Paediatrics (RCH) - Research Publications

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    Treatment patterns and frequency of key outcomes in acute severe asthma in children: a Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative (PREDICT) multicentre cohort study
    Craig, S ; Powell, CVE ; Nixon, GM ; Oakley, E ; Hort, J ; Armstrong, DS ; Ranganathan, S ; Kochar, A ; Wilson, C ; George, S ; Phillips, N ; Furyk, J ; Lawton, B ; Borland, ML ; O'Brien, S ; Neutze, J ; Lithgow, A ; Mitchell, C ; Watkins, N ; Brannigan, D ; Wood, J ; Gray, C ; Hearps, S ; Ramage, E ; Williams, A ; Lew, J ; Jones, L ; Graudins, A ; Dalziel, S ; Babl, FE (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2022-03-01)
    RATIONALE: Severe acute paediatric asthma may require treatment escalation beyond systemic corticosteroids, inhaled bronchodilators and low-flow oxygen. Current large asthma datasets report parenteral therapy only. OBJECTIVES: To identify the use and type of escalation of treatment in children presenting to hospital with acute severe asthma. METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of children with an emergency department diagnosis of asthma or wheeze at 18 Australian and New Zealand hospitals. The main outcomes were use and type of escalation treatment (defined as any of intensive care unit admission, nebulised magnesium, respiratory support or parenteral bronchodilator treatment) and hospital length of stay (LOS). MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Of 14 029 children (median age 3 (IQR 1-3) years; 62.9% male), 1020 (7.3%, 95% CI 6.9% to 7.7%) had treatment escalation. Children with treatment escalation had a longer LOS (44.2 hours, IQR 27.3-63.2 hours) than children without escalation 6.7 hours, IQR 3.5-16.3 hours; p<0.001). The most common treatment escalations were respiratory support alone (400; 2.9%, 95% CI 2.6% to 3.1%), parenteral bronchodilator treatment alone (380; 2.7%, 95% CI 2.5% to 3.0%) and both respiratory support and parenteral bronchodilator treatment (209; 1.5%, 95% CI 1.3% to 1.7%). Respiratory support was predominantly nasal high-flow therapy (99.0%). The most common intravenous medication regimens were: magnesium alone (50.4%), magnesium and aminophylline (24.6%) and magnesium and salbutamol (10.0%). CONCLUSIONS: Overall, 7.3% children with acute severe asthma received some form of escalated treatment, with 4.2% receiving parenteral bronchodilators and 4.3% respiratory support. There is wide variation treatment escalation.
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    Review article: Developing the Australian and New Zealand Guideline for Mild to Moderate Head Injuries in Children: An adoption/adaption approach
    Tavender, E ; Ballard, DW ; Wilson, A ; Borland, ML ; Oakley, E ; Cotterell, E ; Wilson, CL ; Ring, J ; Dalziel, SR ; Babl, FE (WILEY, 2021-02-02)
    The Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative (PREDICT) released the Australian and New Zealand Guideline for Mild to Moderate Head Injuries in Children in 2021. We describe innovative and practical methods used to develop this guideline. Informed by GRADE-ADOLOPMENT and ADAPTE frameworks, we adopted or adapted recommendations from multiple high-quality guidelines or developed de novo recommendations. A Guideline Steering Committee and a multidisciplinary Guideline Working Group of 25 key stakeholder representatives formulated the guideline scope and developed 33 clinical questions. We identified four relevant high-quality source guidelines; their recommendations were mapped to clinical questions. The choice of guideline recommendation, if more than one guideline addressed a question, was based on its appropriateness, currency of the literature, access to evidence, and relevance. Updated literature searches identified 440 new studies and key new evidence identified. The decision to develop adopted, adapted or de novo recommendations was based on the supporting evidence-base and its transferability to the local setting. The guideline underwent a 12-week consultation period. The final guideline consisted of 35 evidence-informed and 17 consensus-based recommendations and 19 practice points. An algorithm to inform imaging and observation decision-making was also developed. The resulting process was an efficient and rigorous way to develop a guideline based on existing high-quality guidelines from different settings.
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    Australian and New Zealand Guideline for Mild to Moderate Head Injuries in Children
    Babl, FE ; Tavender, E ; Ballard, DW ; Borland, ML ; Oakley, E ; Cotterell, E ; Halkidis, L ; Goergen, S ; Davis, GA ; Perry, D ; Anderson, V ; Barlow, KM ; Barnett, P ; Bennetts, S ; Bhamjee, R ; Cole, J ; Craven, J ; Haskell, L ; Lawton, B ; Lithgow, A ; Mullen, G ; O'Brien, S ; Paproth, M ; Wilson, CL ; Ring, J ; Wilson, A ; Leo, GSY ; Dalziel, SR (WILEY, 2021-02-02)
    OBJECTIVE: Children frequently present with head injuries to acute care settings. Although international paediatric clinical practice guidelines for head injuries exist, they do not address all considerations related to triage, imaging, observation versus admission, transfer, discharge and follow-up of mild to moderate head injuries relevant to the Australian and New Zealand context. The Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative (PREDICT) set out to develop an evidence-based, locally applicable, practical clinical guideline for the care of children with mild to moderate head injuries presenting to acute care settings. METHODS: A multidisciplinary Guideline Working Group (GWG) developed 33 questions in three key areas - triage, imaging and discharge of children with mild to moderate head injuries presenting to acute care settings. We identified existing high-quality guidelines and from these guidelines recommendations were mapped to clinical questions. Updated literature searches were undertaken, and key new evidence identified. Recommendations were created through either adoption, adaptation or development of de novo recommendations. The guideline was revised after a period of public consultation. RESULTS: The GWG developed 71 recommendations (evidence-informed = 35, consensus-based = 17, practice points = 19), relevant to the Australian and New Zealand setting. The guideline is presented as three documents: (i) a detailed Full Guideline summarising the evidence underlying each recommendation; (ii) a Guideline Summary; and (iii) a clinical Algorithm: Imaging and Observation Decision-making for Children with Head Injuries. CONCLUSIONS: The PREDICT Australian and New Zealand Guideline for Mild to Moderate Head Injuries in Children provides high-level evidence and practical guidance for front line clinicians.
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    Influence of weather on incidence of bronchiolitis in Australia and New Zealand
    Hoeppner, T ; Borland, M ; Babl, FE ; Neutze, J ; Phillips, N ; Krieser, D ; Dalziel, SR ; Davidson, A ; Donath, S ; Jachno, K ; South, M ; Williams, A ; Zhang, G ; Oakley, E (WILEY, 2017-10-01)
    AIM: We aimed to examine the impact of weather on hospital admissions with bronchiolitis in Australia and New Zealand. METHODS: We collected data for inpatient admissions of infants aged 2-12 months to seven hospitals in four cities in Australia and New Zealand from 2009 until 2011. Correlation of hospital admissions with minimum daily temperature, wind speed, relative humidity and rainfall was examined using linear, Poisson and negative binomial regression analyses as well as general estimated equation models. To account for possible lag between exposure to weather and admission to hospital, analyses were conducted for time lags of 0-4 weeks. RESULTS: During the study period, 3876 patients were admitted to the study hospitals. Hospital admissions showed strong seasonality with peaks in wintertime, onset in autumn and offset in spring. The onset of peak incidence was preceded by a drop in temperature. Minimum temperature was inversely correlated with hospital admissions, whereas wind speed was directly correlated. These correlations were sustained for time lags of up to 4 weeks. Standardised correlation coefficients ranged from -0.14 to -0.54 for minimum temperature and from 0.18 to 0.39 for wind speed. Relative humidity and rainfall showed no correlation with hospital admissions in our study. CONCLUSION: A decrease in temperature and increasing wind speed are associated with increasing incidence of bronchiolitis hospital admissions in Australia and New Zealand.
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    Intensive care unit admissions and ventilation support in infants with bronchiolitis
    Oakley, E ; Chong, V ; Borland, M ; Neutze, J ; Phillips, N ; Krieser, D ; Dalziel, S ; Davidson, A ; Donath, S ; Jachno, K ; South, M ; Fry, A ; Babl, FE (WILEY, 2017-08-01)
    OBJECTIVES: To describe the rate of intensive care unit (ICU) admission, type of ventilation support provided and risk factors for ICU admission in infants with bronchiolitis. DESIGN: Retrospective review of hospital records and Australia and New Zealand Paediatric Intensive Care (ANZPIC) registry data for infants 2-12 months old admitted with bronchiolitis. SETTING: Seven Australian and New Zealand hospitals. These infants were prospectively identified through the comparative rehydration in bronchiolitis (CRIB) study between 2009 and 2011. RESULTS: Of 3884 infants identified, 3589 charts were available for analysis. Of 204 (5.7%) infants with bronchiolitis admitted to ICU, 162 (79.4%) received ventilation support. Of those 133 (82.1%) received non-invasive ventilation (high flow nasal cannula [HFNC] or continuous positive airway pressure [CPAP]) 7 (4.3%) received invasive ventilation alone and 21 (13.6%) received a combination of ventilation modes. Infants with comorbidities such as chronic lung disease (OR 1.6 [95% CI 1.0-2.6]), congenital heart disease (OR 2.3 [1.5-3.5]), neurological disease (OR 2.2 [1.2-4.1]) or prematurity (OR 1.5 [1.0-2.1]), and infants 2-6 months of age (OR 1.5 [1.1-2.0]) were more likely to be admitted to ICU. Respiratory syncitial virus positivity did not increase the likelihood of being admitted to ICU (OR 1.1 [95% CI 0.8-1.4]). HFNC use changed from 13/53 (24.5% [95% CI 13.7-38.3]) patient episodes in 2009 to 39/91 (42.9% [95% CI 32.5-53.7]) patient episodes in 2011. CONCLUSION: Admission to ICU is an uncommon occurrence in infants admitted with bronchiolitis, but more common in infants with comorbidities and prematurity. The majority are managed with non-invasive ventilation, with increasing use of HFNC.
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    Computed tomography for head injuries in children: Change in Australian usage rates over time
    Oakley, E ; May, R ; Hoeppner, T ; Sinn, K ; Furyk, J ; Craig, S ; Rosengarten, P ; Kochar, A ; Krieser, D ; Dalton, S ; Dalziel, S ; Neutze, J ; Cain, T ; Jachno, K ; Babl, FE (WILEY, 2017-04-01)
    OBJECTIVE: Paediatric head injury is a common presentation to the ED. North American studies demonstrate increasing use of computed tomography (CT) brain scan (CTB) to investigate head injury. No such data exists for Australian EDs. The aim of this study was to describe CTB use in head injury over time in eight Australian EDs. METHODS: Retrospective ED electronic database and medical imaging database audit was undertaken for the years 2001-2010 by International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 9 or 10 code for head injury in children <16 years. EDs and medical imaging departments of eight hospitals in Australia (five tertiary referral and three mixed departments). Data for ED presentations with head injury, and all CTB performed by medical imaging were merged to obtain a data set of CTB performed within 24 h for head injury-related attendances to the ED. Descriptive and comparative analysis of CTB rates was performed. RESULTS: The rate of CTB over the decade was 10.2% (95% confidence interval (CI) 9.9-10.5). The annual rate varied from 9.5% (95% CI 8.2-10.9) to 12.5% (95% CI 11.2-13.9). CTB use did not increase over time. Median year of age at time of CT scan was 4 years, with an interquartile range of 1.5-9.4 years. Overall there was a 9.2% increase in the CTB scan rate for every additional year of age at presentation (95% CI 6.6-12.1; P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: CTB use in head injuries did not increase during the study period, and rates of CTB were less than reported for North America.
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    Economic evaluation of nasogastric versus intravenous hydration in infants with bronchiolitis
    Oakley, E ; Carter, R ; Murphy, B ; Borland, M ; Neutze, J ; Acworth, J ; Krieser, D ; Dalziel, S ; Davidson, A ; Donath, S ; Jachno, K ; South, M ; Babl, FE (WILEY, 2017-06-01)
    OBJECTIVE: Bronchiolitis is the most common lower respiratory tract infection in infants and the leading cause of hospitalisation. We aimed to assess whether intravenous hydration (IVH) was more cost-effective than nasogastric hydration (NGH) as a planned secondary economic analysis of a randomised trial involving 759 infants (aged 2-12 months) admitted to hospital with a clinical diagnosis of bronchiolitis and requiring non-oral hydration. No Australian cost data exist to aid clinicians in decision-making around interventions in bronchiolitis. METHODS: Cost data collections included hospital and intervention-specific costs. The economic analysis was reduced to a cost-minimisation study, focusing on intervention-specific costs of IVH versus NGH, as length of stay was equal between groups. All analyses are reported as intention to treat. RESULTS: Intervention costs were greater for IVH than NGH ($113 vs $74; cost difference of $39 per child). The intervention-specific cost advantage to NGH was robust to inter-site variation in unit prices and treatment activity. CONCLUSION: Intervention-specific costs account for <10% of total costs of bronchiolitis admissions, with NGH having a small cost saving across all sites.
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    Neonatal head injuries: A prospective Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative cohort study
    Eapen, N ; Borland, ML ; Phillips, N ; Kochar, A ; Dalton, S ; Cheek, JA ; Gilhotra, Y ; Neutze, J ; Lyttle, MD ; Donath, S ; Crowe, L ; Dalziel, SR ; Oakley, E ; Williams, A ; Hearps, S ; Bressan, S ; Babl, FE (WILEY, 2019-12-23)
    AIM: To characterise the causes, clinical characteristics and short-term outcomes of neonates who presented to paediatric emergency departments with a head injury. METHODS: Secondary analysis of a prospective data set of paediatric head injuries at 10 emergency departments in Australia and New Zealand. Patients without neuroimaging were followed up by telephone call. We extracted epidemiological information, clinical findings and outcomes in neonates (≤28 days). RESULTS: Of 20 137 children with head injuries, 93 (0.5%) occurred in neonates. These were mostly fall-related (75.2%), commonly from a care giver's arms, or due to being accidentally struck by a person/object (20.4%). There were three cases of non-accidental head injuries (3.2%). Most neonates were asymptomatic (67.7%) and many had no findings on examination (47.3%). Most neonates had a Glasgow Coma Scale 15 (89.2%) or 14 (7.5%). A total of 15.1% presented with vomiting and 5.4% were abnormally drowsy. None had experienced a loss of consciousness. The most common findings on examination were scalp haematoma (28.0%) and possible palpable skull fracture (6.5%); 8.6% underwent computed tomography brain scan and 4.3% received an ultrasound. Five of eight computed tomography scan (5.4% of neonates overall) showed traumatic brain injury and two of four (2.2% overall) had traumatic brain injury on ultrasound. Thirty-seven percent were admitted, one patient was intubated and none had neurosurgery or died. CONCLUSIONS: Neonatal head injuries are rare with a mostly benign short-term outcome and are appropriate for observation. However, non-accidental injuries need to be considered.
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    Paediatric abusive head trauma in the emergency department: A multicentre prospective cohort study
    Babl, FE ; Pfeiffer, H ; Kelly, P ; Dalziel, SR ; Oakley, E ; Borland, ML ; Kochar, A ; Dalton, S ; Cheek, JA ; Gilhotra, Y ; Furyk, J ; Lyttle, MD ; Bressan, S ; Donath, S ; Hearps, SJC ; Smith, A ; Crowe, L (WILEY, 2019-12-10)
    AIM: Abusive head trauma (AHT) is associated with high morbidity and mortality. We aimed to describe characteristics of cases where clinicians suspected AHT and confirmed AHT cases and describe how they differed. METHODS: This was a planned secondary analysis of a prospective multicentre cohort study of head injured children aged <18 years across five centres in Australia and New Zealand. We identified cases of suspected AHT when emergency department clinicians raised suspicion on a clinical report form or based on research assistant-assigned epidemiology codes. Cases were categorised as AHT positive, negative and indeterminate after multidisciplinary review. Suspected and confirmed AHT and non-AHT cases were compared using odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals. RESULTS: AHT was suspected in 70 of 13 371 (0.5%) head-injured children. Of these, 23 (32.9%) were categorised AHT positive, 18 (25.7%) AHT indeterminate and 29 (27.1%) AHT negative. Median age was 0.8 years in suspected, 1.4 years in confirmed AHT and 4.1 years in non-AHT cases. Odds ratios (95% confidence interval) for presenting features and outcomes in confirmed AHT versus non-AHT were: loss of consciousness 2.8 (1.2-6.9), scalp haematoma 3.9 (1.7-9.0), seizures 12.0 (4.0-35.5), Glasgow coma scale ≤12 30.3 (11.8-78.0), abnormal neuroimaging 38.3 (16.8-87.5), intensive care admission 53.4 (21.6-132.5) and mortality 105.5 (22.2-500.4). CONCLUSIONS: Emergency department presentations of children with suspected and confirmed AHT had higher rates of loss of consciousness, scalp haematomas, seizures and low Glasgow coma scale. These cases were at increased risk of abnormal computed tomography scans, need for intensive care and death.
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    Imaging and admission practices in paediatric head injury across emergency departments in Australia and New Zealand: A PREDICT study
    Phillips, N ; Dalziel, SR ; Borland, ML ; Dalton, S ; Lyttle, MD ; Bressan, S ; Oakley, E ; Hearps, SJC ; Kochar, A ; Furyk, J ; Cheek, JA ; Gilhotra, Y ; Neutze, J ; Babl, FE ; Phillips, N ; Dalziel, SR ; Borland, ML ; Dalton, S ; Lyttle, MD ; Bressan, S ; Oakley, E ; Hearps, SJC ; Kochar, A ; Furyk, J ; Cheek, JA ; Gilhotra, Y ; Neutze, J ; Babl, FE (WILEY, 2019-11-26)
    OBJECTIVES: Variation in the management of paediatric head injury has been identified worldwide. This prospective study describes imaging and admission practices of children presenting with head injury across 10 hospital EDs in Australia and New Zealand. METHODS: Prospective observational multicentre study of 20 137 children (under 18 years) as a planned secondary analysis of the Australasian Paediatric Head Injury Rules Study. All presentations with head injury without prior imaging were eligible for inclusion. Variations in rates of computed tomography of the brain (CTB) and admission practices between sites, ED type and country were investigated, as were clinically important traumatic brain injuries (ciTBIs) and abnormal CTBs within CTBs. RESULTS: Among the 20 137 enrolled patients, the site adjusted CTB rate was 11.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] 7.8-14.6); individual sites ranged from 2.6 to 18.6%. ciTBI was found in 0.4-2.2%, with abnormal scans documented in 0.7-6.5%. As a percentage of CTBs undertaken, ciTBIs were found in 12.8% (95% CI 10.8-14.7) with individual site variation of 8.8-16.9%, and no statistically significant difference noted, and traumatic abnormalities in 29.3% (95% CI 26.2-32.3) with individual site variation between 19.4 and 35.6%. Among those under 2 years,traumatic abnormalities were found in greater than 50% of CTBs at 90% of sites. Admission rate overall was 24.0% (site adjusted) with wide variation between sites (5.0-48.9%). CONCLUSION: Across the 10 largely tertiary EDs included in this study, the overall CTB rate was low with no significant variation between sites when adjusted for ciTBIs.