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עמוד בית
Sat, 20.04.24

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April 2024
Dor Golomb MD, Hanan Goldberg MD, Paz Lotan MD, Ilan Kafka MD, Stanislav Kotcherov MD, Guy Verhovsky MD, Asaf Shvero MD, Ron Barrent MD, Ilona Pilosov Solomon MD, David Ben Meir MD, Ezekiel H. Landau MD, Amir Cooper MD, Orit Raz MD

Background: Pediatric urolithiasis is relatively uncommon and is generally associated with predisposing anatomic or metabolic abnormalities. In the adult population, emergency department (ED) admissions have been associated with an increase in ambient temperature. The same association has not been evaluated in the pediatric population.

Objectives: To analyze trends in ED admissions due to renal colic in a pediatric population (≤ 18 years old) and to assess the possible effect of climate on ED admissions.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective, multicenter cohort study, based on a computerized database of all ED visits due to renal colic in pediatric patients. The study cohort presented with urolithiasis on imaging during their ED admission. Exact climate data was acquired through the Israeli Meteorological Service (IMS).

Results: Between January 2010 and December 2020, 609 patients, ≤ 18 years, were admitted to EDs in five medical centers with renal colic: 318 males (52%), 291 females (48%). The median age was 17 years (IQR 9–16). ED visits oscillated through the years, peaking in 2012 and 2018. A 6% downward trend in ED admissions was noted between 2010 and 2020. The number of ED admissions in the different seasons was 179 in autumn (30%), 134 in winter (22%), 152 in spring (25%), and 144 in summer (23%) (P = 0.8). Logistic regression multivariable analysis associated with ED visits did not find any correlation between climate parameters and ED admissions due to renal colic in the pediatric population.

Conclusions: ED admissions oscillated during the period investigated and had a downward trend. Unlike in the adult population, rates of renal colic ED admissions in the pediatric population were not affected by seasonal changes or rise in maximum ambient temperature.

March 2024
Lea Ohana Sarna Cahan MD, Dina Qaraen Saloni MD, Mevaseret Avital MD, Naama Pines MD, Itai Gross MD, Giora Wieser MD, Saar Hashvya MD

Background: Hypothermia, as a sign of serious bacterial infection (SBI) in children and infants older than 90 days is poorly characterized, especially in the post-pneumococcal vaccine era.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of SBI in children and infants presenting to the pediatric emergency department (PED) with reported or documented hypothermia.

Methods: Retrospective data analysis was conducted of all well-appearing children aged 0–16 years who presented with a diagnosis of hypothermia at two tertiary PEDs from 2010 to 2019.

Results: The study comprised 99 children, 15 (15.2%) age 0–3 months, 71 (71.7%) 3–36 months, and 13 (13.1%) > 36 months. The youngest age group had increased length of stay in the hospital (P < 0.001) and increased rates of pediatric intensive care unit admissions (P < 0.001). Empirical antibiotic coverage was initiated in 80% of the children in the 0–3 months group, 21.1% in the 3–36 months group, and 15.4% in > 36 months (P < 0.001). Only one case of SBI was recorded and no bacteremia or meningitis. Hypothermia of unknown origin was the most common diagnosis in all age groups (34%, 42%, 46%), respectively, followed by bronchiolitis (26%) and hypoglycemia (13.3%) for 0–3 month-old children, unspecified viral infection (20%) and otitis media (7%) for 3–36-month old, and unspecified viral infection (23%) and alcohol intoxication (15.2%) in > 36 months.

Conclusion: There is a low incidence of SBI in well-appearing children presenting to the PED with hypothermia and a benign course and outcome in those older than 3 months.

January 2024
Israel Amirav MD

9 November 2023: Just one month after the tragic events of 7 October 2023, 240 individuals are still held hostage, ensnared by Hamas. Their medical plight is shrouded in silence. In the heart of Tel Aviv, a sea of health professionals gathers before the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) offices pleading for decisive action. Among the medical pleas for help is the haunting image of a young soldier in dire need of his inhaler [Figure 1]. Ron needs it to live. I, a pediatric pulmonologist intimately familiar with respiratory distress, captured that moment.

Yael Dreznik MD, Maya Paran MD, Efraim Bilavsky MD, Efrat Avinadav MD, Dragan Kravarusic MD

Background: The management of complicated appendicitis is inconclusive. Guidelines have not been established for the use of personalized antibiotic treatment.

Objectives: To investigate specific risk factors to consider during the initial first-choice antibiotic therapy in children with complicated appendicitis.

Methods: This study included all pediatric patients younger than 18 years of age who underwent a laparoscopic appendectomy during 2012–2022 at a single tertiary medical center.

Results: In total, 300 pediatric patients underwent laparoscopic appendectomy due to complicated appendicitis. The patients were treated with ceftriaxone + metronidazole (CM). For 57 (19%) patients, the empirical treatment was changed to tazobactam/piperacillin (TP) due to resistant bacteria or clinical deterioration. The presence of generalized peritonitis during surgery and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels above 20 mg/L at admission were identified as risk factors for changing the antibiotic regimen from CM to TP.

Conclusions: Generalized peritonitis and CRP > 20 gr/L were highly correlated with changing the antibiotic regimen to TP. For such patients, initial treatment with TP may result in clinical improvement and shorter hospitalization. 

December 2023
Niv Soffair MD, Eran Shostak MD, Ovadia Dagan MD, Orit Manor-Shulman MD, Yael Feinstein MD, Gabriel Amir MD, Georgy Frenkel MD, Amichai Rotstein MD, Merav Dvir-Orgad MD, Einat Birk MD, Joanne Yacobovich MD, Ofer Schiller MD

Background: Ventricular assist devices (VADs) play a critical and increasing role in treating end-stage heart failure in pediatric patients. A growing number of patients are supported by VADs as a bridge to heart transplantation. Experience with VADs in the pediatric population is limited, and experience in Israel has not been published.

Objectives: To describe this life-saving technology and our experience with VAD implantation in children with heart failure, including characteristics and outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all patients who underwent VAD implantation at Schneider Children's Medical Center from 2018 to 2023.

Results: We analyzed results of 15 children who underwent VAD implantation. The youngest was 2.5 years old and weighed 11 kg at implantation. In eight patients, HeartMate 3, a continuous-flow device, was implanted. Seven patients received Berlin Heart, a pulsatile-flow device. Three children required biventricular support; 11 underwent heart transplants after a median duration of 169 days. Two patients died due to complications while awaiting a transplant; two were still on VAD support at the time of submission of this article. Successful VAD support was achieved in 86.6% of patients. In the last 5 years,79%  of our heart transplant patients received VAD support prior to transplant.

Conclusions: Circulatory assist devices are an excellent bridge to transplantation for pediatric patients reaching end-stage heart failure. VADs should be carefully selected, and implantation techniques tailored to patient's weight and diagnosis at a centralized pediatric cardiac transplantation center. Israeli healthcare providers should be cognizant of this therapeutic alternative.

September 2023
Netanel Eisenbach MD, Yoav Hoffman MD, Tatyana Arzumanov MD, Eyal Sela MD, Maayan Gruber MD

Adenoid surgery (adenoidectomy) is one of the most common pediatric surgical procedures. Complications of this surgery include anesthetic issues, bleeding, pain, dysphagia, and velopharyngeal insufficiency. The intraoperative complications are usually the most urgent and therefore require prompt identification and resolution. Tension pneumothorax (TPX) is a rare intraoperative. We present the first case in the English literature, to the best of our knowledge, of TPX during adenoid/tonsil surgery.

August 2023
Noam Savion MD, Noa Guzner MD, Saar Hashavya MD, Shimon Reif MD, Lea Ohana Sarna Cahan MD

Background: Brucellosis is an endemic infection affecting the Mediterranean Basin, Arabian Peninsula, India, Mexico, and South America. Data on brucellosis infections in children are limited.

Objectives: To review and characterize the clinical presentation of pediatric patients diagnosed with brucellosis in a tertiary medical center.

Methods: Retrospective data analysis was conducted on all pediatric patients from January 2010 to December 2020 admitted to the pediatric department with a diagnosis of brucellosis based on a positive serology test or growth of Brucella bacteria in blood culture.

Results: The study comprised 53 children aged 0–18 years. The mean age at presentation was 11.01 ± 4.91 years; 39 male (73.6%). Pre-infection exposure to unpasteurized milk or unvaccinated livestock was reported in 37 (69.8%). Fever was present in 64.6%, followed by arthralgia (49%), loss of appetite (42.3%), and weight loss (24.6%). Gastrointestinal symptoms were reported in 52.8% and included abdominal pain (34.6%), nausea (28.3%), vomiting (24.5%), and diarrhea (2.6%). Eight patients experienced pancytopenia (15.1%). The median length of intravenous antibiotic treatment was 7 days (range 3–14 days) and for oral antibiotic treatment 6 weeks (range 2–24 weeks). Most patients were initially treated with intravenous gentamycin (90.5%) and long-term oral antibiotics, most commonly doxycycline. Two (3.7%) required admission to the pediatric intensive care unit. No mortality was documented, and all cases of relapses were successfully treated.

Conclusions: Pediatric brucellosis is an acute febrile disease often associated with rheumatologic complaints. Patients 8–18 years of age also presented with headache, weight loss, and night sweats.

July 2023
Maayan Diti Machnes MD, Herman Avner Cohen MD, Maya Gerstein MD, Yiska Loewenberg Weisband MD, Moriya Cohen MD, Moshe Hoshen PhD, Vered Shkalim Zemer MD

Background: Group A Streptococcus (GAS), the predominant bacterial pathogen of pharyngitis, is sometimes difficult to distinguish clinically from viral pharyngitis. Despite the high prevalence of viral pharyngitis in children, antibiotic treatment is common.

Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of an antibiotic stewardship program (ASP) on antibiotic prescription in children with GAS pharyngitis (GAS-P) at a large pediatric community clinic.

Methods: Antibiotic prescription data were collected from October 2016 to March 2017 (pre-intervention period) and from October 2017 to March 2018 (post-intervention period). The intervention was a one-day seminar for primary care pediatricians on the diagnosis and treatment of GAS-P in children according to national guidelines.

Results: The overall prevalence of testing differed between the two time periods. There was a decrease in children who did not undergo any testing (from 68% to 63%), an increase in streptococcal rapid antigen detection testing (28% to 32%), and a slight increase in throat cultures (3% to 4%) (p = 0.02). There was no change in the types of antibiotics prescribed before and after the intervention (p = 0.152).

Conclusions: The ASP resulted in a slight reduction in the percentage of children who did not undergo laboratory testing for GAS-P and a slight reduction in the percentage of children who received antibiotic treatment. The ASP did not reduce the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and macrolides.

June 2023
Yotam Bronstein MD, Dana Elhadad MD, Eyas Midlij MD, Moshe Yana MD, Daniel Yakubovich MD, Nechama Sharon MD

Background: Factor VII (FVII) deficiency is characterized by normal activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) and prolonged prothrombin time (PT) values. It is diagnosed by determining protein level and coagulation activity (FVII:C). FVII:C measurements are expensive and time consuming.

Objectives: To analyze correlations between PT, international normalized ratio (INR), and FVII:C in pediatric patients before otolaryngology surgery and to establish alternative methods for identifying FVII deficiency.

Methods: FVII:C data were collected from 96 patients with normal aPTT and prolonged PT values during preoperative otolaryngology surgery coagulation workup between 2016 and 2020. We compared demographic and clinical parameters using Spearman correlation coefficient and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis to determine the accuracy of PT and INR values to predict FVII deficiency.

Results: The median values of PT, INR and FVII:C were 13.5 seconds, 1.14, and 67.5%, respectively. In total, 65 participants (67.7%) displayed normal FVII:C compared to 31 (32.3%) with decreased FVII:C. A statistically significant negative correlation was observed between FVII:C and PT values and between FVII:C and INR. Despite statistically significant ROC of 0.653 for PT (P-value = 0.017, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.529–0.776) and 0.669 for INR (P-value = 0.08, 95%CI 0.551–0.788), we were unable to determine an optimal cutoff point to predict FVII:C deficiency with high sensitivity and high specificity.

Conclusions: We could not identify a PT or INR threshold to best predict clinically relevant FVII:C levels. When PT is abnormal, determining FVII:C protein levels is needed for diagnosing FVII deficiency and considering surgical prophylactic treatment.

April 2023
Maali Abu-Omer, Gilad Chayen, Ron Jacob

Background: Children with forearm fractures who present to the emergency department (ED) often need a closed reduction. In our institution, until 2017, pediatric trauma patients presented to the general trauma ED (GTED) where no sedation services for pediatric patients were available. From 2017, patients presented to the pediatric emergency department (PED) where closed reductions were performed under sedation when appropriate.

Objectives: To compare GTED and PED with regard to length of stay (LOS) and hospitalization rates of pediatric patients with forearm fractures who needed a closed reduction.

Methods: Our retrospective observational study was conducted at a regional hospital. The study population consisted of all patients younger than 18 years of age who presented to the ED with a forearm fracture that needed a closed reduction. The primary outcome measure was the hospitalization rate. The secondary outcome measure was LOS in the ED.

Results: The study comprised 165 patients with forearm fractures who needed a closed reduction; 79 presented to the GTED, and 96 presented to the PED. Hospitalization rates were lower for patients undergoing closed reduction under sedation in the PED compared to the GTED (6.3% and 21.5%, respectively; P = 0.003). Median ED LOS was longer among patients undergoing sedation in the PED compared to the GTED (237 vs. 168 minutes respectively, P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Sedation for forearm fracture reduction in a hospital’s PED was associated with a decrease of more than three times in hospitalization rate. Despite the need for more resources, PED LOS was only mildly increased.

Tal Yahalomi MD, Joseph Pikkel MD, Roee Arnon MD, Daniel Malchi MD, Aviv Vidan MD, Michael Kinori MD

Background: In developed countries, amblyopia has an estimated prevalence rate of 1–4%, depending on the socioeconomic gradient. Previous studies performed on pediatric populations in Ethiopia demonstrated amblyopia rates up to 16.7.

Objectives: To assess rates of amblyopia, refractive errors, strabismus, and other eye pathologies among Ethiopian-born children and adolescents who immigrated to Israel compared to Israeli-born children.

Methods This observational cross-sectional study included children and adolescents 5–19 years of age who immigrated to Israel up to 2 years before data collection and lived in an immigration center. Demographic data and general health status of the children were obtained from the parents, and a comprehensive ophthalmologic examination was performed. Results were compared to Israeli-born children.

Results: The study included 223 children and adolescents: 87 Ethiopian-born and 136 Israeli-born. The rate of amblyopia in the Ethiopian-born group vs. Israeli-born was 3.4% and 4.4%, respectively. Even after controlling for age, there was still no significant difference between the two groups (P > 0.99).

Conclusions: Despite originating from a country with limited resources and fewer medical facilities, the amblyopia rate in Jewish Ethiopian immigrants was not higher, and even mildly lower, compared to Israeli-born children.

Avshalom Oziri MD, Michael Schnapper MD, Adi Ovadia MD, Shirli Abiri MD, Gila Meirson MD, Ilona Brantz RN, Osnat Blass Oziri, Diana Tasher MD, Avigdor Mandelberg MD, Ilan Dalal MD

Background: The global refugee crises have raised concerns among medical communities worldwide; nonetheless, access to healthcare has rarely been studied even though refugees are a medically high-risk group.

Objectives: To compare pediatric department admission rates from the pediatric emergency department (PED) of refugees and Israelis.

Methods: We compared data from refugee and Israeli children admitted to the pediatric department at Wolfson Medical Center in Israel between 2013–2017.

Results: A total of 104,244 patients (aged 0–18 years) came to the PED. Admission rate to the pediatric department for refugees was 695/2541 (27%) compared to 11,858/101,703 (11.7%) Israeli patients (P < 0.001). Hospital stay for patients 0–2-years of age was 3.22 ± 4.80 days for refugees vs. 2.78 ± 3.17 for Israelis (P < 0.03). Re-admission rate within 7 days was 1.3% for refugees and 2.6% for Israelis (P < 0.05). Dermatological diseases (e.g., impetigo and cellulitis) were more frequent in refugees (23.30% vs. 13.15%, P < 0.01); however, acute gastroenteritis and respiratory diagnoses were more common in Israelis (18.52% vs. 11.72%, P < 0.05 and 14.84% vs. 6.26%, P < 0.01, respectively). Neurological diseases (e.g., febrile convulsions) were also more frequent in Israelis (7.7% vs. 3%, P < 0.05). Very significantly, 23% of refugees had no healthcare coverage, while only 0.2% of the Israelis had none (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: We found significant morbidity in refugees compared to the local Israeli pediatric population, highlighting the need for different approaches for each population.

March 2023
Nimrod Sachs MD, Lotem Goldberg MD, Yoel Levinsky MD, Yotam Dizitzer MD, Yoav Vardi MD, Irit Krause MD, Oded Scheuerman MD, Gilat Livni MD, Efraim Bilavsky MD, Havatzelet Bilavsky-Yarden MD

Background: During coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, less isolation of common winter viruses was reported in the southern hemisphere.

Objectives: To evaluate annual trends in respiratory disease-related admissions in a large Israeli hospital during and before the pandemic.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of medical records from November 2020 to January 2021 (winter season) was conducted and compared to the same period in two previous years. Data included number of admissions, epidemiological and clinical presentation, and isolation of respiratory pathogens.

Results: There were 1488 respiratory hospitalizations (58% males): 632 in 2018–2019, 701 in 2019–2020, and 155 in 2020–2021. Daily admissions decreased significantly from a median value of 6 (interquartile range [IQR] 4–9) and 7 per day (IQR 6–10) for 2018–2019 and 2019–2020, respectively, to only 1 per day (IQR 1–3) in 2020–2021 (P-value < 0.001). The incidence of all respiratory viruses decreased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, with no hospitalizations due to influenza and only one with respiratory syncytial virus. There was also a significant decline in respiratory viral and bacterial co-infections during the pandemic (P-value < 0.001).

Conclusions: There was a significant decline in pediatric respiratory admission rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Possible etiologies include epidemiological factors such as mask wearing and social distancing, in addition to biological factors such as viral interference. A herd protection effect of adults and older children wearing masks may also have had an impact.

Sergei Elber-Dorozko MD, Yackov Berkun MD, Abraham Zlotogorski MD, Alexander Maly MD, Ariel Tenenbaum MD

IgA vasculitis, formerly known as Henoch–Schönlein purpura (HSP), is the most common systemic vasculitis in children. It is defined as palpable purpura in the absence of coagulopathy or thrombocytopenia and one or more of the following criteria: abdominal pain, arthritis or arthralgia, biopsy of affected tissue demonstrating predominant IgA deposition, and renal involvement with proteinuria and hematuria or red cell casts [1].

January 2023
Yehonatan Azulai BA, Shepard Schwartz MD, Eyal Heiman MD, Elihay Berliner MD, Giora Weiser MD

Background: Clinical dysentery causes hundreds of thousands of deaths annually worldwide. However, current recommendations reserve antibiotics for those either clinically sick or with highly suspected cases of shigellosis. This treatment stems from rising antibiotic resistance. Children diagnosed with clinical dysentery in the pediatric emergency department (PED) are regarded more cautiously.

Objectives: To explore the use of antibiotics in children diagnosed with clinical dysentery in the PED.

Methods: A retrospective case study of children with clinical dysentery at a single PED during the years 2015 and 2018. Demographics as well as clinical findings were compared to culture results and antibiotic treatment.

Results: The study included 281 children who were diagnosed with clinical dysentery during the study period; 234 (83%) were treated with antibiotics. However, cultures were positive in only 162 cases (58%). Only 32% were Shigella spp. Younger age, fever, and leukocytosis were related to antibiotic treatment.

Conclusions: The diagnosis of clinical dysentery is misgiven commonly in the PED leading to widespread use of antibiotics when not indicated. This treatment may impact antibiotic resistance patterns. Further studies and interventions are necessary to create clear guidelines in the PED setting.

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