First name
Julie
Middle name
C
Last name
Fitzgerald

Title

Improving Recognition of Pediatric Severe Sepsis in the Emergency Department: Contributions of a Vital Sign-Based Electronic Alert and Bedside Clinician Identification.

Year of Publication

2017

Date Published

2017 May 27

ISSN Number

1097-6760

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE: Recognition of pediatric sepsis is a key clinical challenge. We evaluate the performance of a sepsis recognition process including an electronic sepsis alert and bedside assessment in a pediatric emergency department (ED).

METHODS: This was a cohort study with quality improvement intervention in a pediatric ED. Exposure was a positive electronic sepsis alert, defined as elevated pulse rate or hypotension, concern for infection, and at least one of the following: abnormal capillary refill, abnormal mental status, or high-risk condition. A positive electronic sepsis alert prompted team assessment or huddle to determine need for sepsis protocol. Clinicians could initiate team assessment or huddle according to clinical concern without positive electronic sepsis alert. Severe sepsis outcome defined as activation of the sepsis protocol in the ED or development of severe sepsis requiring ICU admission within 24 hours.

RESULTS: There were 182,509 ED visits during the study period, with 86,037 before electronic sepsis alert implementation and 96,472 afterward, and 1,112 (1.2%) positive electronic sepsis alerts. Overall, 326 patients (0.3%) were treated for severe sepsis within 24 hours. Test characteristics of the electronic sepsis alert alone to detect severe sepsis were sensitivity 86.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] 82.0% to 89.5%), specificity 99.1% (95% CI 99.0% to 99.2%), positive predictive value 25.4% (95% CI 22.8% to 28.0%), and negative predictive value 100% (95% CI 99.9% to 100%). Inclusion of the clinician screen identified 43 additional electronic sepsis alert-negative children, with severe sepsis sensitivity 99.4% (95% CI 97.8% to 99.8%) and specificity 99.1% (95% CI 99.1% to 99.2%). Electronic sepsis alert implementation increased ED sepsis detection from 83% to 96%.

CONCLUSION: Electronic sepsis alert for severe sepsis demonstrated good sensitivity and high specificity. Addition of clinician identification of electronic sepsis alert-negative patients further improved sensitivity. Implementation of the electronic sepsis alert was associated with improved recognition of severe sepsis.

DOI

10.1016/j.annemergmed.2017.03.019

Alternate Title

Ann Emerg Med

PMID

28583403

Title

Improving Vancomycin Stewardship in Critically Ill Children.

Year of Publication

2022

Date Published

2022 Apr 01

ISSN Number

1098-4275

Abstract

<p><strong>BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: </strong>Inappropriate vancomycin use is common in children's hospitals. We report a quality improvement (QI) intervention to reduce vancomycin use in our tertiary care PICU.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>We retrospectively quantified the prevalence of infections caused by organisms requiring vancomycin therapy, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), among patients with suspected bacterial infections. Guided by these data, we performed 3 QI interventions over a 3-year period, including (1) stakeholder education, (2) generation of a consensus-based guideline for empiric vancomycin use, and (3) implementation of this guideline through clinical decision support. Vancomycin use in days of therapy (DOT) per 1000 patient days was measured by using statistical process control charts. Balancing measures included frequency of bacteremia due to an organism requiring vancomycin not covered with empiric therapy, 30-day mortality, and cardiovascular, respiratory, and renal organ dysfunction.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Among 1276 episodes of suspected bacterial infection, a total of 19 cases of bacteremia (1.5%) due to organisms requiring vancomycin therapy were identified, including 6 MRSA bacteremias (0.5%). During the 3-year QI project, overall vancomycin DOT per 1000 patient days in the PICU decreased from a baseline mean of 182 DOT per 1000 patient days to 109 DOT per 1000 patient days (a 40% reduction). All balancing measures were unchanged, and all cases of MRSA bacteremia were treated empirically with vancomycin.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>Our interventions reduced overall vancomycin use in the PICU without evidence of harm. Provider education and consensus building surrounding indications for empiric vancomycin use were key strategies.</p>

DOI

10.1542/peds.2021-052165

Alternate Title

Pediatrics

PMID

35362066

Title

Prevalence of and Associations With Avascular Necrosis After Pediatric Sepsis: A Single-Center Retrospective Study.

Year of Publication

2022

Date Published

2022 Jan 06

ISSN Number

1529-7535

Abstract

<p><strong>OBJECTIVES: </strong>Avascular necrosis (AVN) is a rare, but serious, complication after sepsis in adults. We sought to determine if sepsis is associated with postillness diagnosis of AVN, as well as potential-associated risk factors for AVN in children with sepsis.</p>

<p><strong>DESIGN: </strong>Retrospective observational study.</p>

<p><strong>SETTING: </strong>Single academic children's hospital.</p>

<p><strong>PATIENTS: </strong>Patients less than 18 years treated for sepsis or suspected bacterial infection from 2011 to 2017. Patients who developed AVN within 3 years after sepsis were compared with patients who developed AVN after suspected bacterial infection and with patients with sepsis who did not develop AVN.</p>

<p><strong>INTERVENTION: </strong>None.</p>

<p><strong>MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: </strong>AVN was determined using International Classification of Diseases, 9th Edition/10th Edition codes and confirmed by chart review. The prevalence of AVN after sepsis was 0.73% (21/2,883) and after suspected bacterial infection was 0.43% (53/12,276; risk difference, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.0-0.63; p = 0.05). Compared with 43 sepsis controls without AVN, AVN in the 21 sepsis cases was associated with being older, having sickle cell disease and malignancy, higher body mass index, unknown source of infection, and low platelet count in the first 7 days of sepsis. Half of sepsis patients were treated with corticosteroids, and higher median cumulative dose of steroids was associated with AVN (23.2 vs 5.4 mg/kg; p &lt; 0.01). Older age at infection (odds ratio [OR], 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.4), malignancy (OR, 8.8; 95% CI, 2.6-32.9), unknown site of infection (OR, 12.7; 95% CI, 3.3-48.6), and minimal platelet count less than 100,000/µL in first 7 days of sepsis (OR, 5.0; 95% CI, 1.6-15.4) were identified as potential risk factors for AVN after sepsis following adjustment for multiple comparisons.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Although rare, sepsis was associated with a higher risk of subsequent AVN than suspected bacterial infection in children. Older age, malignancy, unknown site of infection, and minimum platelet count were potential risk factors for AVN after sepsis.</p>

DOI

10.1097/PCC.0000000000002880

Alternate Title

Pediatr Crit Care Med

PMID

34991135

Title

Temperature Trajectory Sub-Phenotypes and The Immuno-Inflammatory Response In Pediatric Sepsis.

Year of Publication

2021

Date Published

2021 Dec 27

ISSN Number

1540-0514

Abstract

<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>Heterogeneity has hampered sepsis trials, and sub-phenotyping may assist with enrichment strategies. However, biomarker-based strategies are difficult to operationalize. Four sub-phenotypes defined by distinct temperature trajectories in the first 72 hours have been reported in adult sepsis. Given the distinct epidemiology of pediatric sepsis, the existence and relevance of temperature trajectory-defined sub-phenotypes in children is unknown. We aimed to classify septic children into de novo sub-phenotypes derived from temperature trajectories in the first 72 hours, and compare cytokine, immune function, and immunometabolic markers across subgroups.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>This was a secondary analysis of a prospective cohort of 191 critically ill septic children recruited from a single academic pediatric intensive care unit. We performed group-based trajectory modeling using temperatures over the first 72 hours of sepsis to identify latent profiles. We then used mixed effects regression to determine if temperature trajectory-defined sub-phenotypes were associated with cytokine levels, immune function, and mitochondrial respiration.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>We identified four temperature trajectory-defined sub-phenotypes: hypothermic, normothermic, hyperthermic fast-resolvers, and hyperthermic slow-resolvers. Hypothermic patients were less often previously healthy and exhibited lower levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Hospital mortality did not differ between hypothermic children (17%) and other sub-phenotypes (3 to 11%; p = 0.26).</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Critically ill septic children can be categorized into temperature trajectory-defined sub-phenotypes that parallel adult sepsis. Hypothermic children exhibit a blunted cytokine and chemokine profile. Group-based trajectory modeling has utility for identifying subtypes of clinical syndromes by incorporating readily available longitudinal data, rather than relying on inputs from a single timepoint.</p>

DOI

10.1097/SHK.0000000000001906

Alternate Title

Shock

PMID

35066512

Title

Implementation of a Follow-Up System for Pediatric Sepsis Survivors in a Large Academic Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Year of Publication

2021

Number of Pages

691692

Date Published

2021

ISSN Number

2296-2360

Abstract

<p>Survivors of pediatric sepsis often develop new morbidities and deterioration in quality of life after sepsis, leading to a need for improved follow-up for children who survive sepsis. To implement a follow-up system for pediatric sepsis survivors in a pediatric health system. We performed a retrospective case series of patients treated for sepsis from October 2018 through October 2019 in a pediatric intensive care unit in a quaternary children's hospital, and describe implementation of a follow-up system for sepsis survivors. Program planning started in 2017 with multidisciplinary meetings including physical, occupational, and speech therapists, teachers, neuropsychologists, and coordinators from other survivorship programs (neonatology, stroke, and oncology). In 2018, a workshop was held to consult with local and national experts. The Pediatric Sepsis Survivorship Program launched in October 2018 led by a nurse coordinator who met with families to educate about sepsis and offer post-discharge follow-up. Patients with high pre-existing medical complexity or established subspecialty care were referred for follow-up through existing care coordination or subspecialty services plus guidance to monitor for post-sepsis morbidity. For patients with low-moderate medical complexity, the nurse coordinator administered a telephone-based health-assessment 2-3 months after discharge to screen for new physical or psychosocial morbidity. Patients flagged with concerns were referred to their primary physician and/or to expedited neuropsychological evaluation to utilize existing medical services. Of 80 sepsis patients, 10 died, 20 were referred to care coordination by the program, and 13 had subspecialty follow-up. Five patients were followed in different health systems, four were adults not appropriate for existing follow-up programs, four remained hospitalized, and four were missed due to short stay or unavailable caregivers. The remaining 20 patients were scheduled for follow-up with the Pediatric Sepsis Program. Nine patients completed the telephone assessment. Four patients were receiving new physical or occupational therapy, and one patient was referred for neuropsychology evaluation due to new difficulties with attention, behavior, and completion of school tasks. Implementation of an efficient, low-cost pediatric sepsis survivorship program was successful by utilizing existing systems of care, when available, and filling a follow-up gap in screening for select patients.</p>

DOI

10.3389/fped.2021.691692

Alternate Title

Front Pediatr

PMID

34150690

Title

Incidence of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children Among US Persons Infected With SARS-CoV-2.

Year of Publication

2021

Number of Pages

e2116420

Date Published

2021 Jun 01

ISSN Number

2574-3805

Abstract

<p><strong>Importance: </strong>Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is associated with recent or current SARS-CoV-2 infection. Information on MIS-C incidence is limited.</p>

<p><strong>Objective: </strong>To estimate population-based MIS-C incidence per 1 000 000 person-months and to estimate MIS-C incidence per 1 000 000 SARS-CoV-2 infections in persons younger than 21 years.</p>

<p><strong>Design, Setting, and Participants: </strong>This cohort study used enhanced surveillance data to identify persons with MIS-C during April to June 2020, in 7 jurisdictions reporting to both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national surveillance and to Overcoming COVID-19, a multicenter MIS-C study. Denominators for population-based estimates were derived from census estimates; denominators for incidence per 1 000 000 SARS-CoV-2 infections were estimated by applying published age- and month-specific multipliers accounting for underdetection of reported COVID-19 case counts. Jurisdictions included Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York (excluding New York City), and Pennsylvania. Data analyses were conducted from August to December 2020.</p>

<p><strong>Exposures: </strong>Race/ethnicity, sex, and age group (ie, ≤5, 6-10, 11-15, and 16-20 years).</p>

<p><strong>Main Outcomes and Measures: </strong>Overall and stratum-specific adjusted estimated MIS-C incidence per 1 000 000 person-months and per 1 000 000 SARS-CoV-2 infections.</p>

<p><strong>Results: </strong>In the 7 jurisdictions examined, 248 persons with MIS-C were reported (median [interquartile range] age, 8 [4-13] years; 133 [53.6%] male; 96 persons [38.7%] were Hispanic or Latino; 75 persons [30.2%] were Black). The incidence of MIS-C per 1 000 000 person-months was 5.1 (95% CI, 4.5-5.8) persons. Compared with White persons, incidence per 1 000 000 person-months was higher among Black persons (adjusted incidence rate ratio [aIRR], 9.26 [95% CI, 6.15-13.93]), Hispanic or Latino persons (aIRR, 8.92 [95% CI, 6.00-13.26]), and Asian or Pacific Islander (aIRR, 2.94 [95% CI, 1.49-5.82]) persons. MIS-C incidence per 1 000 000 SARS-CoV-2 infections was 316 (95% CI, 278-357) persons and was higher among Black (aIRR, 5.62 [95% CI, 3.68-8.60]), Hispanic or Latino (aIRR, 4.26 [95% CI, 2.85-6.38]), and Asian or Pacific Islander persons (aIRR, 2.88 [95% CI, 1.42-5.83]) compared with White persons. For both analyses, incidence was highest among children aged 5 years or younger (4.9 [95% CI, 3.7-6.6] children per 1 000 000 person-months) and children aged 6 to 10 years (6.3 [95% CI, 4.8-8.3] children per 1 000 000 person-months).</p>

<p><strong>Conclusions and Relevance: </strong>In this cohort study, MIS-C was a rare complication associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Estimates for population-based incidence and incidence among persons with infection were higher among Black, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian or Pacific Islander persons. Further study is needed to understand variability by race/ethnicity and age group.</p>

DOI

10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.16420

Alternate Title

JAMA Netw Open

PMID

34110391

Title

Let Us Not Forget Early Mortality in Pediatric Sepsis.

Year of Publication

2021

Number of Pages

434-436

Date Published

2021 Apr 01

ISSN Number

1529-7535

DOI

10.1097/PCC.0000000000002689

Alternate Title

Pediatr Crit Care Med

PMID

33790212

Title

Risk-Adapted Preemptive Tocilizumab to Prevent Severe Cytokine Release Syndrome After CTL019 for Pediatric B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Prospective Clinical Trial.

Year of Publication

2021

Number of Pages

JCO2002477

Date Published

2021 Jan 08

ISSN Number

1527-7755

Abstract

<p><strong>PURPOSE: </strong>To prospectively evaluate the effectiveness of risk-adapted preemptive tocilizumab (PT) administration in preventing severe cytokine release syndrome (CRS) after CTL019, a CD19 chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Children and young adults with CD19-positive relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia were assigned to high- (≥ 40%) or low- (&lt; 40%) tumor burden cohorts (HTBC or LTBC) based on a bone marrow aspirate or biopsy before infusion. HTBC patients received a single dose of tocilizumab (8-12 mg/kg) after development of high, persistent fevers. LTBC patients received standard CRS management. The primary end point was the frequency of grade 4 CRS (Penn scale), with an observed rate of ≤ 5 of 15 patients in the HTBC pre-defined as clinically meaningful. In post hoc analyses, the HTBC was compared with a historical cohort of high-tumor burden patients from the initial phase I CTL019 trial.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>The primary end point was met. Seventy patients were infused with CTL019, 15 in the HTBC and 55 in the LTBC. All HTBC patients received the PT intervention. The incidence of grade 4 CRS was 27% (95% CI, 8 to 55) in the HTBC and 3.6% (95% CI, 0.4 to 13) in the LTBC. The best overall response rate was 87% in the HTBC and 100% in the LTBC. Initial CTL019 expansion was greater in the HTBC than the LTBC ( &lt; .001), but persistence was not different ( = .73). Event-free and overall survival were worse in the HTBC ( = .004, &lt; .001, respectively). In the post hoc analysis, grade 4 CRS was observed in 27% versus 50% of patients in the PT and prior phase I cohorts, respectively ( = .18).</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>Risk-adapted PT administration resulted in a decrease in the expected incidence of grade 4 CRS, meeting the study end point, without adversely impacting the antitumor efficacy or safety of CTL019.</p>

DOI

10.1200/JCO.20.02477

Alternate Title

J Clin Oncol

PMID

33417474

Title

Evidence of thrombotic microangiopathy in children with SARS-CoV-2 across the spectrum of clinical presentations.

Year of Publication

2020

Number of Pages

6051-6063

Date Published

2020 12 08

ISSN Number

2473-9537

Abstract

<p>Most children with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection have mild or minimal disease, with a small proportion developing severe disease or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Complement-mediated thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) has been associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in adults but has not been studied in the pediatric population. We hypothesized that complement activation plays an important role in SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and sought to understand if TMA was present in these patients. We enrolled 50 hospitalized pediatric patients with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection (n = 21, minimal coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]; n = 11, severe COVID-19) or MIS-C (n = 18). As a biomarker of complement activation and TMA, soluble C5b9 (sC5b9, normal 247 ng/mL) was measured in plasma, and elevations were found in patients with minimal disease (median, 392 ng/mL; interquartile range [IQR], 244-622 ng/mL), severe disease (median, 646 ng/mL; IQR, 203-728 ng/mL), and MIS-C (median, 630 ng/mL; IQR, 359-932 ng/mL) compared with 26 healthy control subjects (median, 57 ng/mL; IQR, 9-163 ng/mL; P &lt; .001). Higher sC5b9 levels were associated with higher serum creatinine (P = .01) but not age. Of the 19 patients for whom complete clinical criteria were available, 17 (89%) met criteria for TMA. A high proportion of tested children with SARS-CoV-2 infection had evidence of complement activation and met clinical and diagnostic criteria for TMA. Future studies are needed to determine if hospitalized children with SARS-CoV-2 should be screened for TMA, if TMA-directed management is helpful, and if there are any short- or long-term clinical consequences of complement activation and endothelial damage in children with COVID-19 or MIS-C.</p>

DOI

10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003471

Alternate Title

Blood Adv

PMID

33290544

Title

Microsampling Assays for Pharmacokinetic Analysis and Therapeutic Drug Monitoring of Antimicrobial Drugs in Children: A Critical Review.

Year of Publication

2020

Date Published

2020 Dec 03

ISSN Number

1536-3694

Abstract

<p><strong>PURPOSE: </strong>With the increasing prevalence of multi-drug resistant organisms, therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) has become a common tool for assuring the safety and efficacy of antimicrobial drugs at higher doses. Microsampling techniques, including dried blood spotting (DBS) and volumetric absorptive microsampling (VAMS), are attractive tools for TDM and pediatric clinical research. For microsampling techniques to be a useful tool for TDM, it is necessary to establish the blood-plasma correlation and the therapeutic window of antimicrobial drugs in the blood.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>DBS involves the collection of small volumes of blood (30 - 50 µL per spot) on a filter paper, while VAMS allows the accurate and precise collection of a fixed volume of blood (10-30 µL) with microsampling devices. One of the major advantages of VAMS is that it reduces or eliminates the volumetric blood hematocrit (HCT) bias associated with DBS. Liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is a powerful tool for the accurate quantification of antimicrobial drugs from small volumes of blood specimens.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>This review summarizes the recent LC-MS/MS assays that have employed DBS and VAMS approaches for quantifying antimicrobial drugs. Sample collection, extraction, validation outcomes, including the inter- and intra-assay accuracy and precision, recovery, stability, and matrix effect, as well as the clinical application of these assays and their potential as tools of TDM are discussed herein.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>Microsampling techniques, such as VAMS, provide an alternative approach to traditional plasma sample collection for TDM.</p>

DOI

10.1097/FTD.0000000000000845

Alternate Title

Ther Drug Monit

PMID

33278241

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