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1.  Evaluation of temperature–pulse centile charts in identifying serious bacterial illness: observational cohort study 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2011;96(4):368-373.
Distinguishing serious bacterial infection (SBI) from milder/self-limiting infections is often difficult. Interpretation of vital signs is confounded by the effect of temperature on pulse and respiratory rate. Temperature–pulse centile charts have been proposed to improve the predictive value of pulse rate in the clinical assessment of children with suspected SBI.
To assess the utility of proposed temperature–pulse centile charts in the clinical assessment of children with suspected SBI.
Study design and participants
The predictive value for SBI of temperature–pulse centile categories, pulse centile categories and Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS) defined tachycardia were compared among 1360 children aged 3 months to 10 years presenting with suspected infection to a hospital emergency department (ED) in England; and among 325 children who presented to hospitals in the UK with meningococcal disease.
Main outcome measure
Among children presenting to the ED, 55 (4.0%) had SBI. Pulse centile category, but not temperature–pulse centile category, was strongly associated with risk of SBI (p=0.0005 and 0.288, respectively). APLS defined tachycardia was also strongly associated with SBI (OR 2.90 (95% CI 1.60 to 5.26), p=0.0002). Among children with meningococcal disease, higher pulse and temperature–pulse centile categories were both associated with more severe disease (p=0.004 and 0.041, respectively).
Increased pulse rate is an important predictor of SBI, supporting National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommendations that pulse rate be routinely measured in the assessment of febrile children. Temperature–pulse centile charts performed more poorly than pulse alone in this study. Further studies are required to evaluate their utility in monitoring the clinical progress of sick children over time.
PMCID: PMC3158667  PMID: 21233079
2.  Risk score to stratify children with suspected serious bacterial infection: observational cohort study 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2011;96(4):361-367.
To derive and validate a clinical score to risk stratify children presenting with acute infection.
Study design and participants
Observational cohort study of children presenting with suspected infection to an emergency department in England. Detailed data were collected prospectively on presenting clinical features, laboratory investigations and outcome. Clinical predictors of serious bacterial infection (SBI) were explored in multivariate logistic regression models using part of the dataset, each model was then validated in an independent part of the dataset, and the best model was chosen for derivation of a clinical risk score for SBI. The ability of this score to risk stratify children with SBI was then assessed in the entire dataset.
Main outcome measure
Final diagnosis of SBI according to criteria defined by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health working group on Recognising Acute Illness in Children.
Data from 1951 children were analysed. 74 (3.8%) had SBI. The sensitivity of individual clinical signs was poor, although some were highly specific for SBI. A score was derived with reasonable ability to discriminate SBI (area under the receiver operator characteristics curve 0.77, 95% CI 0.71 to 0.83) and risk stratify children with suspected SBI.
This study demonstrates the potential utility of a clinical score in risk stratifying children with suspected SBI. Further work should aim to validate the score and its impact on clinical decision making in different settings, and ideally incorporate it into a broader management algorithm including additional investigations to further stratify a child's risk.
PMCID: PMC3158666  PMID: 21266341

Results 1-2 (2)