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Pediatr Pulmonol ; 56(7): 1946-1950, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525483


INTRODUCTION: Preschool wheezers are at high risk of recurrent attacks triggered by respiratory viruses, sometimes exacerbated by exposure to allergens and pollution. Because of the COVID-19 infection, the lockdown was introduced, but the effects on preschool wheezers are unknown. We hypothesized that there would be an improvement in outcomes during the lockdown, and these would be lost when the lockdown was eased. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients underwent medical visits before and after the COVID-19 lockdown. We recorded the childhood Asthma Control Test (cACT) and a clinical questionnaire. Data on symptoms, the need for medications and the use of healthcare resources were recorded. We compared these data with retrospective reports from the preceding year and prospectively acquired questionnaires after lockdown. RESULTS: We studied 85 preschool wheezers, mean age 4.9 years. During the lockdown, cACT score was significantly higher (median 25 vs. 23); families reported a dramatic drop in wheezing episodes (51 vs. none), significant reductions in the day and nighttime symptoms, including episodes of shortness of breath (p < .0001); the use of salbutamol and oral corticosteroids (OCS) dropped significantly (p < .0001) and 79 (95%) patients needed no OCS bursts during the lockdown. Finally, patients had significantly fewer extra medical examinations, as well as fewer Emergency Room visits (p < .0001). All were improved compared with the same time period from the previous year, but outcomes worsened significantly again after lockdown (cACT median: 22). CONCLUSIONS: During the national lockdown, children with persistent preschool wheeze showed a significant clinical improvement with reduction of respiratory symptoms, medication use for exacerbations, and use of healthcare resources. This trend reversed when lockdown restrictions were eased.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Respiratory Sounds , Adrenal Cortex Hormones , Allergens , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Male , Recurrence , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Surveys and Questionnaires
Pediatr Pulmonol ; 56(6): 1395-1400, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1055953


Children with medical complexity (CMC) are patients with one or more complex chronic conditions dependent on medical technologies. In our unit (Pediatric Pulmonology and Respiratory Intermediate Care Unit, Department of Pediatrics, "Bambino Gesù" Children's Hospital and Research Institute), we regularly follow-up CMC patients, particularly children on long-term, invasive (IMV) or noninvasive (NIV), ventilation. Children suffering from chronic diseases and with medical complexity have lost the possibility to go to the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this article is to describe our experience with telemedicine (teleconsultation [TC] and telemonitoring of ventilator [TM]) in CMC on ventilation. We presented 21 children on long-term ventilation (NIV or IMV) whose planned hospital admission was postponed due to lockdown. A total of 12 healthcare problems were detected during scheduled TCs. Only one problem was not solved by our remote intervention. Specifically, TM has allowed us to change the ventilator parameters and to monitor patients on ventilation remotely. In conclusion, the use of telemedicine in CMC ventilated patients resulted in a feasible tool to avoid in-person visits during the pandemic.

COVID-19 , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Child, Preschool , Chronic Disease , Female , Home Care Services , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Pandemics