Lots of writing on this month’s PDF digest, much of it thanks to our registrars. Rotavirus oral vaccination, wheezing in the under 2s, bradycardia, conduct disorder, Kawasaki disease and force feeding. Do leave comments below.
Lots of things to talk about this month. Reminder of what Koplik spots look like, good e-learning on human trafficking, a link to the new primary care guidelines page, night terrors v. nightmares, some good allergy websites and Jess Spedding again on scaphoid injuries. Do leave comments below.
April wasn’t quite long enough this year for me to get the newsletter out in time – or something like that anyway. With thanks to Stephen Flanagan of the London PHE for his input into the measles textbox and Paul Gringras for help with the sleep series again. Jess has put together another superb article for her minor injuries series and I hope you find the links to the healthy weight clinics helpful for your patients locally. Click here for the April/May 2013 newsletter.
August’s PDF only has 4 text boxes but with lots of information crammed into them and extra on the blog. A great looking PDF on poisoning in children from one of our registrars, an article on stammering from another working with a speech and language therapist and an update on BTS pneumonia guidelines just in time for the winter. Also a feature on Cardiff’s core info safeguarding work on the evidence behind different types of fractures. Do leave comments…
In October 2011 the British Thoracic Society updated its guidelines on community acquired pneumonia in children. Dr Michael Eyres looked at it in more detail for Paediatric Pearls. He was also part of our local audit team contributing to the national audit. The results showed that we, despite insisting on as few investigations as possible, are still doing too many chest x-rays, blood cultures and CRP measurements. Think – will it change management?
Here are the basics:
When to consider pneumonia
Persistent fever > 38.5°C + chest recessions + tachypnoea
• CXR should not be considered routine and is not required in children who do not need admission.
• Acute phase reactants including CRP are not useful in distinguishing viral from bacterial infection and should not
be tested routinely. Blood cultures also do not need to be routinely taken.
• Daily U&Es are required in children receiving IV fluids.
• Children with oxygen saturations <92% need hospital referral.
• Auscultation findings of absent breath sounds with dullness to percussion need hospital referral.
• Children should be reassessed if symptoms persist.
• Give parents information on managing fever, preventing dehydration and identifying deterioration.
• Children with oxygen saturations <92% need oxygen.
• NG tubes should be avoided in severe respiratory compromise and in infants.
• Chest physio is not beneficial and should not be performed in pneumonia.
• All children with a clear clinical diagnosis of pneumonia should receive antibiotics as bacterial and viral
infections cannot be reliably distinguished. However most children younger than 2 years presenting with mild symptoms of respiratory distress (this would
include the bronchiolitics) do not usually require antibiotics.
• Amoxicillin is the oral first-line for all children as it is effective, well tolerated and cheap.
• Macrolides if no response to first-line / suspected mycoplasma or chlamydia / very severe disease.
• Augmentin if pneumonia associated with influenza.
• Oral agents are effective even in severe pneumonia; IV is needed only if unable to tolerate oral or there are
signs of septicaemia, empyema or abscess.
• Children with severe pneumonia or complications should be followed up after discharge until they have recovered completely and
CXR is near normal. Follow-up CXR is not otherwise required, but may be considered in round pneumonia, collapse or if symptoms persist.
Most children who are dehydrated presenting to UK emergency departments can be rehydrated orally.
- Give 50ml/kg ORS solution over 4hrs, plus ORS solution for maintenance, often and in small amounts (even by syringe or spoon)
- Continue breast feeding
- Consider supplementing with usual fluids (but not fruit juices or carbonated drinks) if a child without red flag symptoms or signs (see http://www.nice.org.uk/CG84) refuses to take sufficient ORS solution. Don’t give solids.
- Consider giving ORS solution via ng tube if child is unable to take it or continues to vomit (esp. with red flag symptoms/signs)
- Monitor carefully
This is a worked example for a 3 year old child weighing 14kgs who has been assessed as about 5% dehydrated.
Maintenance = 100mls/kg for first 10kgs and 50mls/kg for next 10 kgs = 1000mls + 200mls = 1200mls over 24 hours
Replacement = 5 x 14 x 10 = 700mls over the first 4 hours (extra to maintenance needs)
Therefore the child needs 225mls per hour for the first 4 hours (1200/24 + 700/4), followed by 50mls (1200/24) per hour.
The 225 mls is best given as 18 mls every 5 minutes or 56mls every 15 minutes if vomiting seems to have stopped or if using nasogastric tube.
They should have 5mls/kg = 70mls extra diarolyte (ORS) with each diarrhoeal stool or vomit.
Give parents written information to go home with so they understand that diarrhoea may continue for a few days but this does not matter as long as they are able to get enough fluid in the top end. The NICE guideline parent information is at http://guidance.nice.org.uk/CG84/PublicInfo/pdf/English.
Managing Fever in Children with thanks to Dr Ranjev Kainth
Fever, both in primary and secondary care is a frequent presentation. Often, it is a sign of an illness and in the first instance, it is important to establish the most likely underlying causative factor. Once this has been determined, focus often turns to the management of the fever. Two recent articles in Archives highlight the varying practice amongst clinicians both in primary and secondary care.
In accordance with NICE guidelines1, the authors2-3 suggest anti-pyretics should not be used for the sole purpose of controlling fever. Agents such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are often administered to promote comfort in the child when there is fever. In such situations, children may be prescribed single or dual therapy.
In a systematic review, E.Purssell3 examines the evidence for combined anti-pyretic therapy with either paracetamol or ibuprofen alone. He concluded that ‘only marginal benefit was shown for the combined treatment compared with each drug individually which, taken alongside the risk of overdose and further increasing the fear of fever, suggests there is little to recommend this practice’.
With the real risk of parents being unable to accurately measure medication4, it is important clear guidance is given on when and what type of drug therapy is appropriate in clinical situations.
- NICE Guideline: Feverish Illness in Children: Quick reference guideline http://guidance.nice.org.uk/CG47/QuickRefGuide/pdf/English
- McLyntyre, J. Management of fever in Children. Arch Dis Child Dec 2011 V 96;12 P.1173
- Purssell, E. Systematic review of studies comparing combined treatment with paracetamol and ibuprofen, with either drug alone. Arch Dis Child Dec 2011 V 96;12 P.1175
- Beckett, V.L. et al. Accurately administering oral medication to children isn’t child’s play. Arch Dis Child 2011;96:A7 doi:10.1136/adc.2011.212563.14
Children from about 5 years old may be able to use a Peak Flow Meter to record their PEFR. As one of the parameters by which we diagnose a severe or life-threatening asthma exacerbation is the percentage drop in PEFR, it would help to know what a child’s normal PEFR is! Click here for a guide of what you might expect for height. Children don’t always conform to these norms so it is important to know what the child’s own normal PEFR is; a 20% drop in their norm suggests poor control of asthma, a 40% drop suggests a significant exacerbation.