Recent Submissions

  • Reducing epilepsy diagnostic and treatment gaps: Standardized paediatric epilepsy training courses for health care professionals.

    Dunkley, Colin
    Aim: To evaluate improvement in knowledge and clinical behaviour among healthcare professionals after attendance at paediatric epilepsy training (PET) courses. Method: Since 2005, 1-day PET courses have taught evidence-based paediatric epilepsy management to doctors and nurses in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. A cohort study was performed of 7528 participants attending 252 1-day PET courses between 2005 and 2020 in 17 low-, middle-, and high-income countries, and which gathered data from participants immediately after the course and then 6 months later. Training outcomes were measured prospectively in three domains (reaction, learning, and behaviour) using a mixed-methods approach involving a feedback questionnaire, a knowledge quiz before and after the course, and a 6-month survey. Results: Ninety-eight per cent (7217 of 7395) of participants rated the course as excellent or good. Participants demonstrated knowledge gain, answering a significantly higher proportion of questions correctly after the course compared to before the course (88% [47 883 of 54 196], correct answers/all quiz answers, vs 75% [40 424 of 54 196]; p < 0.001). Most survey responders reported that the course had improved their epilepsy diagnosis and management (73% [311 of 425]), clinical service (68% [290 of 427]), and local epilepsy training (68% [290 of 427]). Interpretation: This was the largest evaluation of a global epilepsy training course. Participants reported high course satisfaction, showed knowledge gain, and described improvements in clinical behaviour 6 months later. PET supports the global reduction in the epilepsy 'treatment gap' as promoted by the World Health Organization.
  • The utility of volumetric MRI in assessment of volume changes in ventral diencephalon in autistic children.

    Mahmoud, Hassan Ali Ahmed (Egyptian Journal of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, 2023-10)
    Abstract Background Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurobehavioural disorder, characterized by abnormal affiliative and socio-emotional responses which are generally regulated by certain neuropeptides in the hypothalamus (an anatomic component of the ventral diencephalon (VD)). The use of volumetric MRI for studying VD volume change could provide a novel approach for identification of structural brain changes in ASD; this could assist in understanding the pathophysiology of ASD and would reflect on treatment strategies. The aim of the current work was to investigate the role of MRI volumetric analysis of the ventral diencephalon in young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Methods Fifty children diagnosed with ASD underwent volumetric brain analysis, on a fully automated MRI brain volumetry system (volBrain), with voxel-based morphometry of various segmental structures of the brain including the VD, using vol2Brain 1.0 pipeline software analysis suite. Results There were 48 out of 50 children who demonstrated abnormal VD volume which was found below the normal limits compared with reference standard normalized volume. All cases were normocephalic demonstrating normal intra-cranial cavity volumes. Forty out of fifty cases showed increased total volume of grey matter, and eighteen out of fifty cases showed increased total volume of white matter. Regarding the amygdala and hippocampus, there were only two cases (4.0%) which showed slightly increased relative volume of the total amygdala, and two other cases (4.0%) demonstrated increased relative volume of the total hippocampus. Comparison between the autistic patients and normal references revealed a significant difference regarding the VD volume and total volume of grey matter, whereas no significant differences were found regarding the white matter amygdala and hippocampus. Conclusions Based on the consistent significant volume decrease in the ventral diencephalon in patients with childhood autism, this study concluded that volumetric MRI analysis could be useful for diagnosis of childhood spectrum disorder and could be utilized as a reliable screening method in the clinically vague cases. Further study with a larger sample size including more age groups is recommended for more validation of the results.

    Thanawala, Nehal (Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2023-07)
    Objective There are a range of health needs for children and young people who attend special schools. Some have regular paediatric and specialist outpatient appointments whereas some are discharged from formal paediatric follow up. These health appointments were traditionally delivered within the SEND school itself. The Covid-19 pandemic gave the opportunity to explore alternative methods of paediatric health appointments. Face to face appointments in school have advantages and disadvantages. Professionals, teachers and parents have different opinions and preferences about how we should move forward delivering health reviews for this complex group of children and young people. But this needs to take into account the facilities, time and support available to professionals to deliver meaningful health reviews. We sought to gather opinions regarding health appointments, including preference of patient’s families to help formulate recommendations for service delivery moving forward. Methods An online survey was conducted to obtain feedback from parents/carers, special school teachers and health professionals regarding different types of appointment, availability of staff, and information sharing. Results 71 parents/carers; 11 teachers; 4 health professionals responded: 60% of parents/carers expressed preference for all face to face appointments (school based with or without TA or hospital appointment) over video consultations. 42% of parents/carers expressed preference for appointment at special school. 68% of clinicians prefer face to face appointments (school based with or without TA or hospital appointment) but expressed preference for an opportunity to speak to teachers pre/post appointment. 50% of clinicians expressed preference for appointment based at the special schools. 84% of parents/carers feel having teachers attend the appointment would be valuable. 100% of clinicians reported having a teacher who knows the child, at the assessment is valuable (or at least a pre/post appointment). Conclusion 42% parents/carers and 50% health professionals preferred face to face appointments within the special school setting, despite lack of secure private clinic room, examination couch and handwashing facilities. Therefore there is an argument that to provide appropriate, safe and meaningful health appointments, facilities in hospital would be better than school setting. It would be difficult to deliver a service where only some SEND schools were offered onsite clinics. Video clinic can be useful for children who have mostly behavioural problems and less physical concerns, allowing the option of video consultations. Liaison with schools is needed to discuss their important contribution and how that can be managed.

    Fernee, Hester; Slater, Jessica (Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2023-07)
    Objectives To improve time scales for blood borne infection (BBI) screening for looked after children after initial health assessment (IHA). Methods Retrospective data collection from IHAs completed over 6 months. Data analysis reviewed time intervals within process from IHA to action of blood tests. This was re-audited after 6 months of implemented changes. Results Initial data collection identified 49 patients with completed IHAs between June-November 2021; 34 with BBI screening recommended, of whom 11 had BBI blood tests completed. Reasons for not having blood tests included: prior antenatal testing, non-attendance, patient/parent refusal, moved out of area, referral to sexual health. Initial data demonstrated significant time between IHA to BBI bloods taken, on average 129.8 days (range 46–230). Analysis identified time from posting consent form to receipt of completed consent via social care as the longest stage: 79 days (10–257). Significant time intervals were also identified between: IHA to consent form posted 22.3 days (6–61). Receipt of consent to bloods taken 47.5 days (8–82). Bloods taken to issue of results letter 23.6 days (3–106). Several interventions were made BBI consent obtained at IHA where possible, local guideline issued outlining indications for BBI screening as per national guidance1 Blood test availability increased, next available allocated instead of partial booking. Doctor informed when blood test completed, prompting timely review of results and issue of standardised results letter. Several interventions were madeReaudit after 6 months identified 53 completed IHAs; 28 with BBI screening recommended, of whom 8 consented in clinic. Of those consented in clinic, 5 had bloods tests, with mean time from IHA to blood test of 28.2 days (range 14–40). For the 20 not consented at IHA, 14 had blood tests; mean time from IHA to bloods taken was 53.1 days (7–79 days). Reasons for not having blood tests remained comparable: return to care of birth parent, non-responders, non-attendance, declining blood test. In summary data from reaudit demonstrates that completing consent at IHA reduced interval between IHA and bloods by 24.9 days. Compared with initial data prior to all interventions a reduction of 101.6 days (78%) from IHA to bloods taken. Conclusion We highlighted lengthy timescales in process of BBI screening recommended from IHA and where these delays occurred. After implementing quality improvement strategies, the most pertinent of which was obtaining consent at IHA, we have demonstrated significant improvement in timescales for BBI screening for looked after children.

    Ng, Christabella (Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2023-07)
    Objectives In the UK there is national guidance for provision of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine (PRM) services in tertiary hospitals.1 However, no such guidance exists for district general hospitals (DGHs). We wanted to explore if there are any disparities in the provision of PRM services across DGHs in the UK. To evaluate the variabilities in provision of PRM services in DGHs in the UK. Methods An online survey was conducted amongst PRM in DGHs between April and December 2020. Information obtained: demographics, workforce, respiratory investigations, clinic and referral pathways. Results Level of completed training and composition of the multi-disciplinary team (MDT): 34 responses were received, of whom 16 (47%) completed the PRM special interest module, 8 (24%) completed PRM subspecialty training, and 10 (29%) had no specific PRM training. Over 25 (74%) respondents have respiratory nurse specialists and physiotherapists in their multi-disciplinary team (MDT). Less than 19 (56%) respondents have psychologists and allied health professionals in their MDT. There is a variation between DGHs for the types of respiratory conditions that are managed locally or shared care with a tertiary centre from less than a third to nearly 100% (table 1). Referral pathways for tertiary care exist for certain conditions. There is a similar variability in availability of various respiratory investigations in DGHs (table 2). Conclusions There is a variability in the level of completed training, composition of MDT, conditions managed, investigations available and established referral pathways to tertiary centres. The challenges in providing adequate respiratory care vary from the MDT to difficulty in accessing respiratory investigations. Further evaluation is required to establish the reasons for differences in DGH Paediatric respiratory service and identify the expected standard of care.
  • Exploring the influence of postnatal depression on neonatal care practices among mothers in Western Kenya: A qualitative study.

    Gribbin, Catherine
    Background: Postnatal depression (PND) is associated with adverse infant neurodevelopmental outcomes. Evidence is limited on how PND influences neonatal (<28 days old) outcomes in low- and middle-income countries, such as Kenya, which bear the global burden of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Objectives: To explore how PND influences neonatal feeding and care practices among women in the early postnatal period in rural Western Kenya. Design: A cross-sectional study. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted at 2-weeks postpartum among mothers of newborn infants identified <72 h old from the postnatal wards and clinics across five health facilities in Kisumu County of Western Kenya. They were all screened for features suggestive of postnatal depression using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Results: Twenty-four mothers were interviewed, 13 of whom had features suggestive of PND. All mothers experienced health or socio-economic adversities in the perinatal period, including traumatic deliveries, financial constraints, and challenging relationships with partners/other family members. Feeding difficulties due to perceived insufficient breastmilk were a particular challenge for mothers with features of PND, who were more likely to introduce complementary feeds. Maternal health-seeking decisions were influenced by high financial cost, long waiting times and poor interactions with health care providers that induced stress and fear among mothers. Maternal caregiving capacity was influenced by her ability to juggle other household duties, which was difficult for mothers with features suggestive of PND. Support from friends and relatives positively impacted maternal mood and caregiving ability. Conclusion: Mothers experienced many stress-inducing events in the perinatal period which potentially exacerbated features of PND in the immediate postnatal period. Women with features of PND were particularly vulnerable to these stressors that influenced infant caregiving practices. Addressing the socio-economic challenges and health system gaps that include scale up of compassionate and respectful care for women during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as early screening and intervention of PND, through enhanced referral pathways between health facilities and community support structures, could mitigate against the impact of PND on neonatal caregiving.
  • British Thoracic Society guideline for diagnosing and monitoring paediatric sleep-disordered breathing.

    Yanney, Michael (Thorax, 2023-06)
    Please note that sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in children without comorbidities is related to snoring and upper airway obstruction and commonly referred to as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Diagnosing sleep-disordered breathing in children with suspected sleep-disordered breathing Sleep questionnaires, combined sleep questionnaires and ‘protocol-driven’ clinical assessments, sleep video recordings and sleep audio recordings Children without comorbidities
  • How to be a named or designated doctor for looked-after children.

    Walker, Vicki
    There are approximately 100,000 looked after children within the care system in the UK. Children and young people enter the care system with unmet health needs and missed routine health screening and poor management of existing health conditions. They may have delayed development due to neglect and many have unmet and significant emotional health needs. Named and Designated Doctors for looked after children are passionate experts willing to stand up and advocate for children and young people. They exert influence on a larger scale within the healthcare system, offering senior level problem solving and contributions to interagency liaison and service planning. The Named and Designated roles are statutory in the UK. However, each of the four nations in the UK has slightly different versions of looked after children and safeguarding children legislation. The RCPCH, RCN and RCGPs, which support all four UK nations, have also produced guidance - Looked After Children: Roles and Competencies of Healthcare Staff. The document sets out the required knowledge, skills, and competencies at each level of health professional working with children and young people. This short review summarises some of the key aspects of the role fulfilled by Named and Designated doctors and offers practical advice to those considering the role and some real world examples of how it can be successfully implemented.
  • 671 Are clinicians assessing the impact of social media and/or time spent online on the physical and mental health of adolescents in paediatric admissions?

    Walker, Vicki (2022-08)
    Aims There is significant evidence that prolonged periods of screen time are associated with a variety of negative impacts on adolescent mental and physical wellbeing; namely adiposity, unhealthy diet, depressive symptoms and quality of life (1). However, the evidence-base to support a direct link between 'toxic' screen time causing obesity, mental health problems and educational failure has always been contested (2 3). Current RCPCH guidance on the health impacts of screen time highlights the link between higher screen time and less healthy diets, higher energy intake and obesity. There is a complex relationship between mental health and digital use with positive impacts e.g. maintain social friendships/ groups, support for health conditions, online education and negative impacts e.g. cyber-bullying, body dysmorphia, exploitation/grooming. The aim of this audit was to ascertain whether social media/time spent online is discussed and documented in the admission clerking or the first detailed history. If possible, we wanted to establish any associations between indicators of poor mental and physical health with social media/time spent online The majority of evidence in the current RCPCH guidance is based on television time, but recommendations now need to focus on newer uses of digital media, such as social media. A recommendation to include social media as an important factor in assessing adolescent health and wellbeing was advocated in 2018 (4). Methods We undertook a retrospective review of 40 paediatric admissions in a medium district general hospital. Patients were eligible if they were admitted, for any reason, from 1st January 2021 - 31st May 2021, aged 11 years old and above. Results Of the 38 admissions included, three had documentation regarding social media/time spent online (figure 1); one of these had a HEADSSSS assessment (figure 2). A further two had HEADSSSS assessments without clarifying social media/time spent online. Of these five patients: * Two admission documentations specified time spent online platform (XBOX), of which, one patient had a BMI of 30 * Three HEADSSSS assessments were carried out in patients with a presentation and/or history of mental health problems * Of these, one HEADSSSS assessment specified which social media platform the patient was using, and if they experienced cyber bullying Conclusion Our audit highlights a gap in use of social media screening in paediatric medical histories amongst health care professionals. Good practice was demonstrated for young people presenting with emotional health problems. This was a broad cohort, therefore questions relating to impact of social media may not be appropriate for every patient. The updated HEADSSSS assessment includes a fourth 'S' for social media use (4). Updating the clerking proforma to include this and raising awareness through training will support professionals to appropriately assess for new and evolving factors such as social media use, which are impacting on adolescent physical and mental health.
  • Genomic medicine for the paediatrician.

    Hastings, Richard (Paediatrics and Child Health, 2019-04)
    Genomic medicine is the use of sequence data from an individual's entire genetic code to aid diagnosis and personalise therapeutic options. An important goal of the 100,000 genomes project in the UK is to embed the infrastructure for the widespread use of whole genome sequencing into the National Health Service. Paediatricians will be at the forefront in using this new technology in the diagnosis of children with multiple congenital anomalies, developmental delay and other suspected genetic conditions. This article provides a description of the basic concepts of genomic medicine. The types of genomic testing that are available are discussed and examples of how genomics is already being used in paediatrics are given. Finally, the challenges for genomic medicine are summarised.
  • Pregnancy and neonatal outcomes of COVID-19: The PAN-COVID study

    Rajeswary, Jyothi Mrs (European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 2022-09)
    Objective To assess perinatal outcomes for pregnancies affected by suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods Prospective, web-based registry. Pregnant women were invited to participate if they had suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection between 1st January 2020 and 31st March 2021 to assess the impact of infection on maternal and perinatal outcomes including miscarriage, stillbirth, fetal growth restriction, pre-term birth and transmission to the infant. Results Between April 2020 and March 2021, the study recruited 8239 participants who had suspected or confirmed SARs-CoV-2 infection episodes in pregnancy between January 2020 and March 2021. Maternal death affected 14/8197 (0.2%) participants, 176/8187 (2.2%) of participants required ventilatory support. Pre-eclampsia affected 389/8189 (4.8%) participants, eclampsia was reported in 40/ 8024 (0.5%) of all participants. Stillbirth affected 35/8187 (0.4 %) participants. In participants delivering within 2 weeks of delivery 21/2686 (0.8 %) were affected by stillbirth compared with 8/4596 (0.2 %) delivering ≥ 2 weeks after infection (95 % CI 0.3–1.0). SGA affected 744/7696 (9.3 %) of livebirths, FGR affected 360/8175 (4.4 %) of all pregnancies. Pre-term birth occurred in 922/8066 (11.5%), the majority of these were indicated pre-term births, 220/7987 (2.8%) participants experienced spontaneous pre-term births. Early neonatal deaths affected 11/8050 livebirths. Of all neonates, 80/7993 (1.0%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Conclusions Infection was associated with indicated pre-term birth, most commonly for fetal compromise. The overall proportions of women affected by SGA and FGR were not higher than expected, however there was the proportion affected by stillbirth in participants delivering within 2 weeks of infection was significantly higher than those delivering ≥ 2 weeks after infection. We suggest that clinicians’ threshold for delivery should be low if there are concerns with fetal movements or fetal heart rate monitoring in the time around infection. The proportion affected by pre-eclampsia amongst participants was not higher than would be expected, although we report a higher than expected proportion affected by eclampsia. There appears to be no effect on birthweight or congenital malformations in women affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy and neonatal infection is uncommon. This study reflects a population with a range of infection severity for SARS-COV-2 in pregnancy, generalisable to whole obstetric populations.
  • 80 The cost of smoking in pregnancy - A retrospective study. Source

    Hills, A; Allison, C (European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology & Reproductive Biology, 2022-03)
    Introduction and study aims: The UK Department of Health aims to reduce smoking at time of delivery (SATOD) to below 6% by 2022. Sherwood Forest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (SFHFT) had a SATOD of 16.5% in 2019-2020. The aim was to demonstrate how smoking continues to affect patients, to motivate and engage staff in smoking cessation strategies. Methods: Retrospective study of 25 non-smokers’ and 25 smokers’ who had delivered at SFHFT in the first quarter of 2020, comparing antenatal contacts and pregnancy-related complications. Inclusion criteria were maternal age (18 - 40 years) and BMI (18 - 25). Data was collected from Orion (electronic maternity pathway). The two groups were then compared using the Mann-Whitney U test. Results: The smoking group were 9 times less likely to attend appointments and had an average of 5.28 growth scans (compared to non-smokers 0.96 scans). They were 3 times more likely to have an antenatal complication - small for gestation age (SGA) [RR 9], fetal growth restriction (FGR) [RR 10], low Papp-A, antepartum haemorrhage, preterm birth, oligohydramnios and reduced fetal movements. Smokers were more likely to be induced for SGA/FGR (RR 5.5), have a baby below the 10th centile (RR3) and develop intrapartum complications (RR 1.45). Smokers were 3.6 times less likely to breast feed. All findings were clinically significant (p≤0.05). The cost of continued smoking in pregnancy for SFHFT is £1,731,560 per year. Conclusion: Despite increased surveillance in SATOD pregnancies, the short and long term consequences for these women and their babies are significant. It has previously been demonstrated that babies born with low birth weights are at increased risk of adult diseases, hence the true financial burden is therefore far greater and the continued need to decrease SATOD is clear.
  • Does decentralisation of surgical management improve outcomes for paediatric testicular torsion?.

    Ellis, Ricky
    Summary Introduction In testicular torsion (TT), delayed emergency scrotal exploration (ESE) increases the risk of orchidectomy. Transfer of a patient with suspected TT from a district general hospital (DGH) to a paediatric surgical centre (PSC) delays ESE and potentially puts them at increased risk of testicular loss.Prior to 1st January 2017, all boys under aged <16 years presenting to a DGH within the East Midlands Clinical Network (EMCN) would be referred to the PSC. From this date, it was agreed within the EMCN that boys aged ≥5 years with suspected TT presenting to a network DGH would be managed locally, barring exceptional circumstances. Boys aged Methods All patients who underwent ESE under the care of paediatric surgery in the PSC, and all patients <16 years old who underwent ESE in 4 EMCN DGHs between January 2017 and December 2019 were identified. Neonatal cases and inpatient referrals were excluded. Comparison was made with published data on ESE performed in the PSC over the 9 years 2008–2016 prior to decentralisation. Results In the 9 years prior to decentralisation, there were 110 cases of TT in the PSC. In the subsequent 3 years, there were 40 in the PSC and 37 in the DGHs. The orchidectomy rate of boys with TT presenting to DGHs and undergoing exploration locally (16%, 6/37) contrasts with the rate in those transferred from DGHs to the PSC for exploration (58%, 15/26). The difference is highly significant (p = 0.00059, RR 0.28 [95% CI 0.13–0.63]) and indicates that in the EMCN, avoiding hospital transfer and performing ESE at the presenting DGH reduces the risk of orchidectomy by 72%. Conclusion Decentralisation of the provision of ESE in boys with TT has resulted in a significantly lower orchidectomy rate in boys undergoing ESE in the presenting hospital than when transferred to the PSC. This study reinforces existing literature that demonstrates the effect of delayed ESE on orchidectomy rate, and supports the recommendations of national guidelines in the UK that transfer of boys to a PSC for ESE should only occur in exceptional circumstances.
  • Chameleon project: a children’s end-of-life care quality improvement project

    Clements, Helena (BMJ Open Quality, 2021-12)
    In response to there being no specialist paediatric palliative care (PPC) team in a region of England, we undertook a 12-month quality improvement project (funded by National Health Service England’s Marginal Rate Emergency Threshold and Readmission fund) to improve children’s end-of-life care. Improvements were implemented during two plan–do–study–act (PDSA) cycles and included specialist experts, clinical champions, focused education and training, and tools and materials to support identification, care planning and communication. A lead paediatrician with expertise in PPC (10 hours/week) led the project, supported by a PPC nurse (3 days/week) and a network administrator (2 days/week). Children who died an expected death were identified from the child death review teams. Numbers of non-elective hospital admissions, bed days, and costs were identified. Twenty-nine children died an expected death during the 12 months of the project and coincidentally 29 children died an expected death during the previous 12 months. The median number of non-elective admissions in the last 12 months of life was reduced from two per child to one. There was a reduction in specialist hospital (14%) and district general hospital (38%) bed days. The percentage of children who died an expected death who had anticipatory care plans rose from 50% to 72%. The results indicate that a network of clinicians with expertise in PPC working together across a region can improve personalised care planning and reduce admissions and bed days for children in their last year-of-life with reduced bed utilisation costs.
  • Treatment of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children

    Struik, Siske (New England Journal of Medicine, 2021-07)
    Background: Evidence is urgently needed to support treatment decisions for children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Methods: We performed an international observational cohort study of clinical and outcome data regarding suspected MIS-C that had been uploaded by physicians onto a Web-based database. We used inverse-probability weighting and generalized linear models to evaluate intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) as a reference, as compared with IVIG plus glucocorticoids and glucocorticoids alone. There were two primary outcomes: the first was a composite of inotropic support or mechanical ventilation by day 2 or later or death; the second was a reduction in disease severity on an ordinal scale by day 2. Secondary outcomes included treatment escalation and the time until a reduction in organ failure and inflammation. Results: Data were available regarding the course of treatment for 614 children from 32 countries from June 2020 through February 2021; 490 met the World Health Organization criteria for MIS-C. Of the 614 children with suspected MIS-C, 246 received primary treatment with IVIG alone, 208 with IVIG plus glucocorticoids, and 99 with glucocorticoids alone; 22 children received other treatment combinations, including biologic agents, and 39 received no immunomodulatory therapy. Receipt of inotropic or ventilatory support or death occurred in 56 patients who received IVIG plus glucocorticoids (adjusted odds ratio for the comparison with IVIG alone, 0.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.33 to 1.82) and in 17 patients who received glucocorticoids alone (adjusted odds ratio, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.22 to 1.33). The adjusted odds ratios for a reduction in disease severity were similar in the two groups, as compared with IVIG alone (0.90 for IVIG plus glucocorticoids and 0.93 for glucocorticoids alone). The time until a reduction in disease severity was similar in the three groups. Conclusions: We found no evidence that recovery from MIS-C differed after primary treatment with IVIG alone, IVIG plus glucocorticoids, or glucocorticoids alone, although significant differences may emerge as more data accrue. (Funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Program and others; BATS ISRCTN number, ISRCTN69546370.).
  • Presenting features of patients with ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T): A scoping review.

    Yule, Alexander (Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2021)
    Background Ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) is a rare autosomal recessive, progressive, multi-system disease caused by mutations in the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene on chromosome 11q.26. There are 2 types of A-T; the more severe phenotype of classical A-T with a complete absence of ATM protein kinase, and the milder phenotype of variant A-T in which there is some residual protein kinase activity. A-T has a wide spectrum of manifestations including cerebellar ataxia, movement disorders, ocular telangiectasia, recurrent infections, and an increased risk of malignancy. Although textbook narratives exist describing the clinical features of A-T, no attempt has been made to collate the available information to give a complete picture of the presenting features of this rare disease. Objectives To describe the presenting features of A-T and determine any difference in presenting features between classical and variant A-T. Methods 17 searches were carried out in each of 5 databases (Ovid SP (Medline), EMBASE, Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus). The Cochrane Library was also searched. The search protocol is available. The inclusion criteria were all dates, all languages, all ages, human subjects, and clinical relevance. The exclusion criteria were: no reference to A-T within the article, not an original article, animal studies, article not clinically relevant. Results Search returned 194,890 articles; 14,622 titles and abstracts were reviewed after removing 180,268 duplicates. Full text review of 1,163 articles was performed and 1,039 studies were included (13,459 exclusions, 124 excluded after full text review). The presenting symptoms (first symptom) were reported in 1209 cases with a total of 1702 signs or symptoms included. The most common presenting complaint reported was an abnormal gait (n=931), followed by recurrent infections (n=223), speech difficulties (n=113) and movement disorder and other co-ordination difficulties (n=69). Cerebellar ataxia was the most common pattern of abnormal gait. Although cerebellar ataxia was the most common first presenting feature, chronologically we found other symptoms that presented at an earlier age included recurrent infections and other neurological signs and symptoms. The age of onset of presenting symptoms will be presented in more detail. The median age of diagnosis for classical A-T was 6 years (IQR 3 – 9 years) and for variant it was much later in life with a median age of 30 years 6 months (IQR 19.25–40.25 years). Conclusions A-T has a wide variety of presenting features which is further complicated by a wide difference in the age of diagnosis of between classical and variant A-T. The most common presenting feature was an abnormal gait of which cerebellar ataxia was the most common pattern. However other symptoms appear to present earlier including telangiectasia and recurrent infections and dystonia in variant A-T. It is hoped that by developing a better understanding of the spectrum of presenting features of A-T may reduce the age of diagnosis of both forms of A-T.
  • 1449 Drug drills: improving paediatric team performance and confidence when prescribing and preparing unfamiliar emergency medications

    Shephert, Jennifer; Hesketh, Emma; Hammond, Sophie; Macdonald, Daniella (Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2021)
    Background Emergency medications are infrequently required in district general paediatric departments, however when they are it is important for them to be given in a timely manner. Feedback from local simulation scenarios revealed that prescribing and preparing unfamiliar emergency medications was something that both medical and nursing teams felt anxious about. Regular simulation practice is therefore essential for improving patient care and safety in emergency scenarios. Objectives The aim of this project was to improve paediatric team ability and confidence when prescribing and preparing unfamiliar emergency medications in order to improve patient care and safety. Methods A series of ‘drug drills’ involving emergency medication were created: asthma (salbutamol and magnesium sulphate); sedation (morphine and midazolam); duct dependent cardiac disease (prostaglandin) and septic shock (adrenaline and noradrenaline). Doctors timed how long it took to prescribe the medication after reading a scenario. Nursing staff subsequently timed how long it took them to prepare and administer the medication. Participants completed an online survey after the ‘drug drill’ and were asked to record how long it took for them to complete the drill, and whether they felt more or less confident prescribing/preparing these medications. They were also encouraged to provide feedback and learning points to be shared amongst the team to facilitate shared learning. In future,‘drug drills’ will be repeated to assess whether our performance and confidence has improved as a result of extra practice and group feedback. Results To date, ‘drug drills’ have been completed by 19 doctors and 12 nurses. Preliminary results and feedback have been positive with 100% of staff saying they felt more confident prescribing/preparing medication after completion. As a result of the feedback received, changes have already been implemented to help staff in future. For example, we have increased the stock number of 50ml syringes in the resuscitation room as this consistently delayed drug preparation. Also, prescription and administration guidelines are now available on a tablet in the resuscitation room for ease of access. Conclusions Staff had improved confidence after completing the ‘drug drills’, which is expected to translate into better performance and patient care. We aim to repeat these drills in the future to see if our prescribing and preparation times have improved, and whether we have leant from learning points that were identified from feedback.
  • Targeted learning through paediatric simulation

    Spencer, Emma Elizabeth; Shephert, Jennifer (Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2021)
    Background Simulation is regularly run with the paediatric multi-disciplinary team at a district general hospital. This facilitates learning on an individual and team level, while improving processes of patient care in a safe environment. In this quality improvement project themes were noted in simulation involving paediatric resuscitation, therefore targeted interventions were put in place to make improvements. Objectives Intervention One: Covid-19 has altered healthcare professionals approach to patient contact through the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure infection control. The Advanced Life Support Group endorsed guidance that in emergencies the patient should be assumed to have Covid-19 and full PPE should be used by responders. In paediatrics breathing support is essential; therefore unplanned simulation was run with staff to practice this skill while maintaining the safe use of PPE. Intervention Two: In simulated cardiac arrest the time taken to administer the first Adrenaline dose was over 13 minutes. Delays in administering Adrenaline in paediatric, in-hospital cardiac arrest with a non-shockable rhythm is associated with decreased survival, ROSC and survival with a favourable neurological outcome. ‘The Arrest to Adrenaline Race’ was launched with the aim to decrease the time taken to administer Adrenaline; so that in a real life scenario the patient would have the best chance of survival. Methods Intervention One: In simulation it took 156 seconds until the patient was first bagged after responders correctly donned PPE, which would have a detrimental impact to successful resuscitation. ‘The Amber Bagging Race’ was launched where teams of healthcare professionals practiced the procedure in a race scenario; from recognition of a deteriorated patient, to the correct use of PPE and then successful bagging. Intervention Two: Healthcare professionals engaged in race scenarios with a manikin, where they timed the process taken from recognition of an arrested patient, initiating resuscitation, obtaining interosseous access and administering Adrenaline at the correct prescribed dose for weight. Results Intervention One: Over two weeks thirteen teams participated and the average time to bag was reduced to 56 seconds in week one and 41 seconds in week two. In a second unplanned paediatric resuscitation following ‘The Amber Bagging Race’ the time taken to bag the patient was 46 seconds; a significant improvement in clinical practice. Intervention Two: Over two weeks fourteen teams participated and the average time taken to administer Adrenaline reduced to 324 seconds in week one and 138 seconds in week two. In further simulation scenarios following ‘The Arrest to Adrenaline Race’ the time taken to administer Adrenaline averaged 5 minutes and 23 seconds. Conclusions Conclusion: Simulation identified key areas for improvement in paediatric resuscitation and targeted interventions enabled specific practice of skills, with the aim to improve patient care in a real life scenario. Learning was disseminated to the wider team and processes were altered to further improvements in patient safety. The races brought an atmosphere of fun to the ward, improving engagement and morale. People are often fearful of simulation; an environment of fun rather than fear is conducive to more effective learning.
  • Episiotomy and Initiation of Human Milk Feeds: A Retrospective Observational Study

    Servante, Juliette (Breastfeeding Medicine, 2021-05)
    Objective: To investigate the association, in the United Kingdom, between having an episiotomy during childbirth and giving human milk by any modality as an infant's first feed. We also identified maternal demographic factors and perinatal experiences associated with increased chance of the infant's first feed being human milk. Study Design: Retrospective observational cohort study at two large maternity units within district general hospitals in the United Kingdom. Population: Mothers giving birth vaginally to singleton babies at ≥34 weeks and ≥1,800 g. Methods and Main Outcome Measures: Deidentified data from hospital records were analyzed. The odds ratio (OR) of a mother giving human milk for an infant's first feed after episiotomy versus no episiotomy was calculated using a chi-squared test. Logistic regression was used to investigate and then control for confounders known to affect breastfeeding. Results: A total of 13,906 women met the inclusion criteria (2,113 had had an episiotomy and 11,793 had not). Human milk was given as a first feed to 70% of infants in the study population. Women whose infants received their first feed as human milk were on average older, had lower body mass index, lived in an area of less socioeconomic deprivation, and had fewer previous births than those women who gave formula milk as the first feed to their infant. The occurrence of an episiotomy during delivery was not associated with a change in the odds of the infant receiving human milk for the first feed (OR: 1.12 [confidence interval, CI: 0.96-1.38]). Where a woman had skin-to-skin care with her infant straight after birth, the infant was more likely to receive human milk as a first feed (OR: 4.23 [CI: 3.59-4.98]). Conclusion: There is no link between episiotomy during delivery and the odds of a woman giving human milk as the first feed to her infant.
  • Worldwide differences in childhood type 1 diabetes: The SWEET experience

    Ngwu, Ursula
    Objective To study worldwide differences in childhood diabetes, comparing relevant indicators among five regions within the SWEET initiative. Subjects We investigated 26 726 individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) from 54 centers in the European region; 7768 individuals from 30 centers in the Asia/Middle East/Africa region; 2642 people from five centers in Australia/New Zealand; 10 839 individuals from seven centers in North America, and 1114 patients from five centers in South America. Methods The SWEET database was analyzed based on the following inclusion criteria: T1D, time period 2015-2019, and age < 21 years, with analysis of the most recent documented year of therapy. For the statistical analysis, we used multivariable linear and logistic regression models to adjust for age (<6 years, 6- < 12 years, 12- < 18 years, 18- < 21 years), gender, and duration of diabetes (<2 years, 2- < 5 years, 5- < 10 years, ≥10 years). Results Adjusted HbA1c means ranged from 7.8% (95%-confidence interval: 7.6-8.1) in Europe to 9.5% (9.2-9.8) in Asia/Middle East/Africa. Mean daily insulin dose ranged from 0.8 units/kg in Europe (0.7-0.8) and Australia/New Zealand (0.6-0.9) to 1.0 unit/kg 0.9-1.1) in Asia/Middle East/Africa. Percentage of pump use was highest in North America (80.7% [79.8-81.6]) and lowest in South America (4.2% [3.2-5.6]). Significant differences between the five regions were also observed with regards to body mass index SD scores, frequency of blood glucose monitoring and presence of severe hypoglycaemia. Conclusions We found significant heterogeneity in diabetes care and outcomes across the five regions. The aim of optimal care for each child remains a challenge.

View more