[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The burden of acute gastroenteritis on children and their families continues to be enormous. Probiotics, defined as viable microbial preparations that have a beneficial effect on the health of the host, represent a rapidly expanding field. Although clinical trials in children with gastroenteritis have been performed, most have significant flaws, and guidelines do not consistently endorse their use.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:Given the recent publication of several large trials and systematic reviews, we undertook a study of the current management of bronchiolitis in Canadian pediatric emergency departments (EDs) and explored physicians' rationale for their treatment decisions. The overarching purpose of this study was to assist in planning a future trial of combined epinephrine and dexamethasone for bronchiolitis.Methods:Physicians in the Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC) database received an 18-item electronic survey. A modified Dillman method was used.Results:Of the 271 physicians surveyed, 191 (70.1%) responded. The majority (120 of 271; 66.5%) reported "typically" giving a bronchodilator trial in the ED, with respondents almost evenly divided between treatment with salbutamol (n = 62) and treatment with epinephrine (n = 61). Of those who use salbutamol, 77.4% indicated that they prefer it because it can be prescribed for home use. Of those who use epinephrine, 80.3% indicated that they believe the medical literature supports its benefit over salbutamol. Few participants (2.6%) reported "always" using steroids, whereas the majority (62.8%) reported "sometimes" using them. The most common factor reported to influence steroid use was illness severity (73.3%). The majority (60.5%) reported that if corticosteroids were beneficial in bronchiolitis, they prefered treatment with a single dose in the ED as opposed to a multiday course.Conclusions:Our results indicate that physicians practicing in Canadian pediatric EDs commonly use bronchodilators to manage bronchiolitis but use corticosteroids less commonly. They appear to be uncomfortable using corticosteroids, particularly longer courses, and have a stated preference for a single dose. Any future trial examining the role of corticosteroids in bronchiolitis should carefully consider the issue of steroid dosage.
Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine 02/2014; 16:1-8. · 1.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Health professionals frequently recommend fever treatment regimens for children that either combine paracetamol and ibuprofen or alternate them. However, there is uncertainty about whether these regimens are better than the use of single agents, and about the adverse effect profile of combination regimens.
To assess the effects and side effects of combining paracetamol and ibuprofen, or alternating them on consecutive treatments, compared with monotherapy for treating fever in children.
In September 2013, we searched Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL); MEDLINE; EMBASE; LILACS; and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (2009-2011).
We included randomized controlled trials comparing alternating or combined paracetamol and ibuprofen regimens with monotherapy in children with fever.
One review author and two assistants independently screened the searches and applied inclusion criteria. Two authors assessed risk of bias and graded the evidence independently. We conducted separate analyses for different comparison groups (combined therapy versus monotherapy, alternating therapy versus monotherapy, combined therapy versus alternating therapy).
Six studies, enrolling 915 participants, are included.Compared to giving a single antipyretic alone, giving combined paracetamol and ibuprofen to febrile children can result in a lower mean temperature at one hour after treatment (MD -0.27 °Celsius, 95% CI -0.45 to -0.08, two trials, 163 participants, moderate quality evidence). If no further antipyretics are given, combined treatment probably also results in a lower mean temperature at four hours (MD -0.70 °Celsius, 95% CI -1.05 to -0.35, two trials, 196 participants, moderate quality evidence), and in fewer children remaining or becoming febrile for at least four hours after treatment (RR 0.08, 95% CI 0.02 to 0.42, two trials, 196 participants, moderate quality evidence). Only one trial assessed a measure of child discomfort (fever associated symptoms at 24 hours and 48 hours), but did not find a significant difference in this measure between the treatment regimens (one trial, 156 participants, evidence quality not graded).In practice, caregivers are often advised to initially give a single agent (paracetamol or ibuprofen), and then give a further dose of the alternative if the child's fever fails to resolve or recurs. Giving alternating treatment in this way may result in a lower mean temperature at one hour after the second dose (MD -0.60 °Celsius, 95% CI -0.94 to -0.26, two trials, 78 participants, low quality evidence), and may also result in fewer children remaining or becoming febrile for up to three hours after it is given (RR 0.25, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.55, two trials, 109 participants, low quality evidence). One trial assessed child discomfort (mean pain scores at 24, 48 and 72 hours), finding that these mean scores were lower, with alternating therapy, despite fewer doses of antipyretic being given overall (one trial, 480 participants, low quality evidence)Only one small trial compared alternating therapy with combined therapy. No statistically significant differences were seen in mean temperature, or the number of febrile children at one, four or six hours (one trial, 40 participants, very low quality evidence).There were no serious adverse events in the trials that were directly attributed to the medications used.
There is some evidence that both alternating and combined antipyretic therapy may be more effective at reducing temperatures than monotherapy alone. However, the evidence for improvements in measures of child discomfort remains inconclusive. There is insufficient evidence to know which of combined or alternating therapy might be more beneficial.Future research needs to measure child discomfort using standardized tools, and assess the safety of combined and alternating antipyretic therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:Identifying gaps in care and improving outcomes for severely ill children requires the development of evidence-based performance measures. We used a systematic process involving multiple stakeholders to identify and develop evidence-based quality indicators for high acuity pediatric conditions relevant to any emergency department (ED) setting where children are seen.METHODS:A prioritized list of clinical conditions was selected by an advisory panel. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to identify existing indicators, as well as guidelines and evidence that could be used to inform the creation of new indicators. A multiphase, Rand-modified Delphi method consisting of anonymous questionnaires and a face-to-face meeting of an expert panel was used for indicator selection. Measure specifications and evidence grading were created for each indicator, and the feasibility and reliability of measurement was assessed in a tertiary care pediatric ED.RESULTS:The conditions selected for indicator development were diabetic ketoacidosis, status asthmaticus, anaphylaxis, status epilepticus, severe head injury, and sepsis. The majority of the 62 selected indicators reflect ED processes (84%) with few indicators reflecting structures (11%) or outcomes (5%). Thirty-seven percent (n = 23) of the selected indicators are based on moderate or high quality evidence. Data were available and interrater reliability acceptable for the majority of indicators.CONCLUSIONS:A systematic process involving multiple stakeholders was used to develop evidence-based quality indicators for high acuity pediatric conditions. Future work will test the reliability and feasibility of data collection on these indicators across the spectrum of ED settings that provide care for children.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:
To identify historical and clinical findings at emergency department presentation associated with severe H1N1 outcome in children presenting with influenza-like illness.
Multicentre retrospective case-control study.
79 emergency departments of hospitals associated with the Pediatric Emergency Research Networks in 12 countries.
265 children (<16 years), presenting between 16 April and 31 December 2009, who fulfilled Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for influenza-like illness and developed severe outcomes from laboratory confirmed H1N1 infection. For each case, two controls presenting with influenza-like illness but without severe outcomes were included: one random control and one age matched control.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Severe outcomes included death or admission to intensive care for assisted ventilation, inotropic support, or both. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was used to compare cases and controls, with effect sizes measured as adjusted odds ratios.
151 (57%) of the 265 cases were male, the median age was 6 (interquartile range 2.3-10.0) years, and 27 (10%) died. Six factors were associated with severe outcomes in children presenting with influenza-like illness: history of chronic lung disease (odds ratio 10.3, 95% confidence interval 1.5 to 69.8), history of cerebral palsy/developmental delay (10.2, 2.0 to 51.4), signs of chest retractions (9.6, 3.2 to 29.0), signs of dehydration (8.8, 1.6 to 49.3), requirement for oxygen (5.8, 2.0 to 16.2), and tachycardia relative to age).
These independent risk factors may alert clinicians to children at risk of severe outcomes when presenting with influenza-like illness during future pandemics.
BMJ Clinical Research 08/2013; 347(7921). · 14.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Previous systematic reviews have not shown clear benefit of glucocorticoids for acute viral bronchiolitis, but their use remains considerable. Recent large trials add substantially to current evidence and suggest novel glucocorticoid-including treatment approaches. OBJECTIVES: To review the efficacy and safety of systemic and inhaled glucocorticoids in children with acute viral bronchiolitis. SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL 2012, Issue 12), MEDLINE (1950 to January week 2, 2013), EMBASE (1980 to January 2013), LILACS (1982 to January 2013), Scopus® (1823 to January 2013) and IRAN MedEx (1998 to November 2009). SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing short-term systemic or inhaled glucocorticoids versus placebo or another intervention in children under 24 months with acute bronchiolitis (first episode with wheezing). Our primary outcomes were: admissions by days 1 and 7 for outpatient studies; and length of stay (LOS) for inpatient studies. Secondary outcomes included clinical severity parameters, healthcare use, pulmonary function, symptoms, quality of life and harms. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors independently extracted data on study and participant characteristics, interventions and outcomes. We assessed risk of bias and graded strength of evidence. We meta-analysed inpatient and outpatient results separately using random-effects models. We pre-specified subgroup analyses, including the combined use of bronchodilators used in a protocol. MAIN RESULTS: We included 17 trials (2596 participants); three had low overall risk of bias. Baseline severity, glucocorticoid schemes, comparators and outcomes were heterogeneous. Glucocorticoids did not significantly reduce outpatient admissions by days 1 and 7 when compared to placebo (pooled risk ratios (RRs) 0.92; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.78 to 1.08 and 0.86; 95% CI 0.7 to 1.06, respectively). There was no benefit in LOS for inpatients (mean difference -0.18 days; 95% CI -0.39 to 0.04). Unadjusted results from a large factorial low risk of bias RCT found combined high-dose systemic dexamethasone and inhaled epinephrine reduced admissions by day 7 (baseline risk of admission 26%; RR 0.65; 95% CI 0.44 to 0.95; number needed to treat 11; 95% CI 7 to 76), with no differences in short-term adverse effects. No other comparisons showed relevant differences in primary outcomes. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Current evidence does not support a clinically relevant effect of systemic or inhaled glucocorticoids on admissions or length of hospitalisation. Combined dexamethasone and epinephrine may reduce outpatient admissions, but results are exploratory and safety data limited. Future research should further assess the efficacy, harms and applicability of combined therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The clinical pathway is a tool that operationalizes best evidence recommendations and clinical practice guidelines in an accessible format for 'point of care' management by multidisciplinary health teams in hospital settings. While high-quality, expert-developed clinical pathways have many potential benefits, their impact has been limited by variable implementation strategies and suboptimal research designs. Best strategies for implementing pathways into hospital settings remain unknown. This study will seek to develop and comprehensively evaluate best strategies for effective local implementation of externally developed expert clinical pathways.Design/methods: We will develop a theory-based and knowledge user-informed intervention strategy to implement two pediatric clinical pathways: asthma and gastroenteritis. Using a balanced incomplete block design, we will randomize 16 community emergency departments to receive the intervention for one clinical pathway and serve as control for the alternate clinical pathway, thus conducting two cluster randomized controlled trials to evaluate this implementation intervention. A minimization procedure will be used to randomize sites. Intervention sites will receive a tailored strategy to support full clinical pathway implementation. We will evaluate implementation strategy effectiveness through measurement of relevant process and clinical outcomes. The primary process outcome will be the presence of an appropriately completed clinical pathway on the chart for relevant patients. Primary clinical outcomes for each clinical pathway include the following: Asthma---the proportion of asthmatic patients treated appropriately with corticosteroids in the emergency department and at discharge; and Gastroenteritis---the proportion of relevant patients appropriately treated with oral rehydration therapy. Data sources include chart audits, administrative databases, environmental scans, and qualitative interviews. We will also conduct an overall process evaluation to assess the implementation strategy and an economic analysis to evaluate implementation costs and benefits. DISCUSSION: This study will contribute to the body of evidence supporting effective strategies for clinical pathway implementation, and ultimately reducing the research to practice gaps by operationalizing best evidence care recommendations through effective use of clinical pathways.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01815710https://register.clinicaltrials.gov.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stories may be an effective tool to communicate with patients because of their ability to engage the reader. Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of story booklets compared to standard information sheets for parents of children attending the emergency department (ED) with a child with croup.
Parents were randomized to receive story booklets (n=208) or standard information sheets (n=205) during their ED visit. The primary outcome was change in anxiety between triage to ED discharge as measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Follow-up telephone interviews were conducted at 1 and 3 days after discharge, then every other day until 9 days (or until resolution of symptoms), and at 1 year. Secondary outcomes included: expected future anxiety, event impact, parental knowledge, satisfaction, decision regret, healthcare utilization, time to symptom resolution.
There was no significant difference in the primary outcome of change in parental anxiety between recruitment and ED discharge (change of 5 points for the story group vs. 6 points for the comparison group, p=0.78). The story group showed significantly greater decision regret regarding their decision to go to the ED (p<0.001): 6.7% of the story group vs. 1.5% of the comparison group strongly disagreed with the statement "I would go for the same choice if I had to do it over again". The story group reported shorter time to resolution of symptoms (mean 3.7 days story group vs. 4.0 days comparison group, median 3 days both groups; log rank test, p=0.04). No other outcomes were different between study groups.
Stories about parent experiences managing a child with croup did not reduce parental anxiety. The story group showed significantly greater decision regret and quicker time to resolution of symptoms. Further research is needed to better understand whether stories can be effective in improving patient-important outcomes.
Current Controlled Trials, ISRCTN39642997 (http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN39642997).
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(10):e77800. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives:To describe pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) physicians' reported pain management practices across Canada and explore factors that facilitate or hinder pain management.Methods:This study was a prospective survey of Canadian pediatric emergency physicians. The Pediatric Emergency Research Canada physician database was used to identify participants, and a modified Dillman's Total Design Survey Method was used for recruitment.Results:The survey response rate was 68% (139 of 206). Most physicians were 31 to 50 years old (82%) with PEM training (56%) and had been in practice for less than 10 years (55%). Almost all pain screening in emergency departments (EDs) occurred at triage (97%). Twenty-four percent of physicians noted institutionally mandated pain score documentation. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen were commonly prescribed in the ED for mild to moderate pain (88% and 83%, respectively). Over half of urinary catheterizations (60%) and intravenous (53%) starts were performed without any analgesia. The most common nonpharmacologic interventions used for infants and children were pacifiers and distraction, respectively. Training background and gender of physicians affected the likelihood of using nonpharmacologic interventions. Physicians noted time restraints to be the greatest barrier to optimal pain management (55%) and desired improved access to pain medications (32%), better policies and procedures (30%), and further education (25%).Conclusions:When analgesia was reported as provided, ibuprofen and acetaminophen were most commonly used. Both procedural and presenting pain remained suboptimally managed. There is a substantial evidence practice gap in children's ED pain management, highlighting the need for further knowledge translation strategies and policies to support optimal treatment.
Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine 01/2013; 15:1-9. · 1.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the use of intravenous magnesium in Canadian pediatric emergency departments (EDs) in children requiring hospitalization for acute asthma and association of administration of frequent albuterol/ipratropium and timely corticosteroids with hospitalization.
Retrospective medical record review at 6 EDs of otherwise healthy children 2 to 17 years of age with acute asthma. Data were extracted on history, disease severity, and timing of ED stabilization treatments with inhaled albuterol, ipratropium, corticosteroids, and magnesium. Primary outcome was the proportion of hospitalized children given magnesium in the ED. Secondary outcome was the ED use of "intensive therapy" in hospitalized children, defined as 3 albuterol inhalations with ipratropium and corticosteroids within 1 hour of triage.
A total of 19 (12.3%) of 154 hospitalized children received magnesium (95% confidence interval 7.1, 17.5) versus 2 of 962 discharged patients. Children given magnesium were more likely to have been previously admitted to ICU (odds ratio [OR] 11.2), hospitalized within the past year (OR 3.8), received corticosteroids before arrival (OR 4.0), presented with severe exacerbation (OR 6.1), and to have been treated at 1 particular center (OR 14.9). Forty-two (53%) of 90 hospitalized children were not given "intensive therapy." Children receiving "intensive therapy" were more likely to present with severe disease to EDs by using asthma guidelines (ORs 8.9, 3.0). Differences in the frequencies of all stabilization treatments were significant across centers.
Magnesium is used infrequently in Canadian pediatric EDs in acute asthma requiring hospitalization. Many of these children also do not receive frequent albuterol and ipratropium, or early corticosteroids. Significant variability in the use of these interventions was detected.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pediatric acute respiratory infections (ARIs) represent a significant burden on pediatric Emergency Departments (EDs) and families. Most of these illnesses are due to viruses. However, investigations (radiography, blood, and urine testing) to rule out bacterial infections and antibiotics are often ordered because of diagnostic uncertainties. This results in prolonged ED visits and unnecessary antibiotic use. The risk of concurrent bacterial infection has been reported to be negligible in children over three months of age with a confirmed viral infection. Rapid viral testing in the ED may alleviate the need for precautionary testing and antibiotic use.
To determine the effect of rapid viral testing in the ED on the rate of precautionary testing, antibiotic use, and length of ED visit.
We searched the Cochrane Central register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 4); EMBASE (1988 to December 2011); MEDLINE Ovid (1950 to November week 4, 2011); MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations (8 December 2011); HealthStar (1966 to 2009); BIOSIS Previews (1969 to December 2011); CAB Abstracts (1973 to December 2011); CBCA Reference (1970 to 2007); and Proquest Dissertations and Theses (1861 to 2009).
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of rapid viral testing for children with ARIs in the ED.
Two review authors used the inclusion criteria to select trials, evaluate their quality and extract data. We obtained missing data from trial authors. We expressed differences in rate of investigations and antibiotic use as risk ratios (RRs), and expressed difference in ED length of visits as mean differences (MDs), with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
We included four trials (three RCTs and one quazi-RCT), with 759 children in the rapid viral testing group and 829 in the control group. Three out of the four studies were comparable in terms of young age of participants, with one study increasing the age of inclusion up to five years of age. All studies included either fever or respiratory symptoms as inclusion criteria (two required both, one required fever or respiratory symptoms, and one required only fever). All studies were comparable in terms of exclusion criteria, intervention, and outcome data. In terms of risk of bias, one study failed to utilize a random sequence generator, one study did not comment on completeness of outcome data, and only one of four studies included allocation concealment as part of the study design. None of the studies definitively blinded participants.Rapid viral testing did not reduce antibiotic use in the ED significantly, neither clinically nor statistically. We found lower rates of chest radiography (RR 0.77, 95% CI 0.65 to 0.91) in the rapid viral testing group, but no effect on length of ED visits, or blood or urine testing in the ED. No study made mention of any adverse effects related to viral testing.
Current evidence is insufficient to support routine rapid viral testing as a means to reduce antibiotic use in pediatric EDs. Results suggest that rapid viral testing may be beneficial in terms of reducing rates of antibiotic usage, urine investigations and blood investigations, but are not statistically significant due to lack of power. Rapid viral testing does reduce the rate of chest X-rays in the ED. A large trial addressing the effect on antibiotic usage is needed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Canada is among the most prosperous nations in the world, yet the health and wellness outcomes of Canadian children are surprisingly poor. There is some evidence to suggest that these poor health outcomes are partly due to clinical practice variation, which can stem from failure to apply the best available research evidence in clinical practice, otherwise known as knowledge translation (KT). Surprisingly, clinical practice variation, even for common acute paediatric conditions, is pervasive. Clinical practice variation results in unnecessary medical treatments, increased suffering, and increased healthcare costs. This study focuses on improving health outcomes for common paediatric acute health concerns by evaluating strategies that improve KT and reduce clinical practice variation.
Using a multiple case study design, qualitative and quantitative data will be collected from four emergency departments in western Canada. Data sources will include: pre- and post-implementation focus group data from multidisciplinary healthcare professionals; individual interviews with the local champions, KT intervention providers, and unit/site leaders/managers; Alberta Context Tool (ACT) survey data; and aggregated patient outcome data. Qualitative and quantitative data will be systematically triangulated, and matrices will be built to do cross-case comparison. Explanations will be built about the success or lack of success of the clinical practice guidelines (CPG) and clinical pathways (CPs) uptake based upon the cross-case comparisons.
This study will generate new knowledge about the potential causal mechanisms and factors which shape implementation. Future studies will track the impact of the CPG/CPs implementation on children's health outcome, and healthcare costs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: : We examine psychiatric and pediatric clinical management of pediatric mental health in the emergency department (ED).
: We conducted a retrospective review of health care delivery with a random sample of all pediatric mental health presentations (≤18 years) to 2 urban tertiary care EDs between 2004 and 2006 (N = 580).
: The EDs differed significantly in services offered. General emergency medicine-trained physicians provided care at 1 site (54.6%) with a number of visits also managed by a psychiatric crisis team (45.4%). Care at the other ED was delivered by pediatric emergency medicine-trained physicians (99.4%) with no regular on-site psychiatric services. The most common assessment provided across sites and all presentations was for suicidality (66.2%). After controlling for potential confounders, receipt of clinical assessment for homicidality, mood, or reality testing differed between EDs (P = 0.044, P = 0.006, and P = 0.002) with more assessments documented at the psychiatric-resourced ED. Brief counseling was lacking for visits (absence of documentation: 56.1% pediatric-resourced, 23.1% psychiatric-resourced ED); there was no evidence of site differences in provision. More psychiatric consultation was provided at the psychiatric-resourced ED (34.1% vs 27.4%, P = 0.030). Discharge recommendations were lacking in both EDs but were more incomplete for pediatric-resourced ED visits (P = 0.035).
: Consistent and comprehensive clinical management of pediatric mental health presentations was lacking in EDs that had pediatric and psychiatric resources. Prospective evaluations are needed to determine the effect of current clinical ED practices on patient and family outcomes, including symptom reduction and stress, as well as subsequent system use.
Pediatric emergency care 04/2011; 27(4):275-83. · 0.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bronchodilators are commonly used for acute bronchiolitis, despite uncertain effectiveness.
To examine the efficacy and safety of epinephrine in children less than two with acute viral bronchiolitis.
We searched CENTRAL (2010, Issue 3) which contains the Acute Respiratory Infections Group's Specialized Register, MEDLINE (1950 to September Week 2, 2010), EMBASE (1980 to September 2010), Scopus (1823 to September 2010), PubMed (March 2010), LILACS (1985 to September 2010) and Iran MedEx (1998 to September 2010).
We included randomized controlled trials comparing epinephrine to placebo or another intervention involving children less than two years with acute viral bronchiolitis. Studies were included if the trials presented data for at least one quantitative outcome of interest.We selected primary outcomes a priori, based on clinical relevance: rate of admission by days one and seven of presentation for outpatients, and length of stay (LOS) for inpatients. Secondary outcomes included clinical severity scores, pulmonary function, symptoms, quality of life and adverse events.
Two review authors independently screened the searches, applied inclusion criteria, assessed risk of bias and graded the evidence. We conducted separate analyses for different comparison groups (placebo, non-epinephrine bronchodilators, glucocorticoids) and for clinical setting (inpatient, outpatient).
We included 19 studies (2256 participants). Epinephrine versus placebo among outpatients showed a significant reduction in admissions at Day 1 (risk ratio (RR) 0.67; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.50 to 0.89) but not at Day 7 post-emergency department visit. There was no difference in LOS for inpatients. Epinephrine versus salbutamol showed no differences among outpatients for admissions at Day 1 or 7. Inpatients receiving epinephrine had a significantly shorter LOS compared to salbutamol (mean difference -0.28; 95% CI -0.46 to -0.09). One large RCT showed a significantly shorter admission rate at Day 7 for epinephrine and steroid combined versus placebo (RR 0.65; 95% CI 0.44 to 0.95). There were no important differences in adverse events.
This review demonstrates the superiority of epinephrine compared to placebo for short-term outcomes for outpatients, particularly in the first 24 hours of care. Exploratory evidence from a single study suggests benefits of epinephrine and steroid combined for later time points. More research is required to confirm the benefits of combined epinephrine and steroids among outpatients. There is no evidence of effectiveness for repeated dose or prolonged use of epinephrine or epinephrine and dexamethasone combined among inpatients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since the initial publication of this systematic review in 1997, several randomized trials examining the benefit of glucocorticoids have been published. The objective of this review is to provide evidence to guide clinicians in their treatment of patients with croup by determining the effectiveness of glucocorticoids and to identify areas requiring future research.
To determine the effect of glucocorticoids for children with croup.
We searched CENTRAL (2010, Issue 3), which contains the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group's Specialised Register, MEDLINE (1966 to July week 2, 2010) and EMBASE.com (1974 to July 2010). We also contacted authors of identified croup trials published in the last 10 years to inquire about additional published or unpublished trials.
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that examine children with croup and objectively measure the effectiveness of glucocorticoids.
Two review authors identified studies for potential relevance based on the review of the title and abstract (when available). Two review authors independently reviewed studies for relevance using a priori inclusion criteria and assessed trial quality. Differences were resolved by consensus. One review author extracted data using a structured form and another review author checked the results for accuracy. We performed standard statistical analyses.
Thirty-eight studies were included (n = 4299). Glucocorticoids were associated with an improved Westley score (maximum 17 points) at six hours with a mean difference of -1.2 (95% confidence interval (CI) -1.6 to -0.8) and at 12 hours -1.9 (95% CI -2.4 to -1.3); at 24 hours this improvement was no longer significant (-1.3, 95% CI -2.7 to 0.2). Fewer return visits and/or (re)admissions occurred in participants treated with glucocorticoids (risk ratio (RR) 0.5; 95% CI 0.3 to 0.7). Length of time spent in accident and emergency or hospital (mean difference 12 hours, five to 19 hours) was significantly decreased for participants treated with glucocorticoids. Use of epinephrine decreased for children treated with a glucocorticoid (risk difference 10%; 95% CI 1 to 20).
Dexamethasone and budesonide are effective in relieving the symptoms of croup as early as six hours after treatment. Fewer return visits and/or (re)admissions are required and the length of time spent in hospital is decreased. Research is required to examine the most beneficial method for disseminating croup practice guidelines and to increase the uptake of evidence.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Croup is a common childhood illness characterized by barky cough, stridor, hoarseness and respiratory distress. Children with severe croup are at risk for intubation. Nebulized epinephrine (NE) may prevent intubation.
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of NE in children presenting to emergency department (ED) or admitted to hospital with croup.
We searched CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library 2010, Issue 4), containing the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group's Specialized Register, MEDLINE (1966 to November Week 1, 2010), EMBASE (1980 to November 2010), Web of Science (1974 to November 2010), CINAHL (1982 to November 2010) and Scopus (1996 to November 2010).
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-RCTs of children with croup evaluated in an ED or admitted to hospital. Comparisons were: NE versus placebo, racemic NE versus L-epinephrine (an isomer), and NE delivered by intermittent positive pressure breathing (IPPB) versus NE without IPPB. Primary outcome was change in croup score post-treatment. Secondary outcomes were rate and duration of intubation and hospitalization, croup return visit, parental anxiety and side effects.
Two authors independently identified potentially relevant studies by title and abstract (when available) and examined relevant studies using a priori inclusion criteria, followed by methodologic quality assessment. One author extracted data while the second checked accuracy. We performed standard statistical analyses.
Eight studies (225 participants) were included. NE was associated with croup score improvement 30 minutes post-treatment (three RCTs, standardized mean difference (SMD) -0.94; 95% confidence interval (CI) -1.37 to -0.51; I(2) statistic = 0%). This effect was not significant two and six hours post-treatment. NE was associated with significantly shorter hospital stay than placebo (one RCT, mean difference -32.0 hours; 95% CI -59.1 to -4.9). Comparing racemic and L-epinephrine, no difference in croup score was found after 30 minutes (SMD 0.33; 95% CI -0.42 to 1.08). After two hours, L-epinephrine showed significant reduction compared with racemic epinephrine (one RCT, SMD 0.87; 95% CI 0.09 to 1.65). There was no significant difference in croup score between administration of NE via IPPB versus nebulization alone at 30 minutes (one RCT, SMD -0.14; 95% CI -1.24 to 0.95) or two hours (SMD -0.72; 95% CI -1.86 to 0.42).
NE is associated with clinically and statistically significant transient reduction of symptoms of croup 30 minutes post-treatment. Evidence does not favor racemic epinephrine or LE, or IPPB over simple nebulization.