CJEM Articles: children
Displaying 1-10 of 14 results
David Johnson, Josephine Ho, Renee Jackson
We describe the course of a toddler who ingested a massive amount of levothyroxine and review treatment options for such overdoses. A 2½-year-old boy presented shortly after an ingestion of up to 7.6 mg of levothyroxine (potentially as much as 700 μg/kg). He was initially asymptomatic, treated with oral charcoal 1 g/kg, and discharged home from the emergency department after a few hours. He returned approximately 24 hours later with a temperature of 38.5°C, heart rate of 163 beats per minute, respiratory rate of 30 breaths per minute, and blood pressure of 136/70 mm Hg. He had a slightly decreased appetite and no signs or symptoms of infection. He was admitted to hospital and treated with oral acetaminophen. The initial free thyroxine (T4) was > 100 pmol/L and free triiodothyronine (T3) was 35.3 pmol/L. The patient had desquamation of the palms and soles, hair loss, and irritability during the month following the ingestion. Resolution of the elevated free T4 occurred by 12 days post-ingestion and normalization of the thyroid-stimulating hormone by 7 weeks post-ingestion. There were no long-term sequelae. Levothyroxine overdose can result in significant complications, including seizures and arrhythmias, both of which should be monitored for. However, as our case illustrates, massive ingestion of levothyroxine in children typically follows a benign course.
Resuscitation interventions in a tertiary level pediatric emergency department: implications for maintenance of skillsMarch 2011 13 2F. Jonathan Guilfoyle, Niranjan Kissoon, Ruth Milner
Objective:To describe the frequency and proportion of successful resuscitation interventions in a pediatric emergency department (PED).
Methods and Material:This was a retrospective chart review of children at the BC Children's Hospital (BCCH) PED who were admitted to the BCCH pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) in 2004 and 2005. Demographic data, diagnosis, and resuscitation interventions in the PED and within the first 24 hours of PICU admission were recorded. The training of the operator and the number of attempts needed were also recorded.
Results:There were 75,133 PED visits; 304 of 329 (92.4%) who met inclusion criteria were reviewed. Diagnoses included respiratory distress (n = 115, 35%), trauma (n = 50, 15%), sepsis (n = 36, 11%), seizures (n = 37, 11%), and cardiac disease (n = 22, 7%). Ninety-nine patients required intubation. Intubations in the PED were performed by residents (20%), pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) fellows (15%), PEM attending staff (29%), and PICU fellows (12%); 81% of these were successful on the first attempt. In the PED, seven central lines were placed, seven intraosseous needles were inserted, 15 patients required inotropes, and 9 patients required chest compressions.
Conclusion:Critical illness in our emergency department is a rare event; hence, opportunities to resuscitate, secure airways, and place central venous catheters are limited. Additional training, close working relationships between the PED and the PICU teams, and resuscitation protocols for early PICU involvement may be needed.
Alyson Shaw, Amy C. Plint, Anna Bottaglia, Carrol Pitters, Isabelle Gaboury, Rhonda Correll, Tammy Clifford, Tawfik Al-Abdullah
Objective: We compared the appropriateness of visits to a pediatric emergency department (ED) by provincial telephone health line-referral, by self- or parent-referral, and by physician-referral.
Methods: A cohort of patients younger than 18 years of age who presented to a pediatric ED during any of four 1-week study periods were prospectively enrolled. The cohort consisted of all patients who were referred to the ED by a provincial telephone health line or by a physician. For each patient referred by the health line, the next patient who was self- or parent-referred was also enrolled. The primary outcome was visit appropriateness, which was determined using previously published explicit criteria. Secondary outcomes included the treating physician's view of appropriateness, disposition (hospital admission or discharge), treatment, investigations and the length of stay in the ED.
Results: Of the 578 patients who were enrolled, 129 were referred from the health line, 102 were either self- or parent-referred, and 347 were physician-referred. Groups were similar at baseline for sex, but health line-referred patients were significantly younger. Using explicitly set criteria, there was no significant difference in visit appropriateness among the health line-referrals (66%), the self- or parent-referrals (77%) and the physician-referrals (73%) (p = 0.11). However, when the examining physician determined visit appropriateness, physician-referred patients (80%) were deemed appropriate significantly more often than those referred by the health line (56%, p < 0.001) or by self- or parent-referral (63%, p = 0.002). There was no significant difference between these latter 2 referral routes (p = 0.50). In keeping with their greater acuity, physician-referred patients were significantly more likely to have investigations, receive some treatment, be admitted to hospital and have longer lengths of stay. Patients who were self- or parent-referred, and those who were health line-referred were similar to each other in these outcomes.
Conclusion: There was no significant difference in visit appropriateness based on the route of referral when we used set criteria; however, there was when we used treating physician opinion, triage category and resource use.
Amy Plint, Martin H. Osmond, Philippe Toupin, Rhonda Correll
Objective: To describe the current emergency department (ED) wait times and treatment characteristics of children with radial head subluxation (RHS).
Methods: We performed a 2-year retrospective medical record review (April 1, 2004, to March 31, 2006) of all children who presented to our tertiary care pediatric ED with a discharge diagnosis of RHS, pulled elbow, dislocated elbow or nursemaid's elbow.
Results: We identified 501 cases of RHS in 427 children over a 2-year period. The mean age was 2.4 years (range 22 d-9.7 yr) and the injury was caused by a pull in 314 (62.8%) cases, a fall in 91 (18.2%) cases and a twist in 20 (4.0%) of the cases. The median time from triage to physician assessment was 1.3 hours, with 112 (23.5%) patients waiting > 2 hours and 33 (6.9%) waiting > 3 hours. The median time from triage to ED discharge was 1.7 hours, with 193 (41.2%) staying > 2 hours, 85 (18.1%) staying > 3 hours and 30 (6.4%) staying > 4 hours. Overall, 490 (99.2%) of these injuries were reduced in the ED: 98 (19.8%) were reduced prior to physician assessment and 309 (89.6%) were reduced on the first attempt. The technique used was pronation in 138 (52.7%), supination in 100 (38.2%), and pronation and supination in 24 (9.2%) cases.
Conclusion: This large cohort indicates that children with RHS often have long ED waits before reduction and discharge. The majority of children with RHS are treated successfully with 1 reduction attempt. The data from this study will be used in planning a prospective study to shorten ED visits for patients with RHS.
Prevalence of pneumonia in children under 12 years of age who undergo abdominal radiography in the emergency departmentSeptember 2007 9 5Colette Bellavance, Marianne Xhignesse, Valérie Homier
Objective: Pneumonia is a well-known cause of acute abdominal pain in children. However, the utility of chest radiography in this setting is controversial. We sought to determine the prevalence of pneumonia in children under 12 years of age who had abdominal pain and underwent abdominal radiography when visiting an emergency department (ED). We also aimed to describe the signs and symptoms of children diagnosed with pneumonia in this context.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of electronic data from ED visits to a tertiary care centre by children 12 years of age and under who were seen between June 1, 2001, and June 30, 2003, and who underwent both an abdominal and a chest radiograph during the same visit, or an abdominal x-ray at a first visit as well as a chest x-ray in the 10 days following the initial visit.
Results: Of 1584 visits studied, 30 cases of pneumonia were identified, for a prevalence of 1.89% (95% confidence interval 1.22%-1.56%). If chest radiography had been limited to children who presented with fever, cough and symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), the diagnosis of pneumonia would have been missed in only 2/1584 visits (0.13%).
Conclusion: Children aged 12 years and under presenting to the ED with acute abdominal pain and in whom an abdominal radiograph is requested need only undergo a chest radiograph in the presence of cough, fever or other symptoms of a URTI.
Khalid Alawi, Rod Lim, Tim Lynch
Objective: The aim of the study was to characterize the nature of the injuries sustained by children involved in all-terrain vehicle (ATV) crashes in Southwestern Ontario over a 5-year period.
Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of children who sustained ATV-related trauma and who presented to the emergency department at the Children's Hospital of Western Ontario between Sept. 1, 1998, and Aug. 31, 2003, with an Injury Severity Score (ISS) = 12. Patients were identified by the London Health Sciences Centre Trauma Program Registry. Patient charts were then retrieved and reviewed to record patient demographics, injuries, interventions and length of stay in hospital.
Results: Seventeen patients, 14 male and 3 female, met inclusion criteria. Ages ranged from 8–17 years, with an average age of 13.7 years. Thirteen were <16 years of age. Overall there were 7 different systems injured in these 17 patients. Fourteen patients sustained an injury to more than 1 system. The average ISS was 22.8. The average length of hospital stay was 9.7 days. Six patients sustained significant head injuries; 4 of these 6 patients were not wearing helmets. Eight patients suffered splenic injuries, and 3 required a splenectomy. Thirteen patients sustained fractures.
Conclusion: ATV trauma is a significant threat to the children in Southwestern Ontario. These results clearly support the Canadian Paediatric Society's recommendation that children <16 years of age should be prohibited from operating or riding on ATVs.
Impact of a pressure-responsive flow-limiting valve on bag–valve–mask ventilation in an airway modelMay 2006 8 3Jonnathan M. Busko, Thomas H. Blackwell
Objective: Using a simulated airway model, we compared ventilation performance by emergency medical services (EMS) providers using a traditional bag–valve–mask (Easy Grip®) resuscitator to their performance when using a new device, the SMART BAG® resuscitator, which has a pressure-responsive flow-limiting valve.
Methods: We recruited EMS providers at an EMS educational forum and performed a randomized, non-blinded, prospective crossover comparison of ventilation with 2 devices on a non-intubated simulated airway model. Subjects were instructed to ventilate a Mini Ventilation Training Analyzer® as they would an 85-kg adult patient in respiratory arrest. After being randomized to order of device use, they performed ventilation for 1 minute with each device. Primary outcomes were ventilation rates and peak airway pressures. We also measured average tidal volume, gastric inflation volume, minute ventilation and inspiratory:expiratory (I:E) ratio, and compared our results to the American Heart Association standards (2005 edition).
Results: We observed statistically significant differences between the SMART BAG® and the traditional bag–valve–mask for respiratory rate (12 v. 14 breaths/min), peak airway pressure (15.6 v. 18.9 cm H2O), gastric inflation (239.6 v. 1598.4 mL), minute ventilation (7980 v. 8775 mL), and I:E ratio (1.3 v. 1.1). Average tidal volume was similar with both devices (679.6 v. 672.2 mL).
Conclusion: The SMART BAG® provided ventilation performance that was more consistent with American Heart Association guidelines and delivered similar tidal volumes when compared with ventilation with a traditional bag–valve–mask resuscitator.