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עמוד בית
Sun, 26.05.24

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September 2020
Anna Shklovsky-Kordi MD, Renana Gelernter MD, Matitiahu Berkovitch MD, Zahi Dagan MD and Eran Kozer MD

Background: Acetaminophen is the most common drug involved in pediatric poisonings, both intentionally and accidentally, and is the leading cause of acute liver failure among all age groups.

Objectives: To define the characteristics of patients admitted to a pediatric emergency department (ED) where serum acetaminophen concentrations were measured, and to determine which variables are associated with significant risk of acetaminophen toxicity.

Methods: Acetaminophen serum concentrations were measured, in a retrospective case series, of patients younger than 18 years who had been admitted to the ED at Shamir Medical Center between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2015.

Results: During the study period 180,174 children were admitted to the ED. Acetaminophen serum concentrations were measured in 209 (0.12%) patients. Mean age was 12.4 ± 5.9 years. Elevated liver enzymes were found in 12 patients, 5 of whom had documented acute liver injury. All five were older than 11years.Two cases of acute liver injury were attributable to acetaminophen ingestion. In both cases the cause was intentional overdose. Univariate analysis showed a significant (P < 0.05) correlation between detectable acetaminophen blood level and a positive history of drug or acetaminophen ingestion, and suicide attempt. Not all children with non-severe acetaminophen poisoning had been diagnosed during the study period. A positive history of acetaminophen ingestion was associated with a 28-fold higher risk for detectable acetaminophen blood level.

Conclusions: In the absence of a positive history of acetaminophen ingestion and in young children with accidental intoxication, the risk of hepatotoxicity is relatively low.

 

September 2011
E. Lahat, E. Heyman, A. Livne, M. Goldman, M. Berkovitch and D. Zachor

Background: Several studies have suggested that iron deficiency may be related to the pathophysiology of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) due to the role of iron in the production of dopamine and noradrenaline.

Objectives: To evaluate the status of iron deficiency in ADHD children, using ferritin levels, a reliable measure of iron storage in body tissue, as an iron status marker, and to investigate a possible correlation between ferritin levels and the diagnosis of ADHD.

Methods: The study group included 113 newly referred ADHD children aged 5–15 years (mean age 8.8 ± 2.7).

Results: Ferritin levels were below 20 ng/ml in 67 children (59%) and above 20 ng/ml in 45 (41%). There was a very low inverse statistical correlation between scores on Conners’ Rating Scale and ferritin levels, probably without clinical significance. 

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that low iron stores may be related to ADHD pathophysiology; therefore, ferritin should be included in the overall evaluation of children with ADHD.

 
 

May 2011
S. Perl, M. Goldman, M. Berkovitch and E. Kozer

Background: Diarrhea is a leading cause of child mortality worldwide. Rotavirus is one of the most common causes of severe diarrhea and dehydration in children.

Objectives: To compare the demographic, clinical and laboratory characteristics of patients with rotavirus gastroenteritis to those with other causes of gastroenteritis.

Methods: The medical records of children aged 0–18 years hospitalized with acute gastroenteritis in our facility between 1 January 2004 and 31 March 2006 were retrieved. Patients with rotavirus gastroenteritis were compared with patients who were rotavirus negative.

Results: The study group comprised 533 patients; 202 tested positive for rotavirus and 331 tested negative. Compared to patients with rotavirus-negative gastroenteritis, patients with rotavirus-positive gastroenteritis had a higher incidence of vomiting (185/202 vs. 212/331, 92% vs.  64%, P < 0.001), lethargy (67 vs. 51, 33% vs. 15%, P < 0.001), and dehydration (81 vs. 78 vs. 40% vs. 24%, P < 0.001). The need for intravenous rehydration therapy and the duration of hospitalization were higher in patients with rotavirus gastroenteritis.

Conclusions: Vomiting and dehydration are more common in hospitalized children with rotavirus gastroenteritis than in children with gastroenteritis due to other causes.
 

November 2008
B. Bar-Oz, M. Goldman, E. Lahat, R. Greenberg, M. Avgil, A. Blay, A. Herman, M. Berkovitch

Background: Medication errors are a common cause of morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To evaluate the rate of acknowledgment of medication errors as reported by physicians working in the community and in hospitals.

Methods: An anonymous questionnaire was sent to 9320 active physicians (about 48% community physicians, 17% hospital physicians and 35% working in both places), with questions on the rate and type of medication errors that they had encountered during their professional career. The questions specified errors in dosage, type of medicine (wrong indication), route of administration and drug interactions.

Results: Only 627 physicians (6.7%) responded. Of these, nearly 79% admitted having made an error in prescribing medication; the majority admitted to more than one error. Physicians with fewer years of experience admitted having made a mistake more than did physicians with more experience (P = 0.019). Pediatricians and geriatricians made more dosage mistakes (P = 0.02), while family physicians and psychiatrists made more mistakes in drug interactions (P = 0.001).

Conclusions: It is possible that indifference, fear of identification, or lack of awareness may have contributed to the low response rate despite the fact that the questionnaire was anonymous. Educational programs should be implemented in medical schools to encourage physicians to report errors before the onset of adverse reactions.
 

Eran Kozer, MD, Rachel Bar-Hamburger, MD, Noa Y. Rosenfeld, MD, Irena Zdanovitch, MD, Mordechai Bulkowstein, MD and Matitiahu Berkovitch, MD.

Background: Clinicians’ impression of adolescents' alcohol or drug involvement may underestimate substance-related pathology.

Objectives: To describe the characteristics of adolescents presenting to the pediatric emergency department due to substance abuse and to determine whether physicians can reliably identify these patients.

Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study of all patients aged 12–18 years presenting to a pediatric emergency department between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2006 for whom a urine drug screen or ethanol blood levels was ordered. According to departmental protocol urine drug screen and ethanol levels are taken for specific indications. Based on the history and clinical findings the pediatrician in the ED[1] assessed on a 5-point likelihood scale the possibility that the patients’ symptoms were related to substance abuse.

Results: Of the 139 patients in the study group 40 (30%) tested positive for ethanol or drugs of abuse. The median age was 16. Compared with patients who tested negative, there were more patients with decreased level of consciousness among patients who tested positive for ethanol or drugs (5% vs. 33% respectively, P < 0.001). The median physician estimate for the likelihood of substance abuse was 5 in patients who tested positive and 2 in patients who tested negative (P < 0.001). The likelihood of a positive drug/ethanol test was not affected by age or gender.
Conclusions: Since the likelihood of substance abuse is higher in patients presenting with a low level of consciousness, physicians may accurately assess the likelihood of substance abuse in these patients





[1] ED = emergency department

October 2001
Sigal Ringel, MD, Ernesto Kahan, MD, MPH, Revital Greenberg, Shlomo Arieli, MD, Amihood Blay and Matitiahu Berkovitch, MD

Background: Many women stop smoking before or during pregnancy, or while breast-feeding (nursing).

Objectives: To assess the relation between breast-feeding and smoking habits.

Methods: A survey was conducted among 920 women attending family health clinics (group 1) and a maternity department (group 2) on their breast-feeding and smoking habits.

Results: A total of 156 women (16.95%) smoked during pregnancy. A significant correlation was found between breast-feeding and not smoking after delivery (P=0.009 in group 1, P=0.03 in group 2). A higher tendency to nurse was found among women with an uneventful pregnancy, who vaginally delivered a singleton at term weighing 2,500-4000 g, and who received guidance on breast-feeding.

Conclusion: Professional guidance in favor of breast­feeding is crucial to increase the rate of nursing. Encouraging breast-feeding will probably decrease the rate of cigarette smoking.
 

April 2000
Click on the icon on the upper right hand side for the article by Joseph Barr, MD, Matitiahu Berkovitch, MD, Hagit Matras, MA, Eran Kocer, MD, Revital Greenberg and Gideon Eshel, MD, published in IMAJ. IMAJ 2000; 2; April; 278-281

Background: For centuries talismans and amulets have been used in many cultures for their legendary healing powers.

Methods: We asked the parents of every child (Jews and Arabs) admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit over a 2 month period to complete a questionnaire, which included demographic data on the patient and the family, the use of talismans or other folk medicine practices, and the perception of the effects of these practices on the patient’s well-being. A different questionnaire was completed by the ICU staff members on their attitude toward the use of amulets.

Results: Thirty percent of the families used amulets and talismans in the ICU, irrespective of the socioeconomic status of the family or the severity of the patient’s illness. Amulets and talismans were used significantly more by religious Jews, by families with a higher parental educational level, and where the hospitalized child was very young. The estimated frequency of amulet use by the children’s families, as perceived by the staff, was significantly higher than actual use reported by the parents. In Jewish families the actual use of amulets was found to be 30% compared to the 60% rate estimated by the medical staff; while in Moslem families the actual use was zero compared to the staff’s estimation of about 36%. Of the 19 staff members, 14 reported that the use of amulets seemed to reduce the parents' anxiety, while 2 claimed that amulet use sometimes interfered with the staff’s ability to carry out medical treatment.  

Conclusions: The use of talismans in a technologically advanced western society is more frequent than may have been thought. Medical and paramedical personnel dealing with very ill patients should be aware of the emotional and psychological implications of such beliefs and practices on patients and their families.

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ICU = intensive care unit

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