Pediatric emergency departments are more likely than general emergency departments to treat asthma exacerbation with systemic corticosteroids.
ABSTRACT To determine whether systemic corticosteroids are under-prescribed (as measured by current NIH treatment guidelines) for children in the United States seen in the emergency department (ED) for acute asthma, and to identify factors associated with prescribing systemic corticosteroids.
We used data from the 2001-2007 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. The study population was children ≤ 18 years old in the ED with a primary diagnosis of asthma (ICD-9-CM code 493.xx) who received bronchodilator(s). The primary outcome was receipt of a systemic corticosteroid in the ED. Independent variables included patient-level (e.g., demographics, insurance, fever, admission), physician-level (provider type, ancillary medications and tests ordered), and system-level factors (e.g., ED type, geographic location, time of day, season, year). We used multivariable logistic regression techniques to identify factors associated with systemic corticosteroid treatment.
Systemic corticosteroids were prescribed at only 63% of pediatric acute asthma visits to EDs. Over the study period, there was a trend toward increasing systemic corticosteroid use (p for trend = .05). After adjusting for potential confounders, patients were more likely to receive systemic corticosteroids when treated in pediatric EDs than in general EDs (OR = 2.45; 95% CI: 1.26-4.77).
Systemic corticosteroids are under-prescribed for children who present to EDs with acute asthma exacerbations. Pediatric EDs are more likely than general EDs to treat asthma exacerbations with systemic corticosteroids. Differences in the process of care in pediatric ED settings (compared to general EDs) may increase the likelihood of adherence to NIH treatment guidelines.
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ABSTRACT: This study aimed to identify factors associated with delayed or omission of indicated steroids for children seen in the emergency department (ED) for moderate-to-severe asthma exacerbation. This was a retrospective study of pediatric (age ≤ 21 years) patients treated in a general academic ED from January 2006 to September 2011 with a primary diagnosis of asthma (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision code 493.xx) and moderate-to-severe exacerbations. A moderate-to-severe exacerbation was defined as requiring 2 or more (or continuous) bronchodilators. We determined the proportion of visits in which steroids were inappropriately omitted or delayed (>1 hour from arrival). Multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify patient, physician, and system factors associated with delayed or omitted steroids. Of 1333 pediatric asthma ED visits, 817 were for moderate-to-severe exacerbation; 645 (79%) received steroids. Patients younger than 6 years (odds ratio [OR], 2.25; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.19-4.24), requiring more bronchodilators (OR, 2.82; 95% CI, 2.10-3.79), initially hypoxic (OR, 2.78; 95% CI, 1.33-5.83), or tachypneic (OR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.05-2.20) were more likely to receive steroids. Median time to steroid administration was 108 minutes (interquartile range, 65-164 minutes). Steroid administration was delayed in 502 visits (78%). Patients with hypoxia (OR, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.11-3.27) or tachypnea (OR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.17-2.84) were more likely to receive steroids 1 hour or less of arrival, whereas children younger than 2 years (OR, 0.16; 95% CI, 0.07-0.35) and those arriving during periods of higher ED volume (OR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.67-0.94) were less likely to receive timely steroids. In this ED, steroids were underprescribed and frequently delayed for pediatric ED patients with moderate-to-severe asthma exacerbation. Greater ED volume and younger age are associated with delays. Interventions are needed to expedite steroid administration, improving adherence to National Institutes of Health asthma guidelines.Pediatric emergency care 09/2013; · 0.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Recent publication of national guidelines by the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) provide recommendations around diagnostic testing and antibiotic treatment for children with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). These guidelines emphasize limited use of chest radiograph (CXR) and complete blood count (CBC) and routinely performing viral testing and use of narrow-spectrum antibiotics. The objective was to estimate the rate of emergency department (ED) visits for pediatric CAP in the United States and to describe management of patients prior to publication of consensus national guidelines. Data were obtained from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) for ED visits from 2001 through 2009 for children with CAP. During the study period there were an estimated 375,000 ED visits for CAP annually; 85% occurred within a general, rather than pediatric, ED. Overall, 20% of children with CAP were hospitalized. Among children discharged from EDs with CAP, CBC was performed during 30% of visits, CXR during 83%, and viral testing in only 13%. Twelve percent of children discharged from EDs with CAP had blood cultures obtained. No major differences were observed in the rates of laboratory testing or antibiotic administration between children treated in general versus pediatric EDs. During the study period, only 21% of children discharged from EDs with CAP received amoxicillin, the guideline-recommended antibiotic. Most ED visits for CAP in the United States occur in general EDs. To encourage care that is consistent with national guidelines, efforts should be made to reduce the performance of certain diagnostic testing, such as CBC and CXR, among children discharged from EDs with CAP. Additionally, the use of narrow-spectrum antibiotics should be encouraged.Academic Emergency Medicine 03/2013; 20(3):240-6. · 1.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Abstract Multiple methods for detecting asthma encounters are used today in public surveillance, quality reporting, and clinical research. Failure to detect asthma encounters can make it difficult to measure the scope and effectiveness of hospital or community-based interventions important in comparative effectiveness research and accountable care. Given the pairing of asthma with certain respiratory conditions, the objective of this study was to develop and test an asthma detection algorithm with specificity and sensitivity using 2 criteria: (1) principal discharge diagnosis and (2) asthma diagnosis code position. A medical record review was conducted (n=191) as the gold standard for identifying asthma encounters given objective criteria. The study team observed that for certain principal respiratory diagnoses (n=110), the observed odds ratio that encounters were for asthma when asthma was coded in the second or third code position was not significantly different than when asthma was coded as the principal diagnosis, 0.36 (P=0.42) and 0.18 (P=0.14), respectively. In contrast, the observed odds ratio was significantly different when asthma was coded in the fourth or fifth positions (P<.001). This difference remained after adjusting for covariates. Including encounters with asthma in 1 of the 3 first positions increased the detection sensitivity to 0.84 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.76-0.92] while increasing the false positive rate to 0.19 [95% CI: 0.07-0.31]. Use of the proposed algorithm significantly improved the reporting accuracy [0.83 95%CI:0.76-0.90] over use of (1) the principal diagnosis alone [0.55 95% CI:0.46-0.64] or (2) all encounters with asthma 0.66 [95% CI:0.57-0.75]. Bed days resulting from asthma encounters increased 64% over use of the principal diagnosis alone. Given these findings, an algorithm using certain respiratory principal diagnoses and asthma diagnosis code position can reliably improve asthma encounter detection for population-based health impact measurement. (Population Health Management 2014;17:xxx-xxx).Population Health Management 02/2014; · 1.18 Impact Factor