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1.
Children (Basel) ; 9(5)2022 May 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1953083

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the lung ultrasound (LU) turned out to be a pivotal tool to study the lung involvement in the adult population, but the same was not well evaluated in children. We detected the LU patterns through an integrated approach with clinical-laboratory features in children hospitalized for COVID-19 in relation to the temporal trend of the Italian epidemic. We conducted a retrospective study which took place at a pediatric tertiary hospital from 15 March 2020 to 15 March 2021. We compared the characteristics of the initial phase of the first COVID-19 year-in the spring and summer (15 March-30 September 2020)-and those of the second phase-in the autumn and winter (1 October 2020-15 March 2021). Twenty-eight patients were studied both in the first and in the second phase of the first COVID-19 year. The disease severity score (DSS) was significantly greater in the second phase (p = 0.015). In the second phase of the first COVID-19 year, we detected a more significant occurrence of the following LU features than in the first phase: the irregular pleural line (85.71% vs. 60.71%; p = 0.035), the B-lines (89.29% vs. 60%; p = 0.003) and the several but non-coalescent B-lines (89.29% vs. 60%; p = 0.003). The LU score correlated significantly with the DSS, with a moderate relationship (r = 0.51, p < 0.001). The combined clinical, laboratory and ultrasound approaches might be essential in the evaluation of pulmonary involvement in children affected by COVID-19 during different periods of the pandemic.

2.
Eat Weight Disord ; 2022 Mar 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1748380

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and home confinement had a significant impact on children, especially on those with eating disorders (ED). The primary objective of this retrospective study was to describe and analyze the demographic and clinical profiles of children presenting with ED during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of clinical charts of patients with ED younger than 18 years who accessed the emergency department of the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, Rome, between March 2019 and March 2021. Of these, we reported and compared the demographic, clinical and laboratory data before and after the COVID-19 pandemic and looked for predictors of ED severity. RESULTS: A total of 211 admissions for ED were recorded. The patients, mostly females (86.3%) were on average 14.1 years old. The mean weight loss on admission was 11 kg. Bradycardia was observed in 31.3% of the study sample. 16.6% of patients had an associated psychiatric disorder and 60.2% required psychotropic drugs. 68.7% of the patients required hospitalization. Respectively, 96 and 115 patients were admitted before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The latter were hospitalized more (78.3 vs 57.3%; p = 0.001), yet for less time (19 vs 26 days; p = 0.004), had a higher mean serum creatinine (0.68 vs 0.47; p < 0.001) and were more frequently diagnosed with an associated psychiatric disorder (23.5 vs 8.3%; p = 0.003). CONCLUSION: Our study shows a significant increase of hospitalizations of children with ED during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with a shorter length of stay, more psychiatric comorbidities, and some distinctive features at the laboratory work-up, such as an increase of serum creatinine and/or a reduction of serum albumin. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III, evidence obtained from well-designed cohort or case-control analytic studies.

3.
Ital J Pediatr ; 48(1): 32, 2022 Feb 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702856

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Emergency Departments play a pivotal role in detecting cases of child abuse. Despite the efforts made in the past decades on the need for a screening method for the early detection of abuse victims, a unique instrument shared by the international scientific community has not been made. These instruments should be able to help recognizing whether it is necessary to further investigate the child's condition. The aim of the study is to illustrate the screening indicators in use since 2010 in the Emergency Department of the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital to early recognise the victims of abuse and the modifying process of the screening tool undertaken over the years. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the process that led to the editing of the indicators of child abuse in use nowadays at the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital. We codified three clinical pathways to apply in case of suspected abuse. Furthermore, we investigated the medical records of screening-positive accesses in the Paediatric Emergency Department of the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital from January 2008 to October 2020. RESULTS: An estimation of positive screening, regarding the type of abuse suspected, and the number of accessed in ED was made, resulting in a cohort of 956 patients. In 2010 we created a list of 14 items grouped in three clusters: anamnestic declarations or incongruences, carelessness/neglect and evident lesions at physical examination. Positivity to one of the items allows the actuation of the investigating protocol named as clinical pathway.In 2013, after three years of experience, the criteria were edited to increase specificity. The application of screening led to a median number of 82 suspected cases/year from 2013 to 2020. CONCLUSION: A screening tool is essential and productive for the early recognition of victims of abuse. An in-deep analysis of suspected cases through a standardized method, such as the clinical pathway, allowed reaching the diagnosis in a more accurate and precise manner.


Subject(s)
Child Abuse , Hospitals, Pediatric , Child , Child Abuse/diagnosis , Child Abuse/prevention & control , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Mass Screening/methods , Retrospective Studies
4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-317622

ABSTRACT

Background: The aim of this study was to analyze the lung ultrasound (LUS) patterns in combination with clinical-laboratory profiles of children hospitalized for COVID-19 infection in relation to temporal trend of the Italian epidemic. Methods: This was a retrospective study conducted at a pediatric tertiary referral hospital from 15th March 2020 to 15th March 2021. We compared the characteristics of two periods of the pandemic outbreak, the first one in spring and summer (15th March-30th September 2020) and the second one in autumn and winter (1st October 2020-15th March 2021). Results: 28 patients (53.85%) were in the first period, 24 patients (46.15%) were in the second period. The disease severity score was significantly higher in the second period (p=0.02). We observed that the occurrence of the irregular pleural line was seen more frequently in the second period (87.5% vs 60.71%;p=0.03). The B-lines were significantly more frequent in children in the second period (87.5% vs 60%;p=0.03). The several but not-coalescent B-lines were significantly more frequent in the second period (80% vs 41.7%;p=0.05). The LUS score correlated significantly with the disease severity score with a strong relationship (r=0.51, p=0.002). The second phase of the COVID-19 epidemic outbreak had a higher disease severity score than the first phase with a moderate correlation (r= 0.42;p=0.01). Conclusion: The LUS plays an important role in the evaluation of pulmonary involvement in children affected by COVID-19 during different periods of the pandemic in combination with clinical-laboratory findings.

6.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(12)2021 Dec 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572687

ABSTRACT

Several countries have targeted adolescents for immunization against SARS-CoV-2 to mitigate COVID-19 spread. In Italy, immunization for children ≥ 12 years has been available starting from June 2021. We conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the knowledge, attitude and intention to vaccinate children < 18 years in Italian families. We used a multinomial logistic regression model to investigate factors associated with intention to vaccinate. We collected a total of 1696 responses. Among the 491 families of children ≥ 12 years, 41.2% would not vaccinate their children and 21.2% were uncertain, while among the 1205 families of children < 12 years, 36.1% would not vaccinate and 33.8% were uncertain. Determinants of intention to vaccinate both age groups were perceived safety and efficacy of vaccines and perceived risk of transmitting infection to adults. For children < 12 years, additional determinants were perceived risk of being infected and being hospitalized because of COVID-19. In view of the expanding strategy to vaccinate adolescents and the availability of immunization for children < 12 years, our results call for a communication strategy targeted at families of children focused on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine in children and on the dynamics of infection spread across different age groups. As perceptions in families are volatile and may change rapidly over time, repeated surveys for measuring attitudes to vaccinate would be advisable.

7.
Pediatr Res ; 2021 Jun 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1265938

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The objective of this study is to test how certain signs and symptoms related to COVID-19 in children predict the positivity or negativity of the SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal swab in children. METHODS: We review the data of children who were tested for SARS-CoV-2 for a suspected infection. We compared the clinical characteristics of the subjects who tested positive and negative, including the sensibility, positive and negative predictive value of different combination of signs and symptoms. RESULTS: Of all the suspected infected, 2596 tested negative (96.2%) and 103 tested positive (3.8%). The median age was 7.0 and 5.3 years for the positive and negative ones, respectively. The female to male ratio was ~1:1.3. Fever and respiratory symptoms were mostly reported. Most positive children had a prior exposure to SARS-CoV-2-infected subjects (59.2%). A total of 99.3% of patients without fever nor exposure to the virus proved negative to the SARS-CoV-2 test. CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that a child without fever or contact with infected subjects is SARS-CoV-2 negative. If this were to be confirmed, many resources would be spared, with improved care of both COVID-19 and not COVID-19-affected children. IMPACT: Key message: lack of fever and exposure to SARS-CoV-2-infected people highly predicts a negative results of the SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal swab in the paediatric population. Added value to the current literature: this is the first article to prove this point. IMPACT: reduction of emergency department accesses of children with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection; increased outpatient management of children with cough or other common respiratory symptoms of infancy; sparing of many human and material health resources.

8.
Ital J Pediatr ; 47(1): 21, 2021 Jan 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054830

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Italy was the first country in Europe affected by COVID-19: the emergency started on February 20, 2020, culminating with national lockdown on March 11, which terminated on May 4, 2020. We describe how the pandemic affected Emergency Department (ED) accesses in a tertiary children's hospital, composed by two different pediatric centers, one located in Rome's city center and the second, Palidoro (regional COVID-19 center), in its surrounding metropolitan area, both in the Lazio region, analyzing the profile of admitted patients during the pandemic period in terms of their general characteristics (at presentation in the ED's) and urgent hospitalizations compared to prepandemic period. METHODS: The study compare the period between the 21st of February and the 30th of April 2020, covering the three phases of the national responses (this period will be referred to as the pandemic period) with the same period of 2019 (prepandemic period). The study analyzes the number of ED visits and urgent hospitalizations and their distribution according to selected characteristics. RESULTS: The reduction of ED visits was 56 and 62%, respectively in Rome and Palidoro centers. The higher relative decline was encountered for Diseases of Respiratory System, and for Diseases of the Nervous System and Sense Organs. A doubling of the relative frequency of hospitalizations was observed, going from 14.2 to 24.4% in Rome and from 6.4 to 10.3% in Palidoro. In terms of absolute daily numbers the decrease of urgent hospitalizations was less sharp than ED visits. For pathologies such as peritonitis, tumors or other possible life-treathening conditions we did not observe a significative increase due to delayed access. CONCLUSIONS: In the pandemic period there was a general reduction in the number of children referred to ED, such reduction was greater in low-acuity levels. The reduction for respiratory tract infections and other communicable diseases during school closure and the national lockdown must make us reflect on the possible impact that these conditions may have on the health system, in particular the ED, at the reopening of schools. The major problem remains the fear for possible diagnostic delays in life-threatening or crippling diseases; our study doesn't demonstrate an increase in number or significant delay in some serious conditions such as tumors, peritonitis, diabetic ketoacidosis, ileo-colic intussusception and testis/ovary torsion. A continuous, deep re-organizational process step by step of the ED is nececessary in the present and upcoming pandemic situation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, Pediatric/statistics & numerical data , Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data , Child , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Pediatr Infect Dis J ; 39(9): e221-e225, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-636869

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In Italy, the response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic upgraded from social distancing on February 23, 2020, to national lockdown on March 11, 2020. We described how the pandemic affected a tertiary care children hospital with a dedicated COVID-19 regional center. METHODS: We analyzed the characteristics of emergency department (ED) visits, urgent hospitalizations and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-COV-2 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing, and COVID-19 patients across 3 response phases: before the first Italian case, before national lockdown and during lockdown. RESULTS: ED visits decreased from a daily mean of 239.1 before the first COVID-19 Italian case, to 79.6 during lockdown; urgent hospitalizations decreased from 30.6 to 21.2. As of April 20, 2020, 1970 persons were tested for SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and 2.6% were positive. Positive rates were 1.2% in the ED, 21.1% in the COVID center and 0.5% in other wards. The median age of COVID-19 patients (N = 33) was 6.7 years, 27% had coexisting conditions and 79% were related to family clusters. CONCLUSIONS: The pandemic strongly impacted on the use of hospital services, with a 67% reduction in ED visits and a 31% reduction in urgent hospitalizations. Separating the flows of suspected patients from all other patients, and centralization of suspected and confirmed cases in the COVID center enabled to control the risk of nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Delay in hospital use for urgent care must be avoided, and clear communication on infection prevention and control must be provided to families. Further studies are needed to assess how the reduction in hospital use affected children healthcare needs during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Civil Defense , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adolescent , Ambulatory Care , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, Pediatric/organization & administration , Hospitals, Pediatric/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Tertiary Care Centers/organization & administration , Tertiary Care Centers/statistics & numerical data
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