Keywords: Post-tonsillectomy, bleeding, airway (PubMed Search)
Post tonsillectomy hemorrhage occurs and 0.1-3% of post tonsillectomy patient's. It occurs typically greater than 24 hours after surgery and up to 4-10 days postoperatively. A survey of otolaryngologists showed that ED management strategies for active bleeding have included direct pressure, clot suction, silver nitrate, topical epinephrine, and thrombin powder.
This article was a case study demonstrating the use of nebulized tranexamic acid (TXA) for post tonsillectomy hemorrhage in a 3-year-old patient. The patient had a copious amount of oral bleeding and had failed treatment with nebulized racemic epinephrine and direct pressure was not an option due to the patient's cooperation and small mouth. 250 mg of IV TXA was given via nebulizer with a flow rate of 8 L. Bleeding stopped 5-7 minutes after completion of the nebulizer. The patient was then taken to the OR for definitive management. No adverse effects were noticed.
TXA in the pediatric population has been shown to decrease surgical blood loss and transfusions in cardiac, spine and craniofacial surgeries. Studies have also been done in pediatric patients with diffuse alveolar hemorrhage using doses of 250 mg for children less than 25 kg and 500 mg for those who are greater than 25 kg.
Bottom line: There are case reports of nebulized TXA use in the pediatric population with no adverse outcomes noted. More research is needed.
Schwarz W, Ruttan T, Bundick K. Nebulized Tranexamic Acid Use for Pediatric Secondary Post-Tonsillectomy Hemorrhage. Annals of Emergency Medicine 2018. Epub ahead of print.
Keywords: Intubation, ETT, cuffed, airway management (PubMed Search)
Historically uncuffed endotracheal tubes were used in children under the age of 8 years due to concerns for tracheal stenosis. Advances in medicine and monitoring capabilities have resulted in this thinking becoming obsolete. Research is being conducted that is showing the noninferiority of cuffed tubes compared to uncuffed tubes. Multiple other studies are looking into the advantages of cuffed tubes compared to uncuffed tubes.
The referenced study is a meta-analysis of 6 studies which compared cuffed to uncuffed endotracheal tubes in pediatrics. The pooled analysis showed that more patients needed tube changes when they initially had uncuffed tubes placed. There was no difference in intubation duration, reintubation occurrence, post extubation stridor, or racemic epinephrine use between cuffed and uncuffed tubes.
Bottom line: There is no difference in the complication rate between cuffed and uncuffed endotracheal tubes, but uncuffed endotracheal tubes did need to be changed more frequently.
Liang C, Zhang J, Pan G, Li X, Shi T, He W. Cuffed versus uncuffed endotracheal tubes in pediatrics: a meta-analysis. Open Med. 2018; 13:366-373.
Keywords: Foreign bodies, coins, xrays (PubMed Search)
Coins are the most commonly ingested foreign body in the pediatric age group with a peak occurrence in children less than 5 years old. X-rays are considered the gold standard for definitive diagnosis and location of metallic foreign bodies. This study aimed to find a way to decrease radiation exposure by using a metal detector.
19 patients ages 10 months to 14 years with 20 esophageal coins were enrolled in the study. All proximal esophageal coins were detected by the metal detector. 5 patient's failed initial detection of the coin with the metal detector and all of those patients had the coin in the mid or distal esophagus with a depth greater than 7 cm from the skin.
Bottom line: A metal detector may detect proximal esophageal coins. This may have a role in decreasing repeat x-rays.
Aljasser A, Elmaraghy C and Jatana K. Utilization of a handheld metal detector protocol to reduce radiation exposure in pediatric patients with esophageal coins. International Journal of Pediatric Otolaryngology. 2018: 104-108.
Keywords: Infection, fever, blood work, CRP (PubMed Search)
Historically, the C-reactive protein (CRP) has been used in the assessment of the febrile child and is the only biomarker recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
CRP increases 4-6 hours after the onset of inflammation, doubling every 8 hours and peaking at 36-50 hours. It rapidly decreases once the inflammation has resolved.
An elevated CRP alone is not conclusive of a serious bacterial infection (SBI).
A CRP >75 mg/L increased the relative risk of SBI by 5.4.
A CRP <20 mg/L decreased the risk of SBI, but there was still a small subset of children where SBI was present.
In infants < 3 months initial CRP measurements are poorly accurate, but when trended may be useful in deciding when to stop antibiotics (rather then when to start them). A normalizing CRP demonstrated a 100% negative predictive value for excluding invasive bacterial infection.
CRP is not a rule in/rule out test
CRP is not helpful in diagnosing SBI, but serial measurements may be useful in monitoring response to treatment
CRP has a limited role in well appearing children older than 3 months
Dyer EM, Waterfield T, Baynes H. How to use C-reactive protein. Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed 2018; 0:1-4.
Keywords: Fever, pain control, ibuprofen, acetaminophen (PubMed Search)
Walsh P, Rothenberg S, Bang H. Safety of ibuprofen and infants younger than 6 months: A retrospective cohort study. PLos ONE 13 (6):e019493.
Keywords: Sedation, NPO time, pediatrics (PubMed Search)
Is there an association between pulmonary aspiration, vomiting or any serious adverse event and the preprocedural fasting time?
The odds ratio of any adverse event did not increase significantly with each additional hour of fasting duration for both solids and liquids.
The guidelines set by the American Society of Anesthesiology for fasting include a minimum of 2 hours for clear liquids, 4 hours for breast milk, 6 hours for formula and light meals and 8 hours for solid meals containing fatty foods or meat.
This was a secondary analysis of a multicenter prospective cohort study of children 0-18 years who received procedural sedation in 6 Canadian pediatric emergency departments from 2010-2015. 6183 children were included with 99.7% meeting ASA 1 or 2 categories. 2974 patients did not meet the American Society of Anesthesiology fasting guidelines for solids and 510 patients did not meet the fasting guidelines for liquids. The overall incidence of adverse events was 11.6%. There were no cases of pulmonary aspiration. There was a total of 717 adverse events. 315 events were vomiting. Oxygen and vomiting were the most common adverse events.
Association of Preprocedural Fasting with Outcomes of Emergency Department Sedation in Children. JAMA Pediatrics. Published online May 18, 2018.
Keywords: Asthma, chest xray (PubMed Search)
Chest xrays (CXRs) may lead to longer length of stay, increased cost, unnecessary radiation exposure, and inappropriate antibiotic use.
CXR in asthma are indicated for:
-severe persistent respiratory distress, room air saturations <91%
- focal findings (localized rales, crackles, decreased breath sounds with or without a documented fever > 38.3) not improving on >11 hours of standard asthma therapy
- concern for pneumomediastinum or pneumothorax
This study tried to use quality improvement measures to decrease the rate of chest xrays in children seen for asthma.
6680 children with billing codes for asthma had 1359 CXRs. Using a clinical practice guideline and then targeted intervention, the group was able to reduce CXR use from 29% to 16%. In subgroup analysis, the CXR use decreased from 21.3% to 12.5% for discharged patients and 53.5% to 31.1% for admitted patients.
The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program has created guidelines to help providers manage acute asthma exacerbations stating that CXRs should be reserved for patients suspected of having an alternate diagnosis such as pneumothorax, pneumomediastinum or congestive heart failure. This does not include the suspicion for associated pneumonia! A study of >14,000 patients with asthma showed that less than 2% also had pneumonia.
The interventions done in this study were:
An electronic asthma order set was created to include “CXR not routinely recommended”
Clinical practice guidelines were reviewed with residents, faculty, nursing, and respiratory therapy at regular intervals
Copies of the clinical practice guidelines were posted in a highly visualized area
CXRs removed from the default order set
Wheezing was removed as an indication for CXR
CXR in asthma are indicated for: severe persistent respiratory distress, room air saturations <91%, focal findings not improving on >11 hours of standard asthma therapy or concern for pneumomediastinum or pneumothorax
Watnick CS, Arnold DH, Latuska RL, O’Connor M, Johnson DP. Successful Chest Radiograph Reduction by Using Quality Improvement Methodology for Children with Asthma. Pediatrics. Published online July 11, 2018.
Keywords: Fever, infants, blood culture (PubMed Search)
The rate of occult bacteremia in infants 3 months to 24 months with a temperature higher than 40.5C was slightly higher when compared to those with a temperature higher than 39C.
363 infants (3 months to 24 months) with a fever > 40.5C who were well appearing were evaluated in this study. 4 were diagnosed with occult bacteremia (1.1%). 3 of these were caused by S. pneumoniae and 2 were fully immunized.
A larger sample size is needed to see if reconditions to include empiric blood cultures on this subgroup of patients is warrented.
After introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, occult bacteremia dramatically decreased. Previous cost effective analysis showed that if the rate of occult bacteremia was less than 0.5%, then empiric testing should be eliminated, but if it is over 1.5%, then obtaining blood work is cost effective. In vaccinated patients, the occult bacteremia rates is less than 0.5%. These studies that showed this included patients with temperatures > 39C. This study looked at higher temperatures to see if there was a higher rate of occult bacteremia in this subgroup. In this ED, in all children with a temperature > 40.5C it was recommended that patients get a blood culture, WBC, ANC, CRP, UA, procalcitonin and PCR for pneumococcus and meningococcus regardless of immunization status. Further testing was at the discretion of the physician.
Gangoiti et al. Prevalence of Occult Bacteremia in Infants with Very High Fever without a source. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2018 Feb. epub ahead of print.
Keywords: Button batteries, removal (PubMed Search)
There were 180 battery ingestions over a 5 year period at two tertiary care children’s hospital. The median age was 3.8 years (0.7 to 18 years). The most common symptoms were abdominal pain (17%), and nausea and vomiting (14%). X-rays detected the location in 94% of patients.
Based on these patients, a treatment algorithm was developed (See attached). Prospective validation is needed.
All patients with esophageal batteries had an intervention (foley catheter removal with post procedure esophagram, ridged esophagram or EGD).
The majority of patients with a gastric battery or small bowel battery were managed non operatively.
20 patients had a colonic battery and 7 had symptoms of abdominal pain or nausea or vomiting.
For batteries distal to the gastroesophageal junction, 16 patients had an intervention. 13 had an EGD with a 69% retrieval rate. 1 patient had a colonoscopy with successful retrieval. 2 patients had abdominal surgery with retrieval.
Rosenfled et al. Battery ingestions in children: Variations in care and development of a clinical algorithm. Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2018. Epub ahead of print.
Keywords: Infant fever, lumbar puncture, risks, ultrasound (PubMed Search)
Unsuccessful lumbar punctures (LP) may lead to epidural hematoma (EH) formation at the site of needle insertion which may affect subsequent attempts and lead to no success or a grossly bloody sample. There is no standard definition of a traumatic LP based on CSF red blood cell counts. Gross blood may also be obtained by interrupting the vascular structures outside the spinal canal which would not result in EH formation.
This was a prospective study of children younger than 6 months who had an LP at a single children’s hospital. Post LP ultrasounds were completed by the investigating team and interpreted by a pediatric radiologist. 74 patients were included in the study. 31% of the patients had evidence of a post LP EH. 17% fully effaced the thecal sac which would likely preclude future success at that anatomic site. 25% of patients where the clinician did not feel there was a traumatic attempt had evidence of an EH.The study was not powered to determine the risk factors for EH formation. The study also did not look at any other consequences to EH.
Key points: Point of care ultrasound to evaluate EH and bleeding at the failed LP site my provide useful information for a location of subsequent attempts. Also US to evaluate for bleeding in the spinal canal may help with interpretation of the CSF when a large number of red blood cells are present.
Kusulas MP, Eutsler EP, DePiero AD. Bedside Ultrasound for the Evaluation of Epidural Hematoma After Infant Lumbar Puncture. Pediatric Emergency Care. Epub ahead of print. Feb 2018.
Keywords: Asthma, pediatrics, fluid (PubMed Search)
Fluid overload (defined in this study as (fluid input-output)/weight)) is associated with longer hospital stays, longer treatment duration and oxygen use.
Bottom line: Treat dehydration appropriately but try not to over resuscitate the asthmatic. Further studies are needed before definitive recommendations are made.
This was a retrospective cohort study over 7 years at a single children’s hospital. Children included were older than 6 years and were admitted with no pneumonia or history of chronic lung disease. Fluid intake and output were collected for the initial 72 hours of hospitalization or discharge. The study included 1175 encounters. On average, 1% increase in fluid overload was associated with about a 7 hour increase in hospital stay, 6 hours longer of beta agonist and 2 hours longer of supplemental oxygen. Fluid overload of more than 7% was determined to be clinically meaningful showing an increased risk of requiring supplemental oxygen and non-invasive pressure ventilation. One of the limitations of this study that the authors mention is that the weight they used is the admission weight and the patient may already be dehydrated, thereby overestimating fluid overload.
Kantor et al. Fluid balance is Associated with Clinical Outcomes and Extravascular Lung Water in Children with Acute Asthma Exacerbation. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Epub ahead of print, Jan 9, 2018.
Keywords: foreign body, choking (PubMed Search)
Patient: 11 month old with trouble breathing and color change after a family member sprayed air freshener. Symptoms have since resolved.
What are you concerned about in the attached xrays?
Answer: Radiolucent foreign body
Bilateral decubitus lateral films allow assessment of air trapping. The expectation is that the dependent lung will collapse partially in the normal patient. When a foreign body is present, there will be air trapping and hyperlucency in the dependent lung. In older patients, you can also obtain expiratory films to look for air trapping.
The patient had a food/mucus plug that was taken out of the right mainstem on bronchoscopy.
Foreign body aspiration is the 4th most common cause of accidental death in children younger than 3 years. Coughing and choking are the most common presenting symptoms.
CXRs are negative in > 50% of tracheal foreign bodies and 25% of bronchial foreign bodies.
More than 75% of foreign bodies in children less than 3 years are radiolucent.
Indirect signs of radiolucent foreign bodies include unilateral hyperinflation, atelectasis, consolidation and bronchiectasis (if presentation is delayed).
Bottom line: Consider bilateral lateral decubitus xrays in patients with a history concerning for foreign body.
Baram et al. Trachoebronchial Foreign Bodies in Children: The Role of Emergency Rigid Bronchoscopy. Global Pediatric Health. 2017: 1-5.
Keywords: Pain control in children, opiates, NSAIDS, motrin, orthopedic (PubMed Search)
Bottom line: Oral morphine was not superior to ibuprofen and both drugs decreased pain with no difference in efficacy. Morphine was associated with more adverse events.
Poonai et al. Oral Morphine versus ibuprofen administered at home for postoperative orthopedic pain in children: a randomized controlled trial. CMAJ 2017. 189: E1252-E1258.
Keywords: Croup, epinephrine, discharge, observation (PubMed Search)
The peak age for croup is 6 months to 3 years. The cornerstone of treatment is corticosteroids, traditionally dexamethasone. With oral administration, the peak onset is 1-2 hours. Steroids shorten the duration of symptoms, reduce the need for nebulized epinephrine and decrease the need for intubation.
Racemic epinephrine has been used for moderate to severe croup and can show an improvement in patient symptoms for up to 120 minutes. There is little evidence to suggest how long to observe the patient for recurrence of symptoms after racemic epinephrine was given. Previous studies have suggested both 2 and 4 hour observation.
299 patients were included in this study. 136 patients were observed for 3.1 to 4 hours. In the 3.1 to 4 hour group, 21 (7%) failed treatment, 19 of those patients required admission and 2 returned within 24 hours. No patients who were discharged home after 4 hours returned to the emergency department within 24 hours.
Bottom Line: Consider a 4 hour period of observation after giving racemic epinephrine in order to decrease bounce backs.
Smith S, Giordano K, Thompson A and DePiero A. Failure of Outpatient Management With Different Observation Times After Racemic Epinephrine for Croup. Clinical Pediatrics. Epub ahead of print. Accessed October 2017.
Keywords: Marijuana, symptoms, overdose (PubMed Search)
In the US, there are an estimated 22.2 million users of cannabis based on the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The incidence of unintentional cannabis ingestion has increased in states that have legalized medical and recreational marijuana. The cited article reviewed of 44 articles involving unintentional cannabis ingestion in children younger than 12 years.
The majority of intoxications were through cannabis resins followed by cookies and joints.
Lethargy was the most common presenting sign followed by ataxia. Tachycardia, mydriasis and hypotonia were also noted. Rarer but more serious presentations included respiratory depression and seizures.
Richards JR, Smith NE, Moulin AK. Unintentional Cannabis Ingestion in Children: A Systemic Review. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2017. Epub ahead of print.
Keywords: Vomiting, pediatric, medication (PubMed Search)
Within the first hour after administration, ondosterone, metoclopramide and bromopride were equally efficacious. At the 6 hour and 24 hour period after receiving the initial dose of medication, ondansetron was statistically superior to bromopride (not available in the US) and metoclopramide. There were no reported side effects in the ondansetron group (including diarrhea or sedation).
This was a randomized control trial of children 1 year to 12 years seen in the pediatric emergency department in Brazil for vomiting and given intramuscular bromopride (0.15mg/kg to a maximum of 10 mg), metoclopramide (0.15mg/kg to a maximum of 10 mg), or ondansetron (0.15mg/kg to a maximum of 8 mg). 175 children were included.
Epifanio et al. Bromopride, metoclopramide, or ondansetron for the treatment of vomiting in the emergency in the pediatric emergency department: a randomized control trial. J Pediatr 2017. Article in Press.
Keywords: Sedation, URI, adverse events (PubMed Search)
Elective surgeries with general anesthesia are often cancelled when the child has an upper respiratory tract infection. What are the adverse events when procedural sedation is used when the child has an upper respiratory tract infection?
Recent and current URIs were associated with an increased frequency of airway adverse events (AAE). The frequency of AAEs increased from recent URIs, to current URIs with thin secretions to current URIs with thick secretions. Adverse events not related to the airway were less likely to have a statistically significant difference between the URI and non-URI groups
AAEs for children with no URI was 6.3%. Children with URI with thick/green secretions had AAEs in 22.2% of cases. Children with URIs did NOT have a significant increase in the risk of apnea or need for emergent airway intervention. The rates of AAEs, however, still remains low regardless of URI status.
Data was collected on over 83,000 patients retrospectively from a voluntary database, The Pediatric Sedation Research Consortium. Children with URIs (no fever) who underwent procedural sedation for things such as imaging or hematology/oncology procedures were included. Propofol, dexmedetomidine, ketamine and opiates were the most commonly used agents.
AAEs included wheezing, secretions requiring treatment, cough, stridor, desaturations, obstruction, snoring, laryngospasm, and apnea.
Mallory et al. Upper Respiratory Infections and Airway Adverse Events in Pediatric Procedural Sedation. Pediatrics. 2017; 140 (1): 1-10.
Keywords: Febrile seizure, meningitis (PubMed Search)
Febrile seizures occur in children 6 months through 5 year olds. A complex febrile seizure occurs when the seizure is focal, prolonged (> 15 min), or occurs more than once in 24 hours.
The prevalence of bacterial meningitis in children with fever and seizure after the H flu and Strep pneumomoniae vaccine was introduced is 0.6% to 0.8%. The prevalence of bacterial meningitis is 5x higher after a complex than simple seizure.
From the study referenced, those children with complex febrile seizures who had meningitis all had clinical exam findings suggestive of meningitis. More studies are needed to provide definitive guidelines about when lumbar punctures are needed in these patients.
This study was a retrospective review of children aged 6 months to 5 years who had complex febrile seizures in France between 2007-2011.
Children were excluded if they had a simple febrile seizure, history of non-febrile seizure, conditions associated with a higher risk of seizure (cerebral malformations, genetic syndrome, trauma in the previous 24 hours) or predisposing to bacterial meningitis (sickle cell, cancer, immunosuppressive treatments). Outcomes were the diagnosis of bacterial or HSV meningitis at 7 days
The rate of bacterial meningitis was 0.7% (CI 0.2-1.6). There were no cases of HSV meningitis.
69% of the study patients did not have a lumbar puncture, however, follow up was done by repeat exam, phone and review of the meningitis and also death registry if the patient was lost to follow up.
The clinical exam in the 5 children with bacterial meningitis was suggestive of meningitis (irritability, altered mental status, bulging fontanel). In a subgroup of patients without physical exam findings suggestive of meningitis, there were no cases of bacterial meningitis.
Guedji R et al. Do All Children Who Present With a Complex Febrile Seizure Need a Lumbar Puncture? Annals of Emergency Medicine. 2017; 70 (1):52-62.
Keywords: CT scans, radiation exposure, pediatrics (PubMed Search)
Ventricular shunt (VP) malfunction can be severe and life-threatening and evaluation has typically included a dry CT brain and a shunt series which includes multiple x-rays of the skull, neck, chest and abdomen. The goal of this study was to decrease the amount of radiation used in the evaluation of these patients since these patients will likely present many times over their lifetime. Several institutions have more towards a rapid cranial MRI, however, this modality may not be readily available.
This multidisciplinary team decreased the CT scan radiation dose from 250mA (the reference mA in the pediatric protocol at this institution) to 150 mA which allows for a balance between reducing radiation exposure and adequate visualization of the ventricular system. They also added single view chest and abdominal x-rays.
The authors found that after implementing this new protocol, there was a reduction in CT radiation doses and number of x-rays ordered with no change in the return rate.
Marchese et al. Reduced Radiation in children presenting to the ED with Suspected Ventricular Shunt Complication. Pediatrics. 2017; 139 (5).
Keywords: Blunt thoracic trauma, pediatric trauma, chest xray (PubMed Search)
Chest injuries represent the second most common cause of pediatric trauma related death. ATLS guidelines recommend CXR in all blunt trauma patients. Previous studies have suggested a low risk of occult intrathoracic trauma; however, these studies included many children who were sent home.
Predictors of thoracic injury include: abdominal signs or symptoms (OR 7.7), thoracic signs of symptoms (OR 6), abnormal chest auscultation (OR 3.5), oxygen saturation < 95% (OR 3.1), BP < 5% for age (OR 3.7), and femur fracture (OR 2.5).
4.3 % of those found to have thoracic injuries did not have any of the above predictors, but their injuries were diagnosed on CXR. These children did not require trauma related interventions.
Bottom line: There were still a number of children without these predictors that had thoracic injuries, so the authors suggest that chest xray should remain a part of pediatric trauma resuscitation.
This was a retrospective review of children aged 0-17 with blunt trauma requiring trauma team activation who had a chest xray preformed. 483 eligible children were included, all of whom were admitted to the hospital. 108 children had their thoracic injury detected on chest xray, 110 on chest CT and 76 on abdominal CT. Pneumothorax, pulmonary contusion and multiple rib fractures were the most commonly found thoracic injuries. All children also had other injuries.
Weerdenburg et al. Predicting Thoracic Injury in Children with Multi-trauma. Pediatric Emergency Care. Epub ahead of print. 2017.