The paucity of data on resource use in critically ill patients with hematological malignancy and on these patients' perceived poor outcome can lead to uncertainty over the extent to which intensive care treatment is appropriate. The aim of the present study was to assess the amount of intensive care resources needed for, and the effect of treatment of, hemato-oncological patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) in comparison with a nononcological patient population with a similar degree of organ dysfunction.
A retrospective cohort study of 101 ICU admissions of 84 consecutive hemato-oncological patients and 3,808 ICU admissions of 3,478 nononcological patients over a period of 4 years was performed.
As assessed by Therapeutic Intervention Scoring System points, resource use was higher in hemato-oncological patients than in nononcological patients (median (interquartile range), 214 (102 to 642) versus 95 (54 to 224), P < 0.0001). Severity of disease at ICU admission was a less important predictor of ICU resource use than necessity for specific treatment modalities. Hemato-oncological patients and nononcological patients with similar admission Simplified Acute Physiology Score scores had the same ICU mortality. In hemato-oncological patients, improvement of organ function within the first 48 hours of the ICU stay was the best predictor of 28-day survival.
The presence of a hemato-oncological disease per se is associated with higher ICU resource use, but not with increased mortality. If withdrawal of treatment is considered, this decision should not be based on admission parameters but rather on the evolutional changes in organ dysfunctions.
Beliefs of caregivers about patient's pain have been shown to influence assessment and treatment of children's pain, now considered an essential part of cancer treatment. Painful procedures in hematology-oncology are frequently referred by children as the most painful experiences during illness. Aim of this study was to evaluate professionals' beliefs about painfulness of invasive procedures repeatedly performed in Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Units.
Physicians, nurses, psychologists and directors working in Hemato-Oncology Units of the Italian Association of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology (AIEOP) were involved in a wide-nation survey. The survey was based on an anonymous questionnaire investigating beliefs of operators about painfulness of invasive procedures (lumbar puncture, bone marrow aspirate and bone marrow biopsy) and level of pain management.
Twenty-four directors, 120 physicians, 248 nurses and 22 psychologists responded to the questionnaire. The score assigned to the procedural pain on a 0-10 scale was higher than 5 in 77% of the operators for lumbar puncture, 97.5% for bone marrow aspiration, and 99.5% for bone marrow biopsy. The scores assigned by nurses differed statistically from those of the physicians and directors for the pain caused by lumbar puncture and bone marrow aspiration. Measures adopted for procedural pain control were generally considered good.
Invasive diagnostic-therapeutic procedures performed in Italian Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Units are considered painful by all the caregivers involved. Pain management is generally considered good. Aprioristically opinions about pain depend on invasiveness of the procedure and on the professional role.
Acute lung injury (ALI) continues to carry a high mortality rate in children after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). Continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) is often used for these patients for various indications including renal failure and fluid overload, and may have a beneficial effect on oxygenation and survival. Therefore, we sought to determine the effect of CRRT on oxygenation in mechanically ventilated pediatric allogeneic HSCT patients with ALI, and to document survival to intensive care unit discharge in this at-risk population receiving both mechanical ventilation and CRRT.
Retrospective analysis of a pediatric allogeneic HSCT cohort admitted to intensive care unit of a single pediatric oncology center from 1994 to 2006 who received CRRT during a course of mechanical ventilation for ALI.
Thirty post-HSCT mechanically ventilated children with ALI who underwent CRRT were included. There was a significant improvement in PaO2/FiO2 with median increase of 31 and 43 in the 24 and 48 hour intervals after initiation of CRRT compared with the 24 hour interval before CRRT (p = 0.0008 and 0.0062, respectively). This improvement in PaO2/FiO2 correlated significantly with reduction of fluid balance achieved after initiation of CRRT (p=0.0001). There was a trend not reaching statistical significance in improvement in mean airway pressure 48 hours after CRRT in survivors compared to non-survivors.
CRRT improved oxygenation in mechanically ventilated pediatric allogeneic HSCT patients with ALI.
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Critically ill; Acute lung injury; Pediatrics; Renal replacement therapy; Oxygenation
Septic shock remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality among children, mainly due to acute hemodynamic compromise and multiple organ failures. In the last decade, international guidelines for the management of septic shock, as well as clinical practice parameters for hemodynamic support of pediatric patients, have been published. Early recognition and aggressive therapy of septic shock, by means of abundant fluid resuscitation, use of catecholamines and other adjuvant drugs, are widely considered of pivotal importance to improve the short and long-term outcome of these patients. The aim of this paper is to summarize the modern approach to septic shock in children, particularly in its very initial phase, when pediatric healthcare providers may be required to intervene in the pre-intensive care unit setting or just on admission in the pediatric intensive care unit.
septic shock; children.
Children that undergo treatment for cancer are at risk of suffering from subfertility or hormonal dysfunction due to the detrimental effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapeutic agents on the gonads. Cryopreservation of ovarian tissue prior to treatment offers the possibility of restoring gonadal function after resumption of therapy. Effective counseling and management of pediatric patients is crucial for preserving their future reproductive potential. The purpose of this article is to review recent literature and to revise recommendations we made in a 2007 article. Pediatric hemato-oncology, reproductive endocrinology, surgery, anesthesia and bioethics perspectives are discussed and integrated to propose guidelines for offering ovarian cryopreservation to premenarcheal girls with cancer.
Recent advances in supportive care and progress in the development and use of chemotherapy have considerably improved the prognosis of many children with malignancy, thus the need for intensive care admission and management is increasing, reaching about 40% of patients throughout the disease course. Cancer remains a major death cause in children, though outcomes have considerably improved over the past decades. Prediction of outcome for children with cancer in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) obviously requires clinical guidelines, and these are not well defined, as well as admission criteria. Major determinants of negative outcomes remain severe sepsis/septic shock association and respiratory failure, deserving specific approach in children with cancer, particularly those receiving a bone marrow transplantation. A nationwide consensus should be achieved among pediatric intensivists and oncologists regarding the threshold clinical conditions requiring Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission as well as specific critical care protocols. As demonstrated for the critically ill non-oncologic child, it appears unreasonable that pediatric patients with malignancy can be admitted to an adult Intensive Care Unit ICU. On a national basis a pool of refecence institutions should be identified and early referral to an oncologic PICU is warranted.
intensive care; malignancy; Pediatric Intensive Care Unit admission criteria; children; critically ill.
To establish disease severity at admission can be performed by way of the mortality prognostic. Nowadays the prognostic scores make part of quality control and research. The Pediatric Risk of Mortality (PRISM) is one of the scores used in the pediatric intensive care units.
The purpose of this study is the utilization of the PRISM and determination of mortality risk factors in a tertiary pediatric intensive care unit.
: Retrospective cohort study, in a period of one year, at a general tertiary pediatric intensive care unit. The pediatric risk of mortality scores corresponding to the first 24 hours of hospitalization were recorded; additional data were collected to characterize the study population.
359 patients were included; the variables that were found to be risk factors for death were multiple organ dysfunction syndrome on admission, mechanical ventilation, use of vasoactive drugs, hospital‐acquired infection, parenteral nutrition and duration of hospitalization (p < 0,0001). Fifty‐four patients (15%) died; median pediatric risk of mortality score was significantly lower in patients who survived (p = 0,0001). The ROC curve yielded a value of 0.76 (CI 95% 0,69–0,83) and the calibration was shown to be adequate.
It is imperative for pediatric intensive care units to implement strict quality controls to identify groups at risk of death and to ensure the adequacy of treatment. Although some authors have shown that the PRISM score overestimates mortality and that it is not appropriate in specific pediatric populations, in this study pediatric risk of mortality showed satisfactory discriminatory performance in differentiating between survivors and non‐survivors.
The pediatric risk of mortality score showed adequate discriminatory capacity and thus constitutes a useful tool for the assessment of prognosis for pediatric patients admitted to a tertiary pediatric intensive care units.
Quality of care; Prognostic scores; Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome; Critical care; Mortality rate
The aim of this study was to investigate the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis antibody titers after antineoplastic treatment and to suggest an appropriate vaccination approach for pediatric hemato-oncologic patients. A total of 146 children with either malignancy in remission after cessation of therapy or bone marrow failure were recruited. All children had received routine immunization including diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccination before diagnosis of cancer. The serologic immunity to diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis was classified as: completely protective, partially protective, or non-protective. Non-protective serum antibody titer for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis was detected in 6.2%, 11.6%, and 62.3% of patients, respectively, and partial protective serum antibody titer for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis was seen in 37%, 28.1%, and 8.9% of patients. There was no significant correlation between the severity of immune defect and age, gender or underlying disease. Revaccination after antineoplastic therapy showed significantly higher levels of antibody for each vaccine antigen. Our data indicates that a large proportion of children lacked protective serum concentrations of antibodies against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. This suggests that reimmunization of these patients is necessary after completion of antineoplastic treatment. Also, prospective studies should be undertaken with the aim of devising a common strategy of revaccination.
Serologic Immunity; Immunocompromised Children; Diphtheria; Tetanus; Pertussis; Vaccination
Mortality rate of patients admitted to Intensive Care Units is a widely adopted outcome indicator. Because of large case-mix variability, comparisons of mortality rates must be adjusted for the severity of patient illness at admission. The Pediatric Index of Mortality 2 (PIM-2) has been widely adopted as a tool for adjusting mortality rate by patients’ case mix. The objective of this study was to assess the performance of PIM-2 in children admitted to intensive care units after cardiac surgery, other surgery, or for other reasons.
This was a prospective cohort study, conducted in a 607 inpatient-bed tertiary-care pediatric hospital in Italy, with three pediatric intensive care Units (PICUs) and one cardiac Unit (CICU). In 2009–11, all consecutive admissions to PICUs/CICU of children aged 0–16 years were included in the study. Discrimination and calibration measures were computed to assess PIM-2 performance. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to assess the association of patients’ main reason for intensive care admission (cardiac-surgical, other-surgical, medical), age, Unit and year with observed mortality, adjusting for PIM-2 score.
PIM-2 data collection was completed for 91.2% of total PICUs/CICU patient admissions (2912), and for 94.8% of patients who died in PICUs/CICU (129). Overall observed mortality was 4.4% (95% CI, 3.7-5.2), compared to 6.4% (95% CI, 5.5-7.3) expected mortality. Standardised mortality ratio was 0.7 (95% CI: 0.6-0.8). PIM-2 discrimination was fair (area under the curve, 0.79; 95% CI: 0.75-0.83). Calibration was less satisfactory, mainly because of the over two-fold overprediction of deaths in the highest risk group (114.7 vs 53; p < 0.001), and particularly in cardiac-surgical patients. Multivariable logistic analysis showed that risk of death was significantly reduced in cardiac-surgical patients and in those aged 1 month to 12 years, independently from PIM-2.
The children age distribution and the proportion of cardiac-surgical patients should be taken into account when interpreting SMRs estimated using the PIM-2 prediction model in different Units. A new calibration study of PIM-2 score might be needed, and more appropriate cardiac-focused risk-adjustment models should be developed. The role of age on risk of death needs to be further explored.
Critical care; Risk adjustment; Mortality pediatric index of mortality; Cardiac surgery, Pediatrics; Quality indicators
AIMS—To determine the extent of
futile care provided to critically ill children admitted to a
paediatric intensive care setting.
METHODS—Prospective evaluation of
consecutive admissions to a 20 bedded multidisciplinary paediatric
intensive care unit of a North London teaching hospital over a nine
month period. Three previously defined criteria for futility were used:
(1) imminent demise futility (those with a mortality risk greater than
90% using the Paediatric Risk of Mortality (PRISM II) score); (2)
lethal condition futility (those with conditions incompatible with long
term survival); and (3) qualitative futility (those with unacceptable
quality of life and high morbidity).
RESULTS—A total of 662 children
accounting for 3409 patient bed days were studied. Thirty four patients
fulfilled at least one of the criteria for futility, and used a total
of 104 bed days (3%). Only 33 (0.9%) bed days were used by patients
with mortality risk greater than 90%, 60 (1.8%) by patients with poor
long term prognosis, and 16 (0.5%) by those with poor quality of life.
Nineteen of 34 patients died; withdrawal of treatment was the mode of
death in 15 (79%).
initiatives focusing on futility in the paediatric intensive care unit
setting are unlikely to be successful as only relatively small amounts
of resources were used in providing futile care. Paediatricians are
recognising futility early and may have taken ethically appropriate
measures to limit care that is futile.
We have conducted a retrospective study of deaths on a paediatric medical intensive care unit over a two-year period and reviewed similar series from outside the UK. There were 89 deaths out of 651 admission (13.7% mortality). In almost two-thirds of the cases death occurred with a decision to limit medical treatment or withdraw mechanical ventilation, implying that additional or further therapy was considered futile. We highlight this as a crucially important issue in the practice of intensive care. More comprehensive studies are needed to help clinicians derive consensus on what constitutes a futile intervention, and therefore when such an intervention should be withheld. This will help families and society better understand the limitations of intensive care.
Status asthmaticus continues to be significant cause of intensive care admission, morbidity, and mortality in pediatric populations. Furthermore, despite improved outpatient management and broader use of controller medications, patients with severe status asthmaticus account for a notable proportion of these admissions. There is variability in management and outcomes between institutions; however, early and aggressive management to avoid respiratory failure is paramount. In those patients who progress to develop severe respiratory failure, extracorporeal life support (ECLS) can be a life-saving therapy. Here, we briefly overview the use of ECLS for status asthmaticus, as reported through the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization, including the specific institutional experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, and consider how earlier initiation of ECLS may benefit patients with severe status asthmaticus refractory to conventional medical therapy.
Although numerous studies have linked extremes of weight with poor outcome in adult intensive care patients, the effect of weight on intensive care outcome has not previously been reported in the pediatric population. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between admission weight centile and risk-adjusted mortality in pediatric intensive care patients.
Data were collected on 6337 consecutively admitted patients over an 8.5 year period in a 15 bed pediatric intensive care unit (ICU) located in a university-affiliated tertiary referral children's hospital. A weight centile variable was entered into a multivariate logistic regression model that included all other pediatric index of mortality (PIM-2) variables, in order to determine whether weight centile was an independent risk factor for mortality.
Weight centile was associated with mortality in both univariate and multivariate analysis, with the lowest mortality being associated with weights on the 75th centile and increasing symmetrically around this nadir. A transformed weight centile variable (absolute value of weight centile-75) was independently associated with mortality (odds ratio 1.02, P = 0.000) when entered into a multivariate logistic regression model that included the PIM-2 variables.
In this single-center cohort, weight centile was an independent risk factor for mortality in the ICU, with mortality increasing for patients at either end of the weight spectrum. These observations suggest that the accuracy of mortality prediction algorithms may be improved by inclusion of weight centile in the models. A prospective multicenter study should be undertaken to confirm our findings.
To estimate the prevalence of chronic conditions among children admitted to U.S. pediatric intensive care units (PICU) and to assess whether patients with complex chronic conditions (CCC) experience PICU mortality and prolonged LOS risk beyond that predicted by commonly-used severity-of-illness risk-adjustment models.
DESIGN, SETTING, & PATIENTS
Retrospective cohort analysis of 52,791 pediatric admissions to 54 U.S. PICUs that participated in the Virtual Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Performance System (VPS) database in 2008.
Hierarchical logistic regression models, clustered by PICU site, for PICU mortality and length of stay (LOS) > 15 days. Standardized mortality ratios (SMR) adjusted for severity-of-illness score alone and with CCC.
Fifty-three percent of PICU admissions had a CCC, 18.5% had a non-complex chronic conditions (NCCC). The prevalence of these conditions and their organ system subcategories varied considerably across sites. The majority of CCC subcategories were associated with significantly greater odds of PICU mortality (odds ratios [OR] 1.25–2.9, all P values <0.02) compared to having a non-complex chronic condition (NCCC) or no chronic condition, after controlling for age, gender, trauma, and severity-of-illness. Only respiratory, gastrointestinal, and rheumatologic/orthopedic/psychiatric CCC were not associated with increased odds of PICU mortality. All subcategories were significantly associated with prolonged LOS. All NCCC subcategories were either not associated or negatively associated with PICU mortality, and most were not associated with prolonged LOS, compared to having no chronic conditions. Among this group of PICUs, adding CCCs to risk-adjustment models led to greater model accuracy but did not substantially change unit-level SMRs.
Children with CCC were at greater risk for PICU mortality and prolonged LOS than those with no chronic conditions, but the magnitude of risk varied across subcategories. Inclusion of CCCs into models of PICU mortality improved model accuracy but had little impact on SMRs.
Child; Intensive Care Units, Pediatric; Mortality; Length of Stay; Chronic Disease; Risk Adjustment
Unbiased, objective evaluations of quality of care are preferred over subjective evaluations. We observed 681 admissions to a pediatric intensive care unit of a community hospital from 1989 through 1990 for outcomes and physiologic profiles of the patients on the admission day using the Pediatric Risk of Mortality score to assess severity of illness. Mortality adjusted for severity of illness was compared with that predicted from a pediatric intensive care unit of a tertiary medical center: 32.6 deaths were predicted based on the physiologic profiles, and 23 occurred. The number of outcomes and their distribution according to mortality risk indicated close agreement between observed and predicted results. Thus, a quality-assurance technique developed in tertiary care centers can be used to indicate a comparable level of care in a community hospital.
The role of initial serum uric acid on admission in critically ill patients is controversial; we presumed that uric acid level can predict the mortality of the admitted patients to intensive care unit as a simple test.
Totally, 220 consecutively admitted children (96 girls, 124 boys) with mean age 3.5 years, who were at least 24 hours in pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), were enrolled in a prospective cohort study during January 2006 to December 2007. The subsequent PICU admission in the same hospitalization, those who were discharged from the hospital and then re-admitted to the PICU during the observation period, and the patients with chronic renal failure were excluded. Serum uric acid level was measured during the first day of PICU admission. Death or transfer from PICU was considered as final outcome. The statistical analysis was done by using linear regression analysis, ROC curve, Student t-test, and Chi- square. P value less than 0.05 was considered significant.
From 44 patients who had serum uric acid level more than 8 mg/dl, 17 cases died showing with a higher relative risk of 1.88, higher mortality (P<0.05). The relative risk of death in patients who had serum uric acid >8 mg/dl and needed vasopressor was 1.04, and in those under mechanical ventilation 1.33. In patients who scored pediatric risk of mortality of >38 it was 1.4, and in septic cases 4 (P<0.05). Stepwise linear regression analysis showed that mainly the need for mechanical ventilation (P=0.001) and vasopressor had statistically significant correlation with the poor outcome (P=0.001).
Uric acid level during the first day of intensive critical care admission is not an independent risk of mortality in PICU. Need for mechanical ventilation or inotropic agents was associated with poor outcome and only higher uric acid level in sepsis played an additive risk factor role.
Uric Acid; Mortality; Intensive care; Death; Pediatrics; Sepsis; Hyperuricemia
To examine the practice of potassium chloride (KCl) replacement in pediatric oncology patients receiving amphotericin B (amp-B).
A retrospective observational chart review was conducted of patients who received amp-B on the oncology unit between August 2000 and May 2001. A survey was distributed to
pediatric oncology pharmacists at other pediatric institutions to assess KCl infusion guidelines across North America.
Twenty hypokalemic episodes were identified within 22 patient admissions. Fifty-five percent used KCl replacement (by all combined routes) at rates exceeding the institution's guidelines. Other pediatric institutions varied with respect to the maximum rates and concentration of KCl permitted on non-intensive care units.
Based on the data from this review, the KCl administration guidelines for our hospital were changed. We now allow a maximum peripheral line concentration of 60 mEq/L, a maximum central line concentration of 120 mEq/L and a maximum KCl infusion rate of 0.4 mEq/kg/hr without the requirement of a heart monitor. Parenteral Nutrition is now restricted to maximum potassium concentration of 80 mEq/L and fluid-restricted patients are restricted to a maximum concentration of 150 mEq/L.
Background and Aims:
Studies carried out in different countries have shown that source of patient admission in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) is associated to death. Patients admitted from wards show a greater ICU mortality. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between admission source and outcome in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
Materials and Methods:
We studied all PICU admissions that took place between January 2002 and December 2005 in a tertiary hospital in Brazil. The major outcome studied was death while in the PICU. The independent variable analyzed was admission source, defined either as pediatric emergency room (PER), wards, operating room (OR) of the same hospital or other sources.
A total of 1823 admissions were studied. The overall expected mortality based on the Pediatric Index of Mortality 2 was 6.5% and the observed mortality was 10.3%. In adjusted analysis, the mortality was doubled in patients admitted from wards when compared with the PER patients.
Observed mortality rates were higher in patients admitted from wards within the same hospital, even after adjustment.
Child; intensive care units; mortality; patient admission; pediatric
The aim was to investigate the prevalence of endotoxemia in children admitted to pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), and its association with disease severity and outcome.
We conducted a prospective, observational cohort study of children admitted to PICU at St. Mary's Hospital, London over a 6-month period. One hundred consecutive patients were recruited. Demographic and clinical data were collected. Severity of illness was assessed by the pediatric index of mortality 2 (PIM2) score. The pediatric logistic organ dysfunction (PELOD) score was performed daily for the first 4 days. Patients were categorized according to primary reason for PICU admission. Blood samples were taken within 24 hours of admission and endotoxemia was measured using the endotoxin activity assay (EAA). Patients were stratified according to EAA level (high, EAA > 0.4, low, EAA < 0.4) and categorized as septic, post-surgical, respiratory or other. Data were analyzed using appropriate non-parametric tests.
EAA level was significantly lower in PICU controls versus other PICU admissions (P = 0.01). Fifty-five children had endotoxemia on admission. Forty-one (75%) of these were eventually diagnosed with an infectious cause of admission. Nine children without infection had elevated EAA on admission. An infectious cause of admission was significantly associated with endotoxemia (P < 0.005). Of 15 children with gram-negative infection, only 9 (60%) had endotoxemia on admission. Endotoxemia on admission was not associated with shock or death. However, there was a tendency for increased PELOD score and length of stay in endotoxemic children.
Endotoxemia is common in children admitted to intensive care. Understanding the implications of endotoxemia and potential anti-endotoxin strategies may have the potential to reduce severity of illness and length of PICU stay in critically ill children.
To examine factors influencing the adequacy of energy and protein intake in the pediatric intensive care unit and to describe their relationship to clinical outcomes in mechanically ventilated children.
Design, Setting, Patients
We conducted an international prospective cohort study of consecutive children (ages 1 month to 18 yrs) requiring mechanical ventilation longer than 48 hrs in the pediatric intensive care unit. Nutritional practices were recorded during the pediatric intensive care unit stay for a maximum of 10 days, and patients were followed up for 60 days or until hospital discharge. Multivariate analysis, accounting for pediatric intensive care unit clustering and important confounding variables, was used to examine the impact of nutritional variables and pediatric intensive care unit characteristics on 60-day mortality and the prevalence of acquired infections.
31 pediatric intensive care units in academic hospitals in eight countries participated in this study. Five hundred patients with mean (sd) age 4.5 (5.1) yrs were enrolled and included in the analysis. Mortality at 60 days was 8.4%, and 107 of 500 (22%) patients acquired at least one infection during their pediatric intensive care unit stay. Over 30% of patients had severe malnutrition on admission, with body mass index z-score >2 (13.2%) or <−2 (17.1%) on admission. Mean prescribed goals for daily energy and protein intake were 64 kcals/kg and 1.7 g/kg respectively. Enteral nutrition was used in 67% of the patients and was initiated within 48 hrs of admission in the majority of patients. Enteral nutrition was subsequently interrupted on average for at least 2 days in 357 of 500 (71%) patients. Mean (sd) percentage daily nutritional intake (enteral nutrition) compared to prescribed goals was 38% (34) for energy and 43% (44) for protein. A higher percentage of goal energy intake via enteral nutrition route was significantly associated with lower 60-day mortality (Odds ratio for increasing energy intake from 33.3% to 66.6% is 0.27 [0.11, 0.67], p = .002). Mortality was higher in patients who received parenteral nutrition (odds ratio 2.61 [1.3, 5.3], p = .008). Patients admitted to units that utilized a feeding protocol had a lower prevalence of acquired infections (odds ratio 0.18 [0.05, 0.64], p = .008), and this association was independent of the amount of energy or protein intake.
Nutrition delivery is generally inadequate in mechanically ventilated children across the world. Intake of a higher percentage of prescribed dietary energy goal via enteral route was associated with improved 60-day survival; conversely, parenteral nutrition use was associated with higher mortality. Pediatric intensive care units that utilized protocols for the initiation and advancement of enteral nutrient intake had a lower prevalence of acquired infections. Optimizing nutrition therapy is a potential avenue for improving clinical outcomes in critically ill children.
adequacy; critical care; enteral; infections; mortality; nutrition; parenteral; pediatric; pediatric intensive care unit
Pediatric oncology has a strong research culture. Most pediatric oncologists are investigators, involved in clinical care as well as research. As a result, a remarkable proportion of children with cancer enrolls in a trial during treatment. This paper discusses the ethical consequences of the unprecedented integration of research and care in pediatric oncology from the perspective of parents and physicians.
An empirical ethical approach, combining (1) a narrative review of (primarily) qualitative studies on parents' and physicians' experiences of the pediatric oncology research practice, and (2) comparison of these experiences with existing theoretical ethical concepts about (pediatric) research. The use of empirical evidence enriches these concepts by taking into account the peculiarities that ethical challenges pose in practice.
Analysis of the 22 studies reviewed revealed that the integration of research and care has consequences for the informed consent process, the promotion of the child's best interests, and the role of the physician (doctor vs. scientist). True consent to research is difficult to achieve due to the complexity of research protocols, emotional stress and parents' dependency on their child's physician. Parents' role is to promote their child's best interests, also when they are asked to consider enrolling their child in a trial. Parents are almost never in equipoise on trial participation, which leaves them with the agonizing situation of wanting to do what is best for their child, while being fearful of making the wrong decision. Furthermore, a therapeutic misconception endangers correct assessment of participation, making parents inaccurately attribute therapeutic intent to research procedures. Physicians prefer the perspective of a therapist over a researcher. Consequently they may truly believe that in the research setting they promote the child's best interests, which maintains the existence of a therapeutic misconception between them and parents.
Due to the integration of research and care, their different ethical perspectives become intertwined in the daily practice of pediatric oncology. Increasing awareness of what this means for the communication between parents and physicians is essential. Future research should focus on efforts that overcome the problems that the synchronicity of research and care evokes.
The pharmacotherapeutic treatment of patients with cancer is generally associated with multiple side-effects. Drug interactions and duplicate prescriptions between anti-cancer drugs or interactions with medication to treat comorbidity can reinforce or intensify side-effects.
The aim of the present study is to gain more insight into the prevalence of drug interactions and duplicate prescriptions among patients being treated in the outpatient day care departments for oncology and hematological illnesses. For the first time the prevalence of drug interactions with OTC-drugs in cancer patients will be studied. Possible risk factors for the occurrence of these drug-related problems will also be studied.
A multicenter cross-sectional observational study of the epidemiology of drug interactions and duplicate prescriptions is performed among all oncology and hemato-oncology patients treated with systemic anti-cancer drugs at the oncology and hematology outpatient day care department of the VU University medical center and the Zaans Medical Center.
In this article the prevalence of potential drug interactions in outpatient day-care patients treated with anti-cancer agents is studied using a novel more extensive screening method. If this study shows a high prevalence of drug interactions clinical pharmacists and oncologists must collaborate to develop a pharmaceutical screening programme, including an automated electronic warning system, to support drug prescribing for ambulatory cancer patient. This programme could minimize the occurrence of drug related problems such as drug interactions and duplicate prescriptions, thereby increasing quality of life.
This study is registered, number NTR2238.
Diarrhea is a frequent complication in children with cancer who received intensive chemotheraputic regimens. It may be caused by several factors, neutropenic enterocolitis (NE) being the most serious.
To study diarrhea in neutropenic cancer patients in the pediatric age group, with its underlying etiologies and risk factors, especially the bacterial causes, with special concern on NE.
Materials and Methods:
This study was carried out at the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Units, Zagazig University Hospitals, Egypt, from January 2009 to September 2010. All children with malignant diseases who are ≤12 years of age were included. Patients who were neutropenic (<500/ mm3) on admission or who became neutropenic during their stay in the hospital were monitored regularly (daily) for diarrhea. Neutropenic cancer patients with diarrhea were grouped into two groups: Group 1, with NE, and group 2, with neutropenic diarrhea rather than NE. On the first day of diarrhea, patients were subjected to complete blood count, blood cultures, stool microscopy and culture. Abdominal ultrasonography was carried out within 3 days of diarrhea.
A total of 200 children ≤12 years old, suffering from different malignancies, with a total of 180 neutropenic episodes were followed. Diarrhea was observed in 100 episodes (55.5%). NE constituted 16% of these diarrheal episodes. All patients with NE had significantly more severe neutropenia, and this was of longer duration than the other group. All patients with NE were febrile, with 100% positive blood culture. Stool analysis diagnosed giardiasis in 4.8% of the non-NE patients and in none of the NE patients, while stool culture was positive in 75% of the NE patients compared with 40.5% of the other group.
Diarrhea is a common complication in neutropenic cancer children. Gram negative bacteria and Candida are the most incriminated pathogens. Duration and severity of neutropenia carry a great risk for the development of NE.
Cancer; children; diarrhea; neutropenia; neutropenic enterocolitis
No studies on continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) have analyzed nutritional status in children. The objective of this study was to assess the association between mortality and nutritional status of children receiving CRRT.
Prospective observational study to analyze the nutritional status of children receiving CRRT and its association with mortality. The variables recorded were age, weight, sex, diagnosis, albumin, creatinine, urea, uric acid, severity of illness scores, CRRT-related complications, duration of admission to the pediatric intensive care unit, and mortality.
The sample comprised 174 critically ill children on CRRT. The median weight of the patients was 10 kg, 35% were under percentile (P) 3, and 56% had a weight/P50 ratio of less than 0.85. Only two patients were above P95. The mean age for patients under P3 was significantly lower than that of the other patients (p = 0.03). The incidence of weight under P3 was greater in younger children (p = 0.007) and in cardiac patients and in those who had previous chronic renal insufficiency (p = 0.047). The mortality analysis did not include patients with pre-existing renal disease. Mortality was 38.9%. Mortality for patients with weight < P3 was greater than that of children with weight > P3 (51% vs 33%; p = 0.037). In the univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses, the only factor associated with mortality was protein-energy wasting (malnutrition) (OR, 2.11; 95% CI, 1.067-4.173; p = 0.032).
The frequency of protein-energy wasting in children who require CRRT is high, and the frequency of obesity is low. Protein-energy wasting is more frequent in children with previous end-stage renal disease and heart disease. Underweight children present a higher mortality rate than patients with normal body weight.
Determining appropriate disposition for referred pediatric patients is difficult since it relies primarily on a telephone description of the patient. In this study, we evaluate the Transport Risk Assessment in Pediatrics (TRAP) score’s ability to assist in appropriate placement of these patients. This novel tool is derived from physiologic variables.
To determine the feasibility of calculating a TRAP score and whether a higher score correlates with Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) admission.
We performed an observational study of pediatric patients transported by a specialized team to a tertiary care center and the feasibility of implementing the TRAP tool. Patients were eligible if transported by the pediatric specialty transport team for direct admission to the children’s hospital. The TRAP score was obtained either through chart review of transport team’s initial assessment or real-team by the transport team.
A total of 269 patients were identified with 238 patients included in the study Using logistic regression, higher TRAP scores were associated with PICU admission (OR 1.40, p <0.001). Patients with a higher score were also less likely to leave the PICU within 24 hours (OR 0.79, p <0.001).
The TRAP score is a novel objective pediatric transport assessment tool where an elevated score is associated with PICU admission for greater than 24 hours. This score may assist with the triage decisions for transported pediatric patients.
Pediatric; transport; disposition; score; intensive care