Severe acute malnutrition has two main clinical manifestations, i.e., oedematous and non-oedematous. However, factors associated with oedema are not well established.
Children 0.5-14 years of age with SAM (MUAC < 11.0 cm or weight-for-height < 70 % of median and/or nutritional oedema) admitted to the nutrition unit were included. Information on infections before and during admission was collected together with anthropometry. Predictors of oedema was analysed separately for younger (< 60 months) and older children (≥ 60 months).
351 children were recruited (median age: 36 months (interquartile range 24 to 60); 43.3% females). Oedema was detected in 61.1%. The prevalence of oedema increased with age, peaked at 37–59 months (75%) and declined thereafter. Infection was more common in the younger group (33% vs. 8.9%, p < 0.001) and in this group children with oedema had less infections (25.2% vs. 45.1%, p = 0.001). In the older group the prevalence of infections was not different between oedematous and non-oedematous children (5.5% v. 14.3%, p = 0.17). In the younger group oedema was less common in children with TB (OR = 0.20, 95% CI: 0.06, 0.70) or diarrhea (OR = 0.40, 95% CI: 0.21, 0.73).
The proportion of oedema in SAM peaked at three to five years of age and a considerable proportion was above 5 years. Furthermore, the prevalence of infection seemed to be lower among children with oedema. Further studies are needed to better understand the role of infection-immunity interaction.
Severe acute malnutrition; Oedema; Infection; Risk; Predictors
Some factors are known to influence the academic performance of children with Sickle Cell Anaemia (SCA). Information on their effects in these children is limited in Nigeria. The factors which influence academic performance of children with SCA in Enugu, Nigeria are determined in this study.
Consecutive children with SCA aged 5–11 years were recruited at the weekly sickle cell clinic of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu, Nigeria. Their age- and sex- matched normal classmates were recruited as controls. The total number of days of school absence for 2009/2010 academic session was obtained for each pair of pupils from the class attendance register. Academic performance was assessed using the average of the overall scores in the three term examinations of same session. Intelligence ability was determined with Draw-A-Person Quotient (DAPQ) using the Draw-A-Person Test while socio-economic status was determined using the occupational status and educational attainment of each parent.
Academic performance of children with SCA showed statistically significant association with their socio-economic status (χ2 = 9.626, p = 0.047), and significant correlation with DAPQ (r = 0.394, p = 0.000) and age (r = -0.412, p = 0.000). However, no significant relationship existed between academic performance and school absence in children with SCA (r = -0.080, p = 0.453).
Academic performance of children with SCA is influenced by their intelligence ability, age and socio-economic status but not negatively affected by their increased school absenteeism.
Sickle; Determinants; Academic; Children
Daily pain and multi-site pain are both associated with reduction in work ability and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among adults. However, no population-based studies have yet investigated the prevalence of daily and multi-site pain among adolescents and how these are associated with respondent characteristics. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of self-reported daily and multi-site pain among adolescents aged 12–19 years and associations of almost daily pain and multi-site pain with respondent characteristics (sex, age, body mass index, HRQoL and sports participation).
A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 4,007 adolescents aged 12–19 years in Denmark. Adolescents answered an online questionnaire during physical education lessons. The questionnaire contained a mannequin divided into 12 regions on which the respondents indicated their current pain sites and pain frequency (rarely, monthly, weekly, more than once per week, almost daily pain), characteristics, sports participation and HRQoL measured by the EuroQoL 5D. Multivariate regression was used to calculate the odds ratio for the association between almost daily pain, multi-site pain and respondent characteristics.
The response rate was 73.7%. A total of 2,953 adolescents (62% females) answered the questionnaire. 33.3% reported multi-site pain (pain in >1 region) while 19.8% reported almost daily pain. 61% reported current pain in at least one region with knee and back pain being the most common sites. Female sex (OR: 1.35-1.44) and a high level of sports participation (OR: 1.51-2.09) were associated with increased odds of having almost daily pain and multi-site pain. Better EQ-5D score was associated with decreased odds of having almost daily pain or multi-site pain (OR: 0.92-0.94).
In this population-based cohort of school-attending Danish adolescents, nearly two out of three reported current pain and, on average, one out of three reported pain in more than one body region. Female sex, and high level of sports participation were associated with increased odds of having almost daily pain and multi-site pain. The study highlights an important health issue that calls for investigations to improve our understanding of adolescent pain and our capacity to prevent and treat this condition.
Adolescents; Pain; Cohort study; Paediatrics; Pain
Despite advancements in oral health policies, dental caries still a problem. The lack of parents/caregiver’s care regarding child’s oral health, which characterizes neglect, may lead to a high prevalence of caries. Therefore, the objective of this study was to analyze the relation between dental caries and neglect in five year-old children.
Quantitative study performed in two different moments. First, the children underwent oral examinations and physical inspection. Then, a semi-structured interview was performed with parents of children with high and low caries rate.
In all, 149 physical inspections and oral exams were performed. The number of decayed, missing and filled teeth – dmf-t was 2.75 (SD 2.83); 16 children had extremely high values (dmf-t ≥7), 85 intermediate values (1 ≤ dmf-t ≥ 6) and 48 extremely low (dmf-t = 0). Nearly all caregivers were female (96.7%; n = 29), mostly mothers (93.3%; n = 28). Associations were found between caries experience and reason of the last consultation (p = 0.011), decayed teeth and child’s oral health perception (p = 0.001). There was a trend towards a significant association between general health and decayed teeth (p = 0.079), general hygiene and caries experience (p = 0.083), and caries experience and number of times the child brushes the teeth (p = 0.086).
There’s a relation between caries experience and children’s oral health perception by caregivers, as well as between caries experience and children’s access to dental care. There is a trend towards association between caries experience and risk factors suggestive of neglect.
Neglect; Oral health; Maternal behavior
Growth is an essential outcome measure for evaluating the safety of any new ingredients, including probiotics, added to infant formulae. The aim of this systematic review was to determine the effects of supplementation of infant formulae with Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 (B lactis) and/or Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) compared with unsupplemented formula on the growth of healthy infants.
The MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases were searched in June 2013 for relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted in healthy term infants. Unpublished data were obtained from the manufacturer of B lactis-supplemented formula. The primary outcome measures were weight, length, and head circumference.
Nine eligible trials were identified. Compared with unsupplemented controls, supplementation of infant formula with B lactis had no effect on weight gain [4 RCTs, n = 266, mean difference (MD) 0.96 g/day, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.70 to 2.63)], length gain (4 RCTs, n = 261, MD −0.39 mm/month, 95% CI −1.32 to 0.53), or head circumference gain (3 RCTs, n = 207, MD 0.56 mm/month, 95% CI −0.17 to 1.30). Data limited to one small (n = 105) trial suggest that infants who received standard infant formula supplemented with LGG grew significantly better. No such effect was observed in infants fed hydrolyzed formula supplemented with LGG.
Supplementation of infant formula with B lactis results in growth similar to what is found in infants fed unsupplemented formula. Limited data do not allow one to reach a conclusion regarding the effect of LGG supplementation on infant growth.
Feeding; Growth; Probiotics; Infants; Children
Recent studies on Vietnamese children have shown that kidney diseases are not detected early enough to prevent chronic renal failure. The dipstick test is a simple and useful tool for detecting urinary abnormalities, especially in isolated or remote areas of Vietnam, where children have limited access to health care.
This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2011 at seven kindergartens in Can Gio district, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Two thousand and twelve children, aged 3 to 5, were enrolled. Morning mid-stream urine samples were examined by dipstick. Children with abnormal findings were re-examined with a second dipstick and underwent further investigations.
Urinalysis was available for 1,032 boys and 980 girls. Mean age was 4.4 ± 0.8 years. Urinary abnormalities were detected in 108 (5.5%) of the subjects. Among them, nitrituria and leucocyturia accounted for more than 50%. Positive fractions of proteinuria, hematuria, nitrituria, leucocyturia, and combined nitrituria and leucocyturia after two dipsticks were 0.1%, 0.1%, 2%, 1% and 0.3%, respectively. Abnormal findings were more common in girls than boys (p < 0.001), and higher in communes with very low (< 50 persons/km2) population density (14.3% vs 4.1%, p < 0.001). A renal ultrasound detected four cases of hydronephrosis and one case of duplication of ureter.
The prevalence of urinary abnormalities in asymptomatic children in South Vietnam demonstrates the need for hygiene education among parents. Training for dipstick usage for all medical staff at health stations, especially in remote areas and in places with very low population density, is also clearly necessary. Routine urinalysis can be set up if a close control is conducted at locations.
Chronic kidney disease; Dipstick; Urinary screening; Can Gio; Vietnam
Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita is an etiopathogenetically heterogeneous disorder characterised by non-progressive multiple intra-articular contractures, which can be recognised at birth. The frequency is estimated at 1 in 3,000 newborns. Etiopathogenesis of arthrogryposis is multifactorial.
We report first 26 weeks of life of a boy with severe arthrogryposis. Owing to the integrated rehabilitation approach and orthopaedic treatment a visible improvement in the range of motion as well as the functionality of the child was achieved. This article proposes a cooperation of various specialists: paediatrician, orthopaedist, specialist of medical rehabilitation and physiotherapist.
Rehabilitation of a child with arthrogryposis should be early, comprehensive and multidisciplinary. Corrective treatment of knee and hip joints in infants with arthrogryposis should be preceded by the ultrasound control. There are no reports in the literature on the ultrasound imaging techniques which can be used prior to the planned orthopaedic and rehabilitative treatment in infants with arthrogryposis. The experience of our team indicates that such an approach allows to minimise the diagnostic errors and to maintain an effective treatment without the risk of joint destabilisation.
Infant; Arthrogryposis; Rehabilitation
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) epidemic has adversely affected the nutritional status and mortality of children in Africa. This study assessed the disease burden, predictive clinical features and outcomes for children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and concomitant HIV infection.
This was a cross-sectional prospective study of children with SAM aged between 3 months and 13 years admitted to the nutritional rehabilitation unit (NRU) of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital. Socio-demographic, anthropometric and clinical data were documented and HIV serostatus established with 2 rapid HIV antibody tests and Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, if indicated. HIV viral polymerase chain reaction testing was not available at the time of the study. Logistic regression analyses were used to identify significant clinical predictors of HIV seropositivity.
Sixty-seven (27.2%, 95% CI = 21.8-33.3%) of the 246 study children had positive HIV antibody results. Uptake of provider-initiated HIV testing and counselling was 100%. Amongst children aged 18 months and over, the HIV seroprevalence was 28.3% (30/106). HIV seropositivity was strongly associated with prolonged fever, cough and diarrhoea; oral thrush, generalised lymphadenopathy and pulmonary tuberculosis (p value < 0.001 for all parameters). The presence of ≥ 3 of the first 5 aforementioned parameters was highly specific (98.3-100%) for HIV seropositivity in study children. HIV seropositivity was also significantly associated with cough, vomiting, lethargy/altered consciousness, skin rash and hepatomegaly (p value < 0.05 for all parameters). Overall mortality rate was 17.5%, with HIV seropositive children having a significantly higher mortality rate (37.8% versus 10.1%; p value < 0.001) and a lower rate of weight gain (2.4 g/kg/day versus 7.0 g/kg/day; p value < 0.001).
HIV testing was well accepted by parents/carers and should be offered in all NRUs. There was a high HIV seroprevalence among children with SAM and a significantly poorer outcome in mortality and weight gain. Some clinical features were identified to be predictive of HIV seropositivity and could be useful as indicators to prompt further investigation and/or referral in resource limited settings where HIV test kits are unavailable. This would aid in the early detection and comprehensive management of the HIV seropositive child with SAM.
Malnutrition; HIV; AIDS; SAM; PITC
Skin-to-skin contact (SSC) between mother and infant, commonly referred to as Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), is recommended as an intervention for procedural pain. Evidence demonstrates its consistent efficacy in reducing pain for a single painful procedure. The purpose of this study is to examine the sustained efficacy of KMC, provided during all routine painful procedures for the duration of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) hospitalization, in diminishing behavioral pain response in preterm neonates. The efficacy of KMC alone will be compared to standard care of 24% oral sucrose, as well as the combination of KMC and 24% oral sucrose.
Infants admitted to the NICU who are less than 36 6/7 weeks gestational age (according to early ultrasound), that are stable enough to be held in KMC, will be considered eligible (N = 258). Using a single-blinded randomized parallel group design, participants will be assigned to one of three possible interventions: 1) KMC, 2) combined KMC and sucrose, and 3) sucrose alone, when they undergo any routine painful procedure (heel lance, venipuncture, intravenous, oro/nasogastric insertion). The primary outcome is infant’s pain intensity, which will be assessed using the Premature Infant Pain Profile (PIPP). The secondary outcome will be maturity of neurobehavioral functioning, as measured by the Neurobehavioral Assessment of the Preterm Infant (NAPI). Gestational age, cumulative exposure to KMC provided during non-pain contexts, and maternal cortisol levels will be considered in the analysis. Clinical feasibility will be accounted for from nurse and maternal questionnaires.
This will be the first study to examine the repeated use of KMC for managing procedural pain in preterm neonates. It is also the first to compare KMC to sucrose, or the interventions in combination, across time. Based on the theoretical framework of the brain opioid theory of attachment, it is expected that KMC will be a preferred standard of care. However, current pain management guidelines are based on minimal data on repeated use of either intervention. Therefore, regardless of the outcomes of this study, results will have important implications for guidelines and practices related to management of procedural pain in preterm infants.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01561547.
Neonatal pain; Skin-to-skin contact; Kangaroo Mother Care; Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; Preterm neonates; Sucrose; Randomized controlled trial
In the United States, influenza vaccination is recommended for all children 6 months and older; however, vaccination rates are below target levels. A broad sample of U.S. pediatric offices was assessed to determine factors that influence in-office influenza vaccination rates.
Offices (N = 174) were recruited to participate in an observational study over three influenza seasons (2008–2009, 2009–2010, 2010–2011). Only data from the first year of an office’s participation in the study were used. Associations of coverage and 2-dose compliance rates with office characteristics and selected vaccination activities were examined using univariate regression analyses and linear regression analyses using office characteristics identified a priori and vaccination activities with P values ≤0.10 in univariate analyses.
Influenza vaccination coverage for children 6 months to 18 years of age averaged 25.2% (range: 2.0%–69.1%) and 2-dose compliance for children <9 years of age averaged 53.4% (range: 5.4%–96.2%). Factors associated with increased coverage were non-rural site (P = 0.025), smaller office size (fewer than 5000 patients; P < 0.001), use of evening and weekend hours to offer influenza vaccine (P = 0.004), a longer vaccination period (P = 0.014), and a greater influenza vaccine coverage rate among office staff (P = 0.012). Increased 2-dose compliance was associated with smaller office size (P = 0.001) and using patient reminders (P = 0.012) and negatively related to use of electronic provider reminders to vaccinate (P = 0.003).
To maximize influenza vaccine coverage and compliance, offices could offer the vaccine during evening and weekend hours, extend the duration of vaccine availability, encourage staff vaccination, and remind patients that influenza vaccination is due. Additional efforts may be required in large offices and those in rural locations.
Pediatrician; Seasonal influenza vaccine; Coverage; Compliance
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is known to present with a wide variety of clinical manifestations. Lymphadenopathy is frequently observed in children with SLE and may occasionally be the presenting feature. SLE presenting with granulomatous changes in lymph node biopsy is rare. These features may also cause diagnostic confusion with other causes of granulomatous lymphadenopathy.
We report 12 year-old female who presented with generalized lymphadenopathy associated with intermittent fever as well as weight loss for three years. She also had developed anasarca two years prior to presentation. On presentation, she had growth failure and delayed puberty. Lymph node biopsy revealed granulomatous features. She developed a malar rash, arthritis and positive ANA antibodies over the course of next two months and showed WHO class II lupus nephritis on renal biopsy, which confirmed the final diagnosis of SLE. She was started on oral prednisolone and hydroxychloroquine with which her clinical condition improved, and she is currently much better under regular follow up.
Generalized lymphadenopathy may be the presenting feature of SLE and it may preceed the other symptoms of SLE by many years as illustrated by this patient. Granulomatous changes may rarely be seen in lupus lymphadenitis. Although uncommon, in children who present with generalized lymphadenopathy along with prolonged fever and constitutional symptoms, non-infectious causes like SLE should also be considered as a diagnostic possibility.
Granulomatous; Lymphadenopathy; SLE
Dystonic cerebral palsy is primarily caused by damage to the basal ganglia and central cortex. The daily care of these patients can be difficult due to dystonic movements. Intrathecal baclofen treatment is a potential treatment option for dystonia and has become common practice. Despite this widespread adoption, high quality evidence on the effects of intrathecal baclofen treatment on daily activities is lacking and prospective data are needed to judge the usefulness and indications for dystonic cerebral palsy. The primary aim of this study is to provide level one clinical evidence for the effects of intrathecal baclofen treatment on the level of activities and participation in dystonic cerebral palsy patients. Furthermore, we hope to identify clinical characteristics that will predict a beneficial effect of intrathecal baclofen in an individual patient.
A double blind placebo-controlled multi-center randomized clinical trial will be performed in 30 children with dystonic cerebral palsy. Patients aged between 4 and 25 years old with a confirmed diagnosis of dystonic cerebral palsy, Gross Motor Functioning Classification System level IV or V, with lesions in the cerebral white matter, basal ganglia or central cortex and who are eligible for intrathecal baclofen treatment will be included. Group A will receive three months of continuous intrathecal baclofen treatment and group B will receive three months of placebo treatment, both via an implanted pump. After this three month period, all patients will receive intrathecal baclofen treatment, with a follow-up after nine months. The primary outcome measurement will be the effect on activities of and participation in daily life measured by Goal Attainment Scaling. Secondary outcome measurements on the level of body functions include dystonia, spasticity, pain, comfort and sleep-related breathing disorders. Side effects will be monitored and we will study whether patient characteristics influence outcome.
The results of this study will provide data for evidence-based use of intrathecal baclofen in dystonic cerebral palsy.
Nederlands Trial Register,
Cerebral palsy; Dystonia; Dyskinesia; Goal attainment scaling; Intrathecal baclofen; Randomized controlled trial
Adolescent girls are one of the most sedentary demographic groups. A better understanding of their accumulation of sedentary time is needed to inform future interventions. The purpose of this study was to examine the longitudinal levels and bouts of objectively measured sedentary time accumulated during different days of the week and periods of the weekday among a large sample of adolescent girls.
The results are based on 655 adolescent girls from the Girls in Sport Intervention and Research Project. Levels and bouts of sedentary time were derived from accelerometer data collected at baseline and 18-month follow-up. Total, weekday, weekend, school (i.e., morning bell to afternoon bell), after school (i.e., afternoon bell to 19:00), and evening (i.e. 19:01 to 23:59) sedentary time levels and bouts were calculated. Repeated-measures ANCOVAs were conducted to examine differences in sedentary time levels and bouts between days and time periods after adjusting for wear time, accelerometer model, and intervention group.
Cross-sectional analyses revealed that levels and bouts of sedentary time were higher on weekdays compared to weekend days at baseline. Similar trends were observed at follow-up. In addition, percentage of wear time spent sedentary and bouts/hr of sedentary time were highest in the evening compared to the school and after school periods at both baseline and follow-up. Longitudinal analyses revealed that levels and bouts of sedentary time were higher at follow-up compared to baseline across the different days of the week and periods of the weekday examined, with the biggest increase (15%) occurring in the school period.
Future interventions targeting sedentary time among adolescent girls should consider developing strategies to reduce and break up prolonged sedentary time during the school day and in the evening.
Sedentary time; Patterns; Adolescents; Girls
Strategies for combating increasing childhood obesity is called for. School settings have been pointed out as potentially effective settings for prevention. The objective of this paper was to evaluate the effect of four additional Physical Education (PE) lessons/week in primary schools on body composition and weight status in children aged 8–13.
Children attending 2nd to 4th grade (n = 632) in 10 public schools, 6 intervention and 4 control schools, participated in this longitudinal study during 2 school years. Outcome measures: Primary: Body Mass Index (BMI) and Total Body Fat percentage (TBF%) derived from Dual Energy X ray Absorptiometry (DXA). Secondary: the moderating effect of overweight/obesity (OW/OB) and adiposity based on TBF% cut offs for gender.
Intervention effect on BMI and TBF% (BMI: β -0.14, 95% CI: -0.33; 0.04, TBF%: β -0.08, 95% CI:-0.65;0.49) was shown insignificant. However, we found significant beneficial intervention effect on prevalence of OW/OB based on BMI (OR 0.29, 95% CI: 0.11;0.72). The intervention effect on adiposity based on TBF% cut offs was borderline significant (OR 0.64, 95% CI:0. 39; 1.05).
Four additional PE lessons/week at school can significantly improve the prevalence of OW/OB in primary schoolchildren. Mean BMI and TBF% improved in intervention schools, but the difference with controls was not significant. The intervention had a larger effect in children who were OW/OB or adipose at baseline.
School-based intervention; BMI; DXA; Total body fat percentage; Children; Obesity prevention; Longitudinal study
The project proposes three innovative intervention techniques (treadmill training, mobility training with virtual reality and transcranial direct current stimulation that can be safely administered to children with cerebral palsy. The combination of transcranial stimulation and physical therapy resources will provide the training of a specific task with multiple rhythmic repetitions of the phases of the gait cycle, providing rich sensory stimuli with a modified excitability threshold of the primary motor cortex to enhance local synaptic efficacy and potentiate motor learning.
A prospective, double-blind, randomized, controlled, analytical, clinical trial will be carried out.Eligible participants will be children with cerebral palsy classified on levels I, II and III of the Gross Motor Function Classification System between four and ten years of age. The participants will be randomly allocated to four groups: 1) gait training on a treadmill with placebo transcranial stimulation; 2) gait training on a treadmill with active transcranial stimulation; 3) mobility training with virtual reality and placebo transcranial stimulation; 4) mobility training with virtual reality and active transcranial stimulation. Transcranial direct current stimulation will be applied with the anodal electrode positioned in the region of the dominant hemisphere over C3, corresponding to the primary motor cortex, and the cathode positioned in the supraorbital region contralateral to the anode. A 1 mA current will be applied for 20 minutes. Treadmill training and mobility training with virtual reality will be performed in 30-minute sessions five times a week for two weeks (total of 10 sessions). Evaluations will be performed on four occasions: one week prior to the intervention; one week following the intervention; one month after the end of the intervention;and 3 months after the end of the intervention. The evaluations will involve three-dimensional gait analysis, analysis of cortex excitability (motor threshold and motor evoked potential), Six-Minute Walk Test, Timed Up-and-Go Test, Pediatric Evaluation Disability Inventory, Gross Motor Function Measure, Berg Balance Scale, stabilometry, maximum respiratory pressure and an effort test.
This paper offers a detailed description of a prospective, double-blind, randomized, controlled, analytical, clinical trial aimed at demonstrating the effect combining transcranial stimulation with treadmill and mobility training on functionality and primary cortex excitability in children with Cerebral Palsy classified on Gross Motor Function Classification System levels I, II and III. The results will be published and will contribute to evidence regarding the use of treadmill training on this population.
Cerebral palsy; Child; Physiotherapy; Cerebral cortex; Electrical stimulation
Surfactant therapy is one of the few treatments that have dramatically changed clinical practice in neonatology. In addition to respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), surfactant deficiency is observed in many other clinical situations in term and preterm infants, raising several questions regarding the use of surfactant therapy.
This review focuses on several points of interest, including some controversial or confusing topics being faced by clinicians together with emerging or innovative concepts and techniques, according to the state of the art and the published literature as of 2013. Surfactant therapy has primarily focused on RDS in the preterm newborn. However, whether this treatment would be of benefit to a more heterogeneous population of infants with lung diseases other than RDS needs to be determined. Early trials have highlighted the benefits of prophylactic surfactant administration to newborns judged to be at risk of developing RDS. In preterm newborns that have undergone prenatal lung maturation with steroids and early treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), the criteria for surfactant administration, including the optimal time and the severity of RDS, are still under discussion. Tracheal intubation is no longer systematically done for surfactant administration to newborns. Alternative modes of surfactant administration, including minimally-invasive and aerosolized delivery, could thus allow this treatment to be used in cases of RDS in unstable preterm newborns, in whom the tracheal intubation procedure still poses an ethical and medical challenge.
The optimization of the uses and methods of surfactant administration will be one of the most important challenges in neonatal intensive care in the years to come.
Surfactant; Neonate; Respiratory distress; Developing lung; Critical care; Review
Hospital clowns, also known as clown doctors, can help paediatric patients with the stress of a hospitalization and to circumvent the accompanying feelings of fear, helplessness and sadness, thus supporting the healing process. The objectives of the present study were to clarify the structural and procedural conditions of paediatric clowning in Germany and to document the evaluations of hospital clowns, parents and hospital staff.
A nationwide online survey of hospital clowns currently active in paediatric departments and an accompanying field evaluation in Hamburg hospitals with surveys of parents and hospital staff were conducted. In addition to items developed specifically for the study regarding general conditions, procedures, assessments of effects and attitudes, the Work Satisfaction Scale was used. The sample included n = 87 hospital clowns, 37 parents and 43 hospital staff members.
The online survey showed that the hospital clowns are well-trained, motivated and generally satisfied with their work. By their own estimate, they primarily boost morale and promote imagination in the patients. However, hospital clowns also desire better interdisciplinary collaboration and financial security as well as more recognition of their work. The Hamburg field study confirmed the positive results of the clown survey. According to the data, a clown intervention boosts morale and reduces stress in the patients. Moreover, there are practically no side effects. Both parents and hospital staff stated that the patients as well as they themselves benefited from the intervention.
The results match those of previous studies and give a very positive picture of hospital clowning, so that its routine use and expansion thereof can be recommended. Furthermore, the intervention should be subject to the rules of evidence-based medicine like other medical treatments.
Humour; Hospital clowning; Paediatrics; Hospital treatment; Programme evaluation
Idiopathic intracranial hypertension is a condition typically characterised by headache, normal level of consciousness, papilloedema and raised cerebrospinal fluid pressure. Children often present with visual loss and atypical features of raised pressure, posing a diagnostic and management challenge. A range of renal disorders can predispose to developing this raised intracranial pressure syndrome. We present a case of severe visual failure in a child with nephrotic syndrome, with no headache when elevated pressure was proven. In nephrotic syndrome, visual failure related to elevated intracranial pressures without concurrent headache symptoms has not been reported previously.
We discuss a 5-year-old Caucasian girl with steroid sensitive nephrotic syndrome who went on to become a late non-responder and presented with intracranial hypertension. Following initial response to steroids, she had a relapse of her nephrotic syndrome; her proteinuria did not resolve on steroid treatment, requiring addition of cyclosporine therapy to manage her nephrotic syndrome. Three months following this, she presented with visual failure in the right eye with bilateral central scotoma and papilloedema. At the time of presentation of visual impairment, she was otherwise well, with no symptoms of a raised intracranial pressure syndrome or associated systemic illness. Medical management was initiated following confirmation of a raised intracranial pressure. Her intracranial pressure remained elevated requiring serial therapeutic lumbar punctures before some improvement in visual acuity was observed. Later in the clinical course, she presented with worsening of her visual impairment with further deterioration of the vision in the left eye, again associated with elevated intracranial pressure. An urgent surgical cerebrospinal fluid diversion procedure was performed. At review, three years after presentation our patient has severe visual impairment with no perception of light in her right eye and 6/36 Snellen acuity in the left secondary to optic atrophy.
Our case demonstrates the occurrence of intracranial hypertension in nephrotic syndrome, highlighting the atypical presentation of severe visual failure without concurrent headache at presentation. This demonstrates the management complexities and the need for clear guidelines for ophthalmological surveillance to aim to reduce permanent visual impairment.
Pseudotumour cerebri; Benign intracranial hypertension; Idiopathic intracranial hypertension; Optic atrophy; Papilloedema; Cyclosporine
Alveolar–capillary membrane leaks can increase the amount of surfactant protein B (SP-B) in the bloodstream. The purpose of this study was to measure the concentration of C-proSP-B, a SP-B precursor that includes C-terminal domains, in various body fluids of newborn infants and determine its dependence on gestational age.
C-pro-SPB was measured in amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood at birth, and in peripheral blood and urine on postnatal day 3 in 137 newborn infants with a median birth weight of 2015 g (range, 550–4475 g) and gestational age of 34 weeks (range, 23–42 weeks).
C-proSP-B levels differed more than 100-fold among samples. The levels (median; interquartile range) were highest in peripheral blood (655.6 ng/mL; 419.0-1467.0 ng/mL) and lowest in urine (3.08 ng/mL; 2.96-3.35 ng/mL). C-proSP-B levels in amniotic fluid (314.9 ng/mL; 192.7–603.6 ng/mL) were approximately half of those in peripheral blood. In cord blood C-proSP-B was slightly lower (589.1 ng/mL; 181.2-1129.0 ng/mL) compared with peripheral blood. C-proSP-B levels significantly increased in all the fluids sampled except urine with decreasing gestational age (p < 0.001).
This novel assay allows for the quantitative measurement of C-proSP-B in blood and amniotic fluid. The dependence of C-proSP-B on gestational age may hamper its use for the detection of alveolar leaks in preterm newborns.
C-proSP-B; Blood; Amniotic fluid; Urine; Immaturity; Preterm infants
Continuous surveillance for intussusception (IS) is important for monitoring the safety of second-generation rotavirus vaccines. The present study aimed to assess the incidence of IS in Singaporean children aged < 2 years.
This was a prospective, hospital-based, multi-center surveillance conducted in seven hospitals - two public hospitals and five private medical centers between May 2002 and June 2010 in Singapore. Diagnosis of IS (definite, probable, possible, suspected) was based on the case definition developed by the Brighton Collaboration. Children < 2 years of age who were diagnosed with IS were enrolled in this study. Incidence of IS was calculated per 100,000 child-year with its 95% confidence interval.
Of the 178 children enrolled, 167 children with definite IS cases were considered for final analyses; 11 were excluded (six diagnosed as probable IS and four diagnosed as suspected IS; one child’s parents withdrew consent). Mean age of children with definite IS was 11.6 ± 6 months; 67.7% were males. The overall incidence of IS was 28.9 (95% CI: 23.0–34.8) and 26.1 (95% CI: 22.2–30.0) per 100,000 child-year in children < 1 year and < 2 years of age, respectively. The majority of IS cases (20 [12.0%]) were reported in children aged 6 months. Most children (98.2% [164/167]) recovered, two (1.2%) children recovered with sequelae and one (0.6%) child died of septic shock.
The incidence of IS remained low and stable in Singaporean children aged < 2 years during the study period (May 2002 to June 2010).
Intussusception; Singapore; Hospital-based; Surveillance; Rotavirus vaccine
Recent research published in this journal highlighted the issue of the high content of aluminium in infant formulas. The expectation was that the findings would serve as a catalyst for manufacturers to address a significant problem of these, often necessary, components of infant nutrition. It is critically important that parents and other users have confidence in the safety of infant formulas and that they have reliable information to use in choosing a product with a lower content of aluminium. Herein, we have significantly extended the scope of the previous research and the aluminium content of 30 of the most widely available and often used infant formulas has been measured.
Both ready-to-drink milks and milk powders were subjected to microwave digestion in the presence of 15.8 M HNO3 and 30% w/v H2O2 and the aluminium content of the digests was measured by TH GFAAS.
Both ready-to-drink milks and milk powders were contaminated with aluminium. The concentration of aluminium across all milk products ranged from ca 100 to 430 μg/L. The concentration of aluminium in two soya-based milk products was 656 and 756 μg/L. The intake of aluminium from non-soya-based infant formulas varied from ca 100 to 300 μg per day. For soya-based milks it could be as high as 700 μg per day.
All 30 infant formulas were contaminated with aluminium. There was no clear evidence that subsequent to the problem of aluminium being highlighted in a previous publication in this journal that contamination had been addressed and reduced. It is the opinion of the authors that regulatory and other non-voluntary methods are now required to reduce the aluminium content of infant formulas and thereby protect infants from chronic exposure to dietary aluminium.
Puberty is a multifaceted developmental process that begins in late-childhood with a cascade of endocrine changes that ultimately lead to sexual maturation and reproductive capability. The transition through puberty is marked by an increased risk for the onset of a range of health problems, particularly those related to the control of behaviour and emotion. Early onset puberty is associated with a greater risk of cancers of the reproductive tract and cardiovascular disease. Previous studies have had methodological limitations and have tended to view puberty as a unitary process, with little distinction between adrenarche, gonadarche and linear growth. The Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study (CATS) aims to prospectively examine associations between the timing and stage of the different hormonally-mediated changes, as well as the onset and course of common health and behavioural problems that emerge in the transition from childhood to adolescence. The initial focus of CATS is on adrenarche, the first hormonal process in the pubertal cascade, which begins for most children at around 8 years of age.
CATS is a longitudinal population-based cohort study. All Grade 3 students (8–9 years of age) from a stratified cluster sample of schools in Melbourne, Australia were invited to take part. In total, 1239 students and a parent/guardian were recruited to participate in the study. Measures are repeated annually and comprise student, parent and teacher questionnaires, and student anthropometric measurements. A saliva sample was collected from students at baseline and will be repeated at later waves, with the primary purpose of measuring hormonal indices of adrenarche and gonadarche.
CATS is uniquely placed to capture biological and phenotypic indices of the pubertal process from its earliest manifestations, together with anthropometric measures and assessment of child health and development. The cohort will provide rich detail of the development, lifestyle, external circumstances and health of children during the transition from childhood through to adolescence. Baseline associations between the hormonal measures and measures of mental health and behaviour will initially be examined cross-sectionally, and then in later waves longitudinally. CATS will make a unique contribution to the understanding of adrenarche and puberty in children’s health and development.
Puberty; Hormones; Adrenarche; Gonadarche; Adolescent; Cohort studies; Public health; Protocol; Epidemiology
The key to a better understanding of the immense problem of spinal pain seems to be to investigate its development in adolescents. Based on the data of Spine Day 2012 (an annual action day where Swiss school children were examined by chiropractors on a voluntary basis for back problems), the aim of the present study was to gain systematic epidemiologic data on adolescent spinal pain in Switzerland and to explore risk factors per gender and per spinal area.
Data (questionnaires and physical examinations) of 836 school children were descriptively analyzed for prevalence, recurrence and severity of spinal pain. Of those, 434 data sets were included in risk factor analysis. Using logistic regression analysis, psycho-social parameters (presence of parental back pain, parental smoking, media consumption, type of school bag) and physical parameters (trunk symmetry, posture, mobility, coordination, BMI) were analyzed per gender and per spinal area.
Prevalence of spinal pain was higher for female gender in all areas apart from the neck. With age, a steep increase in prevalence was observed for low back pain (LBP) and for multiple pain sites. The increasing impact of spinal pain on quality of life with age was reflected in an increase in recurrence, but not in severity of spinal pain. Besides age and gender, parental back pain (Odds ratio (OR)=3.26, p=0.011) and trunk asymmetry (OR=3.36, p=0.027) emerged as risk factors for spinal pain in girls. Parental smoking seemed to increase the risk for both genders (boys: OR=2.39, p=0.020; girls: OR=2.19, p=0.051). Risk factor analysis per spinal area resulted in trunk asymmetry as risk factor for LBP (OR=3.15, p=0.015), while parental smoking increased the risk for thoracic spinal pain (TSP) (OR=2.83, p=0.036) and neck pain (OR=2.23, p=0.038). The risk for TSP was further enhanced by a higher BMI (OR=1.15, p=0.027).
This study supports the view of adolescent spinal pain as a bio-psycho-social problem that should be investigated per spinal area, age and gender. The role of trunk asymmetry and passive smoking as risk factors as well as the association between BMI and TSP should be further investigated, preferably in prospective studies.
Adolescence; Risk factor; Spinal pain
Well baby visits (WBVs) are a cornerstone of early childhood health, but few studies have examined the correlates of WBVs for socioeconomically vulnerable infants. The study objective was to identify factors related to the number of WBVs received by Medicaid-enrolled infants in the first three years of life and to present a preliminary explanatory model.
We analyzed Iowa Medicaid claims files and birth certificate data for infants born in calendar year 2000 (N = 6,085). The outcome measure was the number of well baby visits (WBVs) received by Medicaid-enrolled infants between age 1 and 41 months (range: 0 to 10). An ecological health model and existing literature were used to evaluate 12 observed factors as potential WBV correlates. We ran multiple variable linear regression models with robust standard errors (α = 0.05).
There were a number of infant, maternal, and health system factors associated with the number of WBVs received by Medicaid-enrolled infants. Infants whose mothers had a greater number of prenatal healthcare visits (ß = 0.24 to 0.28; P = .001) or were married (ß = 0.20; P = .002) received more WBVs. Having a chronic health condition (ß = 0.51; P < .0001) and enrollment in a case management program (ß = 0.48; P < .0001) were also positively associated with WBVs. Eligibility for Medicaid through the Supplemental Security Income Program (ß = −0.70; P = .001), increased maternal age (ß = −0.27 to −0.35; P = .004), higher levels of maternal education (ß = −0.18; P = .005), maternal smoking (ß = −0.13; P = .018), and enrollment in a health maintenance organization plan (ß = −1.15; P < .0001) were negatively associated with WBVs. There was a significant interaction between enrollment in a health maintenance organization plan and enrollment in a Medicaid case management program (P = .015). Maternal race, maternal alcohol use during pregnancy, and rurality were not significantly related to the number of WBVs.
Multiple infant, maternal, and health system variables were related to the number of WBVs received by Medicaid-enrolled infants. Additional research is needed to develop strategies to optimize access to WBVs for Medicaid-enrolled infants at risk for poor use of preventive medical care services.
The purpose of this study is to describe the behavioral changes in children resulting from Shape Up Somerville (SUS), a community-based, participatory obesity prevention intervention that used a multi-level, systems-based approach. It was set in Somerville, an urban, culturally diverse community in Massachusetts, USA.
This was a non-randomized, controlled 2-year community-based intervention trial with children enrolled in grades 1 to 3 (ages 6-8 years). Overall, the SUS intervention was designed to create environmental and policy change to impact all aspects of a child’s day. Pre-post outcomes were compared between Somerville and two control communities that were chosen based on socio-demographic similarities. Behavioral outcomes were fruit and vegetable and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption; number of organized sports and physical activities per year; walking to and from school; screen and television time; television in bedroom; and dinner in room with television on. These measures were assessed by parent/caregiver report using a 68-item Family Survey Form. Data were analyzed using multiple linear regression, accounting for covariates and clustering by community.
Intervention group children, compared to the control group, significantly reduced sugar-sweetened beverage consumption (-2.0 ounces per day; 95% CI -3.8 to -0.2), increased participation in organized sports and physical activities (0.20 sports or activities per year; 95% CI 0.06 to 0.33), and reduced their screen time (-0.24 hours per day; 95% CI -0.42 to -0.06).
Results of this study, particularly intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and screen time, are similar to others that used a multi-level approach to realize change in behavior. These results support the efficacy of a multi-level and systems-based approach for promoting the behavioral changes necessary for childhood obesity prevention. This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT00153322.
Eco-social model; Childhood obesity; Diet; Physical activity; Screen time