic disorder, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and hypomania or mania). Past 6-month nonmedical prescription opioid use (yes or no) was assessed across 7 semiannual follow-ups.RESULTS
Among baseline never users of nonmedical prescription opioids (N = 3204), average past 6-month prevalence of new nonmedical prescription opioid use across the 42-month follow-up was 4.4% (range 3.5%–6.1%). In a multivariable model co-adjusting for 9 baseline behavioral problems and other factors, major depression, hypomania or mania, cannabis, alcohol, and other drug use problems were associated with increased odds of nonmedical prescription opioid use over follow-ups. Cumulative indices of behavioral health comorbidity showed successively greater odds of subsequent nonmedical prescription opioid use for students with 1 (odds ratio [OR]: 3.74; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.79–5.01), 2 (OR: 8.79; 95% CI: 5.95–12.99), or 3 (OR: 9.69; 95% CI: 5.63–16.68) vs 0 baseline substance use problems, and similar increases were associated with increasing number of mental health problems (1 [OR: 1.60; 95% CI: 1.03–2.88] to all 6 [OR: 3.98; 95% CI: 1.09–14.82] vs 0).CONCLUSIONS
Behavioral health problems may be associated with increased risk of subsequent nonmedical prescription opioid use during mid to late adolescence, with successively greater risk for those with greater behavioral health comorbidity. In pediatric clinical practice or school-based prevention, behavioral health screeners may be useful for identifying youth at high risk for nonmedical prescription opioid use.
Mental health concerns increased during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, but previous studies have not examined depression screening in pediatric primary care. We aimed to describe changes in screening, depressive symptoms, and suicide risk among adolescents during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.METHODS
In a repeat cross-sectional analysis of electronic health record data from a large pediatric primary care network, we compared the percentage of primary care visits where adolescents aged 12 to 21 were screened for depression, screened positive for depressive symptoms, or screened positive for suicide risk between June and December 2019 (prepandemic) and June and December 2020 (pandemic). Changes were examined overall, by month, and by sex, race and ethnicity, insurance type, and income. Modified Poisson regression was used to calculate prevalence ratios (PRs) for the prepandemic to pandemic changes.RESULTS
Depression screening at primary care visits declined from 77.6% to 75.8% during the pandemic period (PR: 0.98, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.90–1.06). The percentage of adolescents screening positive for depressive symptoms increased from 5.0% to 6.2% (PR: 1.24, 95% CI: 1.15–1.34), with greater increases among female, non-Hispanic Black, and non-Hispanic white adolescents. Positive suicide risk screens increased from 6.1% to 7.1% (PR: 1.16, 95% CI: 1.08–1.26), with a 34% relative increase in reporting recent suicidal thoughts among female adolescents (PR: 1.34, 95% CI: 1.18–1.52).CONCLUSIONS
Results suggest that depression and suicide concerns have increased during the pandemic, especially among female adolescents. Results underscore the importance of consistent depression and suicidality screening.
Recent national data are lacking on the prevalence, safety, and prescribers of opioid prescriptions dispensed to children and young adults aged 0 to 21 years.METHODS
We identified opioid prescriptions dispensed to children and young adults in 2019 in the IQVIA Longitudinal Prescription Database, which captures 92% of US pharmacies. We calculated the proportion of all US children and young adults with ≥1 dispensed opioid prescription in 2019. We calculated performance on 6 metrics of high-risk prescribing and the proportion of prescriptions written by each specialty. Of all prescriptions and those classified as high risk by ≥1 metric, we calculated the proportion written by high-volume prescribers with prescription counts at the ≥95th percentile.RESULTS
Analyses included 4 027 701 prescriptions. In 2019, 3.5% of US children and young adults had ≥1 dispensed opioid prescription. Of prescriptions for opioid-naive patients, 41.8% and 3.8% exceeded a 3-day and 7-day supply, respectively. Of prescriptions for young children, 8.4% and 7.7% were for codeine and tramadol. Of prescriptions for adolescents and young adults, 11.5% had daily dosages of ≥50 morphine milligram equivalents; 4.6% had benzodiazepine overlap. Overall, 45.6% of prescriptions were high risk by ≥1 metric. Dentists and surgeons wrote 61.4% of prescriptions. High-volume prescribers wrote 53.3% of prescriptions and 53.1% of high-risk prescriptions.CONCLUSIONS
Almost half of pediatric opioid prescriptions are high risk. To reduce high-risk prescribing, initiatives targeting high-volume prescribers may be warranted. However, broad-based initiatives are also needed to address the large share of high-risk prescribing attributable to other prescribers.