Paediatrics & Child Health

Published by Pulsus
Online ISSN: 1918-1485
Print ISSN: 1205-7088
Publications
General characteristics of the population 
Characteristics of the population with and without hypoglycemia 
Univariate analysis and risk factors for hypoglycemia
Current recommendations suggest that routine screening for hypoglycemia should be performed in all term newborns with a birth weight (BW) below the 10th percentile. The impact of updated growth curves on the incidence of hypoglycemia in small-for-gestational-age (SGA) newborns has not been evaluated. To evaluate the occurrence and severity of hypoglycemia in term newborns with a BW between the 10th and fifth percentile, and below the fifth percentile, using recently updated growth curves. A one-year prospective cohort study. Inclusion criteria were gestational age of 37 weeks or greater and BW below the 10th percentile. Neonatal hypoglycemia was defined as a blood glucose level of less than 2.6 mmol/L measured after 2 h of life. Blood glucose was measured routinely for all SGA infants during the first 36 h of life. A total of 187 SGA infants met the study criteria: 85 infants with a BW between the 10th and fifth percentile, and 102 infants with a BW below the fifth percentile. The characteristics of the study cohort were similar between BW groups. Twenty-six per cent of the infants screened had at least one episode of hypoglycemia: 22% of infants in the 10th to fifth percentile group and 28% in the less than fifth percentile group. Hypoglycemia was symptomatic in four infants, all of whom were below the fifth percentile for BW. The mean (± SD) lowest blood glucose level was 2.1±0.4 mmol/L (range 0.6 mmol/L to 2.5 mmol/L) in the 10th to fifth percentile group and 2.0±0.5 mmol/L (range 0.8 mmol/L to 2.5 mmol/L) in the less than fifth percentile group (P=0.05). The present study demonstrates a high incidence of hypoglycemia among SGA infants with a BW below the 10th percentile using updated growth curves. There was no difference in the incidence of hypoglycemia among SGA infants with a BW below the fifth percentile versus those with a BW between the 10th and fifth percentile.
 
Burns in young infants have long been recognized as a potential cause of nonaccidental injury. Accidental exposure to hot car seat parts resulting in significant burn injury is an unusual mimicker of child abuse. A case involving an 11-month-old child who presented with a significant contact burn injury related to the noncovered, heated, plastic part of a car seat, is described. The present case encourages physicians to maintain an unbiased approach to each referred case and to explore the differential diagnosis by detailed history and physical examination. It also serves as a reminder in caregiver education about the precautions to be taken during long-distance travel with young children and infants.
 
Baseline characteristics of all infants enrolled in the study 
Neonatal complications in the infants who survived to discharge 
outcomes and intravenous corticosteroid use in infants enrolled in the study 
Inflammation plays an important role in the development of chronic lung disease (CLD), which has become a major cause of morbidity in surviving infants less than 1250 g at birth. The authors hypothesized that the progression of this inflammation and, therefore, the establishment of CLD would be decreased with the use of early prophylactic inhaled corticosteroids. Short, and long term respiratory and neurodevelopmental outcomes were also examined. A double-blind, randomized placebo controlled trial. Level-III neonatal intensive care unit. Sixty infants less than 1250 g at birth, diagnosed with respiratory distress syndrome and requiring ventilatory support at 72 h of age were enrolled in the study. Infants enrolled received either placebo or beclomethasone diproprionate by a metered dose inhaler, which was used in-line with the ventilator circuit while the infant was ventilated and then via a spacer until 28 days of age. Thirty infants were given beclomethasone and 30 were given placebo. There were two deaths in each group. Among the surviving infants, the frequency of moderate-to-severe CLD was 17% in each study group. Mean time to extubation was not different for beclomethasone compared with placebo at 16.4 and 12.5 days (P=0.12), respectively. The requirement for intravenous corticosteroids was lower in the beclomethasone-treated group (RR 0.67, 95% CI 0.43 to 1.04), although this difference was not statistically significant. The incidence of growth failure, infection and intraventricular hemmorhage did not differ between the two groups. Long term outcomes were not different with respect to the incidence of respiratory re-admissions, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, blindness or deafness. Early treatment with inhaled beclomethasone diproprionate did not reduce the incidence of CLD or decrease the duration of mechanical ventilation. The decrease in intravenous corticosteroid use was not statistically significant. Long term outcome was not affected.
 
The present report details the case of a 13-year-old girl who presented to the emergency department with stridor. Treatment for presumed reactive airway disease was attempted with antibiotics, nebulized adrenaline masks and high-dose corticosteroids. Over the next month, she presented repeatedly in a similar fashion and was admitted to hospital on three separate occasions. Ultimately, she was referred to the Centre for Paediatric Voice and Laryngeal Function at The Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto, Ontario) for a speech-language pathology evaluation and direct laryngoscopy. The patient was diagnosed with paradoxical vocal fold dysfunction. After a brief treatment session with a speech-language pathologist, her stridor completely resolved and paradoxical inspiratory vocal fold adduction was no longer visualized on direct laryngoscopy. The present case highlights the fact that paradoxical vocal fold dysfunction can mimic other entities that present with stridor, and misdiagnosis can result in significant morbidity. Investigation into a patient's social history and stressors can facilitate the diagnosis, and can avoid unnecessary and potentially harmful medical and surgical interventions.
 
A 14-year-old girl of Lebanese descent presented with a one-year history of intermittent, painful vulvar ulcers. The patient denied prodromal symptoms or vaginal discharge, and she had never been sexually active. The history was also remarkable for painless oral ulcers recurring every month, a three-month history of headaches and occasional upper abdominal pain. Before presentation, she was treated for conjunctivitis with antibiotic drops. She gave no history of visual disturbances, ocular pain, rashes or arthritis. The review of systems was otherwise negative, and her history was noncontributory. Initial examination revealed a well-appearing, afebrile, adolescent girl with two minor (<10 mm) oral ulcers on her tongue and two minor, healing, genital ulcers on her left labium majus. Her general physical examination was otherwise normal. She was found to have bilateral papillitis and panuveitis on a screening ophthalmological examination. Her complete blood counts were normal. Her inflammatory markers were elevated: her erythrocyte sedimentation rate was 54 mm/h (normal 1 mm/h to 10 mm/h) and her C-reactive protein was 190 nmol/L (normal 0 nmol/L to 76 nmol/L). Electrolyte levels, renal function and liver enzyme levels were normal. An infectious work-up was negative, which included testing for herpes simplex virus among other sexually transmitted infections. A screening rheumatological work-up was negative, including antinuclear antibody for systemic lupus erythematosus, antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody for vasculitis, and serum calcium and angiotensin-converting enzyme for sarcoidosis. A urinalysis was positive for trace ketones and 1+ protein, and negative for blood, nitrites and leukocytes. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the head and orbits revealed bilateral, nonspecific, scattered small foci of abnormal signal in the bifrontal white matter but no abnormal enhancement of the optic nerves. A cerebral angiogram and lumbar puncture were normal.
 
Infant characteristics of all patients enrolled in the study (n=95) 
Incidence of short-term adverse neonatal outcomes in all infants surviving to discharge (n=87) 
Treatment regimens for hyperbilirubinemia vary for very low birth weight infants. The present study seeks to determine whether the initiation of conservative phototherapy is as effective as aggressive phototherapy in reducing peak bilirubin levels without increasing adverse effects. The present randomized, controlled study included infants with birth weights between 500 g and 1500 g, stratified into two birth weight groups. In one group, aggressive phototherapy was commenced by 12 h of age, while in the other group, conservative phototherapy was commenced if serum bilirubin levels exceeded 150 mumol/L. The primary outcome variables were peak serum bilirubin levels and hours of phototherapy. Secondary outcomes were age at peak bilirubin levels, number of infants with rebound hyperbilirubinemia, and number of adverse short- and long-term outcomes. Of 174 eligible infants, 95 consented to participate -49 in the conservative arm and 46 in the aggressive arm. Ninety-two infants completed the study. There was no significant difference in peak bilirubin levels except in infants who weighed less than 1000 g -171.2+/-26 mumol/L (conservative) versus 139.2+/-46 mumol/L (aggressive); P<0.02. There was no difference in duration of phototherapy or rebound hyperbilirubinemia. There were no differences in short-term adverse outcomes. Of the 87 infants who survived until hospital discharge, 82 (94%) had some follow-up and 75 (86%) attended follow-up until 18 months corrected age. The incidence of cerebral palsy, abnormal mental developmental index at 18 months corrected age, or combined outcome of cerebral palsy and death did not significantly differ between the two groups. In infants weighing less than 1000 g, peak bilirubin levels were significantly higher using conservative phototherapy regimens and there was a tendency for poor neurodevelopmental outcome.
 
The hemodynamic perturbation related to patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is associated with a higher risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). To determine whether primary surgical closure, as compared with treatment with indomethacin or exposure to prophylactic indomethacin, reduces the incidence of NEC in preterm infants <1500 g and/or ≤32 weeks' gestation with clinically and echocardiogram-identified PDA. The literature was reviewed using the methodology for systematic reviews for the Consensus of Science adapted from the American Heart Association's International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation. Ten studies were reviewed. The incidence of NEC was not lower in infants who underwent primary surgery for closure of the PDA compared with infants treated with indomethacin or infants exposed to prophylactic indomethacin (level of evidence 2). Primary surgical closure of the PDA cannot be recommended as an intervention to decrease the incidence of NEC in infants <1500 g and/or ≤32 weeks' gestation.
 
Child abuse and neglect (CAN) represents an international public health and societal problem, the extent and nature of which are inadequately understood. Child and youth protection programs (CYPPs), based in 16 Canadian paediatric academic health science centres, identify, manage, treat and prevent cases of CAN. To ascertain the structure, resources and functioning of Canadian CYPPs. Telephone interviews were conducted with the directors of the 16 CYPPs. Full-time equivalent staffing ranged from 0.25 to 18.7 people. All programs were staffed with physicians. The majority of programs had social workers (14 of 16) and administrative staff (12 of 16), while fewer programs had a dedicated nurse (nine of 16) or psychologists (six of 16). All CYPPs provided medical examinations and psychosocial assessments, consultation and coordination of CAN cases within the hospital and with community professionals, expert medico-legal opinions and representation in court, and hospital in-service and community outreach education and advocacy. Nine centres participated in regular multi-agency reviews of cases. Fourteen centres had specialized teams for acute sexual assault. Academic activities include lectures to medical students (16 of 16), undergraduate clinical electives (11 of 16), mandatory clinical rotations for paediatric residents (10 of 16) and/or electives (15 of 16), a fellowship (one of 16) and research on CAN-related issues (11 of 16). CAN documentation was inconsistent and limited, underestimating the number of cases assessed within the CYPPs. CYPPs appear to need further resources to care for maltreated children and their families. A national, standardized database to document CAN cases would aid in the allocation of resources to help develop policies and programs that effectively address the needs of CAN victims and their families, and to prevent CAN.
 
The Greig Health Record is an evidence-based health promotion guide for clinicians caring for children and adolescents aged six to 17 years. It is meant to provide a template for periodic health visits that is easy to use and is easily adaptable for electronic medical records. On the Greig Health Record, where possible, evidence-based information is displayed, and levels of evidence are indicated in boldface type for good evidence and italics for fair evidence.Checklist templates include sections for weight, height and body mass index; psychosocial history and development; nutrition; education and advice; specific concerns; examination; and assessment, immunization and medications. Included with the checklist tables are three pages of selected guidelines and resources. Regular updates to the statement and tool are planned. The Greig Health Record is available in English only at www.cps.ca/english/CP/PreventiveCare.htm.
 
To examine the awareness of, agreement with and use of the new Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for children and youth zero to 17 years of age in a sample of Canadian paediatricians. The findings are based on responses from 331 paediatricians across Canada who completed an online survey in February 2013. Frequencies were calculated for each question. Few paediatricians reported being very familiar with the physical activity (6% for the early years, and 9% for children and youth) or sedentary behaviour guidelines (5% for the early years, children and youth). When made aware of the guidelines, a large percentage strongly agreed or agreed with the physical activity (99% for the early years, and 96% for children and youth) and sedentary behaviour recommendations (96% for the early years, and 94% for children and youth). Of paediatricians who performed well-child visits, 16% and 27% reported almost always making physical activity and sedentary behaviour recommendations, respectively, to parents or caregivers of children in the early years, compared with 37% for both behaviours among children and youth. Thirty-nine per cent (for the early years) and 46% (for children and youth) of paediatricians reported it would be highly feasible to briefly explain the guidelines at a well-child visit. The most common barriers reported for recommending the guidelines were insufficient motivation or support from parents, caregivers or youth, and lack of time. To increase the use of these new evidence-informed guidelines, strategies are needed to increase paediatricians' awareness and reduce perceived barriers.
 
To explore how and when chiropractors are involved in the care of patients younger than 18 years of age, and to examine chiropractors' beliefs about treating paediatric patients. A cross-sectional survey of a random sample of 140 chiropractors practising in Alberta. Data were collected by means of a mailed questionnaire, which elicited practice information and chiropractors' beliefs, and included closed-and open-ended questions related to six vignettes of paediatric health problems. Fifty-seven per cent of chiropractors responded to the questionnaire. All chiropractors indicated that they treat patients younger than 18 years of age. Nine per cent of respondents do not treat patients younger than age two years, and 4% do not treat patients from ages six to 11 years. On average, 13% of chiropractors' total patient load over the month preceding the completion of the questionnaires consisted of patients younger than the age of 18 years. With increasing age, patients are more likely to present with musculoskeletal problems (23% of patients younger than age two years, 84% of those aged 14 to 17 years). Chiropractors reported that they provided musculoskeletal treatment regardless of the cause of the problem. A high percentage of chiropractors refer to physicians and reported that they would like to provide concomitant care with physicians. The present study has shown that chiropractors do treat children and that their opinions about this practice vary by specific condition. In addition, substantial percentages of chiropractors indicated that they would like to work with physicians in treating patients with nonmusculoskeletal conditions.
 
Family physicians, paediatricians, nurse practitioners and all primary health care providers are well-positioned in the health care system to provide identification and intervention for developmental delay in early childhood. This can be accomplished through the promotion of healthy child development by supporting children and their parents, paying special attention to issues of attachment and parent-child interactions. Early recognition and intervention is critical for addressing all developmental, social and behavioural problems in young children. A familiarity with local community resources and services is crucial; it will assist primary health care providers in supporting families by providing extra assistance and assessment for families at risk. The present article reports on the evidence-based interventions at the 18-month visit including screening tools, resources and a case example. The importance of interdisciplinary coordination to provide a comprehensive approach to screening, assessment and intervention for developmental delays in infants and young children is highlighted.
 
Project design. PHN Public health nurse 
In Ontario, the 18-month well-baby visit is the last scheduled primary care visit before school entry. Recognizing the importance of this visit and the role that primary care plays in developmental surveillance, an Ontario expert panel recommended enhancing the 18-month visit. Their recommendations are based on evidence from multiple disciplines, which underscore the reality that the quality of the early years experience establishes trajectories of health and well-being for children. An underlying premise of the recommendations is that when there are collaborations among parents, primary care, community health and child development services, the outcomes for children will be improved. The present article focuses on two Ontario pilot projects that were funded to discover how, in real life primary care settings, the recommendations could be implemented and outcomes measured. Findings and insights were significant, and future directions are clear, as the strategy for an enhanced 18-month well-baby visit is implemented in the future for Ontario.
 
Evolving neuroscience reveals an ever-strong relationship between children's earliest development/environment and later life experience, including physical and mental health, school performance and behaviour. Paediatricians, family physicians and other primary care providers need to make the most of well-baby visits-here a focus on an enhanced 18-month visit-to address a widening 'opportunity gap' in Canada. An enhanced visit entails promoting healthier choices and positive parenting to families, using anticipatory guidance and physician-prompt tools, and connecting children and families with local community resources. This statement demonstrates the need for measuring/monitoring key indicators of early childhood health and well-being. It offers specific recommendations to physicians, governments and organizations for a universally established and supported assessment of every Canadian child's developmental health at 18 months.
 
Cutaneous malignant melanoma has increased more than three-fold in the past 35 years. Because damage is cumulative, exposure to ultraviolet radiation early in life elevates a risk that is increased further as individuals use artificial sources of ultraviolet radiation. The full impact and scope of damage caused by year-round indoor tanning may take years to appreciate given the long latency period for most skin cancers. Teenagers are frequent visitors to tanning parlours, with girls being more frequent and sustained users. The tanning industry disputes the World Health Organization's and the International Agency for Research on Cancer's classification of their product as a Class 1 physical carcinogen. Tanning parlours have sought to establish and maintain a client-base among teenagers. Consequently, the Canadian Paediatric Society is joining other prominent health organizations in support of a ban on the use of commercial tanning facilities by Canadian children and youth younger than 18 years of age.
 
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is associated with significant mortality and morbidity that can be decreased by neonatal diagnosis. Although 44 American states have implemented such programs, there are no provincially funded universal or targeted newborn screening programs for SCD in Canada. To report a critical appraisal of a hospital-based neonatal screening program targeting at-risk infants over a 15-year period. The cord blood of infants born at Sainte-Justine University Health Centre (Sainte-Justine UHC, Montreal, Quebec) whose mother or father was black was collected at birth and analyzed for the presence of hemoglobin (Hb) S by liquid chromatography or isoelectric focusing. Samples with positive results underwent confirmatory testing. A total of 9619 infants were screened: 8142 (84.6%) had a normal phenotype, 1012 (10.5%) had sickle cell trait and 386 (4.0%) had HbC trait. Seventy-two infants were diagnosed with SCD: 37 (0.4%) were classified as HbSS or HbS-beta-thalassemia and 35 (0.4%) had HbSC disease. Of these 72 infants, 67 (93.1%) were immediately enrolled in a multidisciplinary SCD follow-up clinic. The five remaining children not initially enrolled were later referred to the clinic. A chart study revealed that six patients with SCD born at Sainte-Justine UHC were not identified by neonatal screening. The screening program was clinically effective because it identified 92.3% of at-risk patients born at Sainte-Justine UHC. These infants received appropriate medical care before 10 weeks of age as opposed to a median of 12 months for infants not identified by the screening program. It is proposed that either a targeted or a universal neonatal screening for SCD should be available in Canada.
 
To review community-acquired needle stick injuries (CANSIs) in children reported to a Canadian emergency room-based injury surveillance program. Analysis of 1991 to 1996 CANSI records followed by chart review to determine use of prophylactic interventions and outcome information. The Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program network of 10 paediatric and six general hospitals. Nonoccupational injuries to patients younger than age 20 years involving used needles were reviewed. Of 116 children injured, most were male (74%); the median age was 6.6 years. Needles were picked up before injury in 77% of the cases. Most injuries (78%) were from needles presumed to have been discarded by an injection drug user. Parks were the most common site of injury (21%). Six per cent of injuries occurred in medical settings. Treatment information was obtained for 71 (61%) patients. Only 1.7% had been immunized against hepatitis B virus before injury. Hepatitis B immune globulin and hepatitis B virus vaccine were given to 78% and 76% of children, respectively. None received human immunodeficiency virus prophylaxis. Programs teaching needle avoidance may help prevent many CANSIs. The safety of outdoor, home and medical environments also needs to be ensured. Treatment guidelines for CANSIs will help ensure appropriate postinjury management.
 
Sport- and recreation-related injuries are a major source of morbidity in the paediatric population. Long-term trends for these injuries are largely unknown. A traumatic injury surveillance system (the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program) was used to examine the demographics and trends of paediatric sports injuries in children who presented to or were directly admitted to the British Columbia Children's Hospital (Vancouver, British Columbia) emergency department or intensive care unit from 1992 to 2005. Over the 14-year study period, there was a significant increase in sport- and recreation-related injuries among patients who presented to the British Columbia Children's Hospital. Of 104,414 injuries between 1992 and 2005, 27,466 were related to sports and recreational activities. The number of sport-related injuries increased by 28%, while all-cause injuries did not change significantly. Males comprised 68% of the sport-related injuries, and both sexes displayed an increasing trend over time. Cycling, basketball, soccer and ice hockey were the top four injury-causing activities. The main body parts injured were the face, head and digits. Paediatric sports injuries significantly increased at the British Columbia Children's Hospital over the 14-year study period. This is likely due to increased sport participation, increased risk associated with certain sports, or both. Trends in paediatric sports injury may be predicted by changes in popular media, possibly allowing prevention programs to help to avoid these injuries before they occur.
 
Physician resource planning is a basic underpinning of the management of the health care system. Accurate data on physician numbers and distribution are essential to the process of planning. This paper presents the results of a study commissioned by the Paediatric Executive of the Ontario Medical Association to provide an updated profile of the number and distribution of paediatricians in Ontario in 1995/96.
 
Typical cost-benefit curve-The contrast between medical appropriateness and economic efficiency 
There have been publically expressed concerns about the costs and allocation of neonatal and perinatal health care resources in Canada and elsewhere for the past 15 years. This paper reports information from a symposium held during the 1996 Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) annual meeting sponsored by the CPS Section on Perinatal Medicine. Experts in perinatal epidemiology, health care economics, public policy and finance, and consumer perspectives on the outcomes of neonatal and perinatal intensive care explored the following questions: How should the need for health care resources in the neonatal and perinatal area be objectively determined? When there are competing needs between the maternal-newborn area and other areas, how should these be rationalized? What evidence should be used (or should be available) to support the present use of resources? What evidence should be available (or is needed) to change or introduce new uses of resources? The conclusions indicated that there are no generally accepted methods to determine the allocation of health care resources but that considerations need to include population characteristics, desired outcomes, achievable results, values, ethics, legalities, cost-benefit analyses and political objectives. Information from families and adolescents who required the use of high technology and/or high cost programs will contribute individual, family and societal values that complement cost-efficacy analyses.
 
Palivizumab has been shown to decrease respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) hospitalization rates in preterm infants and infants with chronic lung disease. The objective of the present study was to determine whether the use of palivizumab during the 1998/99 RSV season would have resulted in a cost-saving in infants discharged from Edmonton hospitals. A retrospective study of RSV hospitalizations was performed by contacting parents and reviewing hospital lists. The net cost of using palivizumab was determined by comparing the cost of giving the drug from November 1, 1998 to April 1, 1999 with the cost of potentially averted medical transports and hospitalizations. One hundred fifty-nine infants discharged from Edmonton hospitals who met the Canadian Paediatric Society's criteria for receiving palivizumab during the 1998/99 RSV season were studied. The cost of using palivizumab in these 159 study infants would have been $753,300. The infants had 21 RSV hospitalizations and required four medical transports. The estimated cost of RSV hospital-based care for these infants was $168,888. Assuming a drug efficacy of 39% in infants with chronic lung disease and 78% in infants born before 33 weeks' gestation with no chronic lung disease, $121,147 of these costs could have been averted if palivizumab had been used. The net cost to the health care system of using palivizumab, as recommended in the Canadian Paediatric Society guidelines, in study infants in northern Alberta during the 1998/99 RSV season would have been $632,153.
 
Infant admission rates by health regions between 2000 and 2004 for lower respiratory tract infections/1000 live births 
Health care workers have long observed increased rates of hospital admissions for respiratory illness in infants from the northern regions of Canada. Particularly high rates have been reported in the Inuit population. The purpose of the present study was to compare rates of hospital admission in Inuit versus non-Inuit infants from the perspective of a single northern health region. A retrospective review of all hospital admissions for lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) in infants from the Northwest Territories and the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut between 2000 and 2004 was completed and admission rates were compared by health region. Hospital admission rates for LRTIs in infants were above the Canadian rate for all regions. The rate of hospital admission for LRTIs in infants from the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut was dramatically high at 590 hospital admissions/1000 live births in the first 12 months of life. The majority of hospitalized infants were previously healthy, non-breastfed term infants with no underlying disease. The rate of hospital admission in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut is the highest reported in the current literature. The reason for such significant morbidity is difficult to explain and raises the question of an underlying predisposition to severe disease in this infant population. The question warrants further study to gain a better understanding of risk factors as well as the role of prevention.
 
A varicella vaccine for children has been readily available in Canada since 2000, but some parents and physicians doubt the need for it. The Immunization Monitoring Program, ACTive (IMPACT) network of pediatric hospitals tabulated 1900 varicella-related hospitalizations and seven varicella-related deaths from 2000 to 2005. The present report describes these fatal cases, demonstrating the unpredictable and avoidable nature of life-threatening varicella complications. The knowledge that healthy children can die of chickenpox could influence parents to accept the recommended vaccination. Deaths from varicella should cease to occur, given the safe alternative of, and free access to, vaccination in current provincial programs.
 
The purpose of the present study was to assess the epidemiology and resistance patterns of bacteria causing urinary tract infections in children who were admitted to Kingston General Hospital (Kingston, Ontario) - the regional tertiary care hospital of southeastern Ontario. A retrospective chart review of patients one to 18 years of age who were admitted to Kingston General Hospital with a discharge diagnosis of urinary tract infection between 2002 and early 2006 was undertaken. One hundred forty-two patient charts were reviewed, of which 56.3% of patients were female. The mean age of the patients was 12.3 months. The most common bacteria identified on urine culture over a five-year period were Escherichia coli (71.6%), Enterococcus species (5.7%) and Klebsiella species (5.0%). Bacteria were frequently resistant to ampicillin (54.4%) and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) (40.4%). During the three months before admission, bacteria resistant to ampicillin were cultured from the urine of 75.6% of patients who were receiving some antibiotic, compared with 44% of children with no documented use of antibiotics (P<0.0001). Resistance to TMP-SMX in those with pre-existing genitourinary disease was 72.2% versus 31.8% in those without (P<0.0001). Patients who had previous admissions for urinary tract infections also showed greater resistance to TMP-SMX (70.6% versus 32.7%; P<0.005), cefazolin (64.7% versus 20.0%; P<0.0001) and nitrofurantoin (58.8% versus 18.2%; P<0.0001). There was a high resistance to ampicillin. Risk factors for resistant bacteria included the use of antibiotics three months before admission, previous genitourinary disease and previous admissions for urinary tract infections. In the presence of these risk factors, a third-generation cephalosporin as first-line antimicrobial therapy is recommended. However, the combination of ampicillin plus gentamicin can be considered for empirical therapy in low-risk patients.
 
To describe wait times, treatment times and length of stay (LOS) for pediatric mental health visits to emergency departments (EDs). The present study was a retrospective cohort analysis of mental health visits (n=30,656) made by children <18 years of age between April 2002 and March 2008 to EDs in Alberta using administrative data. Wait time (time from triage to physician assessment), treatment time (time from physician assessment to end of visit) and LOS (time from start to end of visit) were examined for each visit. Wait time and treatment time data were available for 2006 to 2008, and LOS data were available for all study years. Wait times and LOS were compared with national benchmarks for the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS; levels 1 [resuscitative] through 5 [nonurgent]). All times are presented in h and min. Median wait times for visits triaged as CTAS 1, 2, 3 and 4 exceeded national recommendations. The longest wait times were for visits triaged as urgent (CTAS 3; 1 h 46 min) and less urgent (CTAS 4; 1 h 45 min). Lower-acuity visits had wait times that exceeded treatment times (CTAS 4: 1 h 45 min versus 1 h 8 min; CTAS 5: 1 h 5 min versus 52 min). Across all CTAS levels, the LOS in the ED increased during the study period, but met national benchmarks. Most median ED wait times for pediatric mental health visits exceeded national recommendations, while the median LOS for all visits met recommendations. Lower-acuity visits had wait times that exceeded treatment times. Future research should explore whether longer wait times are associated with adverse outcomes, and whether current wait/treatment times are warranted to ensure that ED throughput is optimized.
 
Current published guidelines for the use of palivizumab 
Passive immunization of high-risk children with the humanized monoclonal antibody palivizumab is the mainstay of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) prophylaxis in Canada in 2003. This product appears to be safe, and it prevents the majority of RSV hospitalizations in infants born before 36 weeks gestational age, and about half in children under 24 months of age with hemodynamically significant congenital heart disease. However, the high cost of palivizumab and the fact that at least 12 infants need to be treated throughout RSV season to prevent one hospitalization make it difficult to determine the ideal indications for the product. Because these high-risk infants account for a minority of RSV hospitalizations, it is desirable to search for a prophylactic strategy that is practical to apply in all infants.
 
Top-cited authors
Herbert Dele Davies
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center
Maya Peled
  • McCreary Centre Society
Marlene M Moretti
  • Simon Fraser University
Adam Cheng
  • Alberta Children's Hospital, University of Calgary
Lee E Ford-Jones