Technical Report

Rapporto ISS COVID-19 60 2020 Indicazioni ad interim per servizi sanitari di telemedicina in pediatria durante e oltre la pandemia COVID-19

Authors:
  • Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italian National Health Institute)
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Abstract

The document provides the scientific indications to support the implementation of telemedicine health services for paediatric patients, both in early childhood and in developmental age, and during the different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. It focuses on analysing how telemedicine can solve operational problems in managing the doctor-patient-family relationship in the paediatric field. It provides concrete elements for the definition of the specific characteristics, the eligibility, and exclusion criteria of the paediatric patient, to increase the safety and benefits of telemedicine services. Moreover, the COVID-19 highlighted the difficulties of local services in guaranteeing continuity of care for paediatric patients affected by rare or common chronic diseases. Based on scientific evidence, this report indicates the correct ways to address the above difficulties in telemedicine.

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... The indications aimed to be used in various combinations to provide health services and psychological support; they also aimed to proactively monitor the health conditions of people in quarantine, in isolation, after discharge from the hospital, or of those who were isolated at home due to the rules of social distancing but were in need of continuity of care, even if they were not COVID-19 infected. The second document [8] provided the scientific indications to support the implementation of telemedicine health services for pediatric patients, both in early childhood and in developmental age, and during the different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. It described how telemedicine can solve operational problems in managing the doctor-patient-family relationship in the pediatric field. ...
... All four of the documents [7][8][9][10] also highlighted particular attention to rare diseases and the frailty towards which telemedicine can play an important supporting role. ...
... • An initial disorientation [5,33,51] in the use of telemedicine, during the implementation period of the guidelines/recommendations [7][8][9][10] and before the standardization initiatives [11,12]; • ...
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Telemedicine is making an important contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and to supporting the health domain. Its use has registered initial problems with often-patchy practise. The objective of this study was to analyze the launch and deployment of telemedicine in Italy through a narrative review. The narrative review faced two points of view: (a) the first point of view revised the institutional initiatives of the Italian government developed to promote the use of telemedicine; (b) the second point of view reviewed the evolution of scientific literature in the sector, with reference to the Italian situation. In the second point of view, we applied both a standard narrative checklist and an eligibility approach. The first point of view reported an analysis of national documents aimed at promoting, through indications and recommendations, the use of telemedicine. The second point of view analyzed 39 qualified references. The analysis highlighted: (a) that initially, there was a disorientation, followed by reflections that emerged immediately after; (b) a telemedicine application not only in the traditional sectors (e.g., diabetology, cardiology, oncology, neurology) but also in new and fields never explored before; and (c) a high level of acceptance and a desire to continue in the after-pandemic future (which emerged in some studies through dedicated questionnaires). The study offers stimuli for both stakeholders and scholars to improve the use of telemedicine during the pandemic and in the future.
... In order to support the counselling activities through rapidly shared information, a closed social group named "Centro di II livello Diabete e Obesità in età evolutiva -ASL Napoli 3 Sud" was also created on the Facebook [28], where daily suggestions and videos related to the promotion of healthy habits at home were posted by each of the components of the multidisciplinary team [17,29,30]. In particular, videos of playful activities aimed at developing motor coordination skills were proposed to children between 5 and 10 years of age and exercise sessions focused on the enhancement of conditional motor skills were proposed to youth of 11e18 years [31]. ...
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In 2020, the Sars-CoV2 pandemic has rapidly changed daily life inside and outside of hospitals and practises. Following the “flatten-the-curve” imperative, with a widespread lockdown in place most aspects of healthcare provision have been largely reduced or even completely placed on hold. The increasing burden of untreated disease poses a significant health risk for children and adolescents. In contrast, children seem to be mostly spared from developing symptomatic Covid-19 disease. Therefore, we should consider applying different dynamics when restricting healthcare provision in children to avoid an unbalanced negative impact on the vulnerable population of paediatric patients.
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Background: Low prevalence, lack of knowledge about the disease course, and phenotype heterogeneity hamper the development of drugs for rare diseases. Rare disease registries (RDRs) can be helpful by playing a role in understanding the course of the disease, and providing information necessary for clinical trial design, if designed and maintained properly. We describe the potential applications of a RDR and what type of information should be incorporated to support the design of clinical trials in the process of drug development, based on a broad inventory of registry experience. We evaluated two existing RDRs in more detail to check the completeness of these RDRs for trial design. Results: Before and during the application for regulatory approval a RDR can improve the efficiency and quality in clinical trial design by informing the sample size calculation and expected disease course. In exceptional circumstances information from RDRs has been used as historical controls for a one-armed clinical trial, and high quality RDRs may be used for registry-based randomized controlled trials. In the post marketing phase of (conditional) drug approval a disease-specific RDR is likely to provide more relevant information than a product-specific registry. Conclusions: A RDR can be very helpful to improve the efficiency and quality of clinical trial design in several ways. To enable the applicability and optimal use of a RDR longitudinal data collection is indispensable, and specific data collection, prepared for repeated measurement, is needed. The developed checklist can help to define the appropriate variables to include. Attention should be paid to the inclusion of patient-relevant outcome measures in the RDR from the start. More research and experience is needed on the possibilities and limitations of combining RDR information with clinical trial data to maximize the availability of relevant evidence for regulatory decisions in rare diseases.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has created a situation unparalleled in our lifetime. As the medical community has attempted to navigate a sea of ever-changing information and policies, this uncertainty has instead bred creativity, community, and evolution. Necessity is the mother of invention, and one of the by-products of our rapidly changing environment is the increased reliance on telemedicine. Here, we discuss our experience with incorporating telemedicine into an urban academic pediatric otolaryngology practice, the challenges that we have encountered, and the principles unique to this population.
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The Child Neurology Society collaborated with the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Consortium to issue an online statement April 6, 2020 of immediate recommendations to streamline diagnosis, treatment, and follow up of infantile spasms. The recommendations encourage use of telemedicine, outpatient over inpatient studies, and oral therapies as initial treatment. Each recommendation is earmarked as enduring if intended to outlast the pandemic, and limited if intended only during the duration of the pandemic. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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We describe 2 children with persistent fever and profuse diarrhea who developed signs of mucocutaneous involvement (conjunctivitis, fissured lips, skin rash, erythema, and edema of the hands and feet). Blood tests revealed elevated markers of inflammation, lymphopenia, thrombocytopenia, and complement consumption. Afterward, diffuse edema with hypoalbuminemia appeared in the context of a capillary leak syndrome. In both patients, repeated nasal swabs were negative for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), but each patient had high titers of immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin M against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The negative PCR results in the presence of immunoglobulin M and immunoglobulin G suggested that the inflammatory response developed in the late phase of viral infection, when SARS-CoV-2 was not detectable in the upper airway. In this report, we describe patients with what we propose to name as SARS-CoV-2-induced Kawasaki-like hyperinflammatory syndrome. SARS-CoV-2-induced Kawasaki-like hyperinflammatory syndrome seems to be caused by a delayed response to SARS-CoV-2. It resembles Kawasaki disease complicated by macrophage activation syndrome, although it has peculiar features, such as prodromal diarrhea, capillary leak syndrome, and myocardial dysfunction. Intravenous corticosteroid treatment appears to be helpful.
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Background: In order to limit the spread of COVID-19, governments have ordered a series of restrictions that may affect glycemic control in individuals with T1DM, since physical activity (PA) was not allowed outside home. Materials and methods: We retrospectively evaluated glycemic control of individuals with T1DM using HCL system in the period before the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in Italy (February 10th - 23rd, 2020 - Time 1), when movements were only reduced (February 24th - March 8th, 2020 - Time 2) and during complete lockdown (March 9th-22nd, 2020 - Time 3). Information about regular PA (at least 3 hours per week) prior and during the quarantine were collected. Results: The study included 13 individuals with a median age of 14.2 years and a good glycemic control at baseline (GMI 7%, TIR 68%, TBR 2%). All individuals continued to show good glycemic control throughout the study period. There was an increase in TIR during the study period (+3%) and TIR was significantly higher in Time 3 (72%) than in Time 2 (66%). TBR was significantly lower in Time 3 (1%) both compared to Time 1 and Time 2 (2%). A meaningful variance in TIR at Time 3 between individuals who performed or not PA during quarantine and a significant increase in TIR between Time 2 and Time 3 both in individuals doing PA at baseline and during quarantine, was found. At logistic regression, only the presence of PA during quarantine significantly predicted a TIR >70 %. Conclusions: Glycemic control of T1DM in adolescents using HCL system did not worsen during the restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemics and further improved in those who continued physical activity during the quarantine. Maintaining regular physical activity in a safe home environment is an essential strategy for young individuals with T1DM during the COVID-19 crisis.
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Purpose This study describes the rapid implementation of telemedicine within an adolescent and young adult (AYA) medicine clinic in response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. While there are no practice guidelines specific to AYA telemedicine, observations made during this implementation can highlight challenges encountered and suggest solutions to some of these challenges. Methods Over the course of several weeks in March, 2020, the Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Clinic at the University of California San Francisco rapidly replaced most in-person visits with telemedicine visits. This required logistical problem-solving, collaboration of all clinic staff members, and continuous reassessment of clinical practices. This article describes observations made during these processes. Results Telemedicine visits increased from zero to 97% of patient encounters in one month. The number of visits per month was comparable with that one year prior. While there were limitations to the clinic’s ability to carry out health supervision visits, many general health, mental health, reproductive health, eating disorders, and addiction treatment services were implemented via telemedicine. Providers identified creative solutions for challenges that arose to managing general confidentiality issues as well as specific challenges related to mental health, reproductive health, eating disorders, and addiction care. Opportunities to implement and expand high-quality AYA telemedicine were also identified. Conclusions The COVID-19 pandemic is leading to widespread telemedicine implementation. While telemedicine seems to be feasible and acceptable for our clinic patients, unanswered questions remain regarding confidentiality, quality of care, and health disparities. Clinical guidelines are also needed to guide best practices for telemedicine in this patient population.
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The COVID pandemic has incited the rapid implementation of telehealth services. Through telemedicine, pediatric urologists can counsel children and their families about genitourinary tract conditions, while adhering to social distancing requirements and keeping families safe at home. With the accelerated use of telemedicine, it is crucial to maintain standards of providing high-quality and secure urologic care. Clinicians must practice effective virtual communication or ‘webside’ manner. While research may not be a priority, collecting data on telemedicine efforts will be critical in bringing about both payer-based and legislative reforms to encourage and enable wider telemedicine use in the post-COVID world.
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In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, 107 countries had implemented national school closures by March 18, 2020. It is unknown whether school measures are effective in coronavirus outbreaks (eg, due to severe acute respiratory syndrome [SARS], Middle East respiratory syndrome, or COVID-19). We undertook a systematic review by searching three electronic databases to identify what is known about the effectiveness of school closures and other school social distancing practices during coronavirus outbreaks. We included 16 of 616 identified articles. School closures were deployed rapidly across mainland China and Hong Kong for COVID-19. However, there are no data on the relative contribution of school closures to transmission control. Data from the SARS outbreak in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Singapore suggest that school closures did not contribute to the control of the epidemic. Modelling studies of SARS produced conflicting results. Recent modelling studies of COVID-19 predict that school closures alone would prevent only 2–4% of deaths, much less than other social distancing interventions. Policy makers need to be aware of the equivocal evidence when considering school closures for COVID-19, and that combinations of social distancing measures should be considered. Other less disruptive social distancing interventions in schools require further consideration if restrictive social distancing policies are implemented for long periods.
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In the event of a global infectious pandemic, drastic measures may be needed that limit or require adjustment of ambulatory allergy services. However, no rationale for how to prioritize service shut down and patient care exists. A consensus-based ad-hoc expert panel of allergy/immunology specialists from the United States and Canada developed a service and patient prioritization schematic to temporarily triage allergy/immunology services. Recommendations and feedback were developed iteratively, using an adapted modified Delphi methodology to achieve consensus. During the ongoing pandemic while social distancing is being encouraged, most allergy/immunology care could be postponed/delayed or handled through virtual care. With the exception of many patients with primary immunodeficiency, patients on venom immunotherapy, and patients with asthma of a certain severity, there is limited need for face-to-face visits under such conditions. These suggestions are intended to help provide a logical approach to quickly adjust service to mitigate risk to both medical staff and patients. Importantly, individual community circumstances may be unique and require contextual consideration. The decision to enact any of these measures rests with the judgment of each clinician and individual health care system. Pandemics are unanticipated, and enforced social distancing/quarantining is highly unusual. This expert panel consensus document offers a prioritization rational to help guide decision making when such situations arise and an allergist/immunologist is forced to reduce services or makes the decision on his or her own to do so.
Article
Background Since December, 2019, an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread globally. Little is known about the epidemiological and clinical features of paediatric patients with COVID-19. Methods We retrospectively retrieved data for paediatric patients (aged 0–16 years) with confirmed COVID-19 from electronic medical records in three hospitals in Zhejiang, China. We recorded patients' epidemiological and clinical features. Findings From Jan 17 to March 1, 2020, 36 children (mean age 8·3 [SD 3·5] years) were identified to be infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The route of transmission was by close contact with family members (32 [89%]) or a history of exposure to the epidemic area (12 [33%]); eight (22%) patients had both exposures. 19 (53%) patients had moderate clinical type with pneumonia; 17 (47%) had mild clinical type and either were asymptomatic (ten [28%]) or had acute upper respiratory symptoms (seven [19%]). Common symptoms on admission were fever (13 [36%]) and dry cough (seven [19%]). Of those with fever, four (11%) had a body temperature of 38·5°C or higher, and nine (25%) had a body temperature of 37·5–38·5°C. Typical abnormal laboratory findings were elevated creatine kinase MB (11 [31%]), decreased lymphocytes (11 [31%]), leucopenia (seven [19%]), and elevated procalcitonin (six [17%]). Besides radiographic presentations, variables that were associated significantly with severity of COVID-19 were decreased lymphocytes, elevated body temperature, and high levels of procalcitonin, D-dimer, and creatine kinase MB. All children received interferon alfa by aerosolisation twice a day, 14 (39%) received lopinavir–ritonavir syrup twice a day, and six (17%) needed oxygen inhalation. Mean time in hospital was 14 (SD 3) days. By Feb 28, 2020, all patients were cured. Interpretation Although all paediatric patients in our cohort had mild or moderate type of COVID-19, the large proportion of asymptomatic children indicates the difficulty in identifying paediatric patients who do not have clear epidemiological information, leading to a dangerous situation in community-acquired infections. Funding Ningbo Clinical Research Center for Children's Health and Diseases, Ningbo Reproductive Medicine Centre, and Key Scientific and Technological Innovation Projects of Wenzhou.
Book
This book describes in detail the potential role of ICT and electronic systems, together with the application of Web 2.0 technologies, in telepediatrics and child health. Rather than simply proposing engineering solutions that may soon become outdated, it is designed to address those real needs that telemedicine and developers are asked to meet. The orientation of the book is very much toward primary care, and both low- and high-income settings as well as extreme or complex scenarios are considered. The first two sections of the book describe different fields of application, such as the community, the hospital, and children with chronic illnesses or special needs, and examine technical issues. The use of telemedicine in delivery of care in extreme rural settings and developing countries is then discussed, with attention also to major emergencies and humanitarian crises. The closing chapters consider the role of modern technologies in the education of caregivers who work with children. Child health is a crucial issue in both industrialized and developing countries. Telemedicine for Children’s Health will be an excellent guide to the potential value of telemedicine devices in reducing the burden for children and parents and in offering quick and concrete solutions in low-resource scenarios.
The species Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus: classifying 2019-nCoV and naming it SARS-CoV-2
  • A E Gorbalenya
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Gorbalenya AE, Baker SC, Baric RS, et al. The species Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus: classifying 2019-nCoV and naming it SARS-CoV-2. Nat Microbiol 5, 536-544 (2020). doi.org/10.1038/s41564-020-0695-z.
Ratifica ed esecuzione della convenzione sui diritti del fanciullo, fatta a New York il 20 novembre 1989 Roma
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Italia. Legge 27 maggio 1991, n. 176 recante "Ratifica ed esecuzione della convenzione sui diritti del fanciullo, fatta a New York il 20 novembre 1989 Roma 1991". Gazzetta Ufficiale Serie Generale n.135 del 11-06-1991 -Suppl. Ordinario n. 35.
The effects of social deprivation on adolescent development and mental health
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Orben A, Tomova L, Blakemore SJ. The effects of social deprivation on adolescent development and mental health. Lancet Child Adolesc Health 2020;4(8):634-640. doi: 10.1016/S2352-4642(20)30186-3.