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עמוד בית
Fri, 08.12.23

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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.

February 2019
Lital Oz-Alcalay MD, Shai Ashkenazi MD MSc, Aharona Glatman-Freedman MD MPH, Sarit Weisman-Demri MD, Alexander Lowenthal MD and Gilat Livni MD MHA

Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-related bronchiolitis is a common cause of morbidity in young infants. The recommendations for its passive prevention by palivizumab are currently under intensive debate.

Objectives: To elucidate the optimal prevention strategy by studying the morbidity of RSV disease under the current recommendations for palivizumab prophylaxis in Israel.

Methods: We collected demographic and clinical data of all children hospitalized with microbiologically confirmed RSV bronchiolitis during 2015–2016 at Schneider Children's Medical Center. The seasonality of RSV disease was also studied for the period 2010–2017 in sentinel clinics scattered throughout Israel.

Results: Of the 426 hospitalized children, 106 (25%) had underlying diseases but were not eligible for palivizumab prophylaxis according to the current criteria in Israel. Their course was severe, with a mean hospital stay of 6.7 days and a 12% admission rate to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Palivizumab-eligible children who did not receive the prophylaxis before hospitalization had the most severe course, with 22% admitted to the PICU. More children were diagnosed with RSV disease in October than in March among both hospitalized and ambulatory children; 44% of the palivizumab-eligible hospitalized children were admitted in the last 2 weeks of October, before 1 November which is the recommended date for starting palivizumab administration in Israel.

Conclusions: According to the results of the present study we suggest advancing RSV prophylaxis in Israel from 1 November to mid-October. The precise palivizumab-eligible categories should be reconsidered.

November 2013
M. Dotan, L. Ashkenazi-Hoffnung, Z. Samra, G. Livni, H. Yarden-Bilavsky, J.b Amir and E. Bilavsky
 Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of lower respiratory tract disease and hospitalization in infants and young children. Infants of multiple births, which are often premature, might be more susceptible to developing a more severe RSV infection than singletons.

Objective: To assess the impact of multiple births on the severity of RSV infection and define risk factors for acquiring RSV infection in infants of multiple birth.

Methods: Clinical data on infants hospitalized with RSV infection between 2008 and 2010 were retrospectively collected.

Results: Twins comprised 7.6% (66/875) of hospitalized infants with RSV bronchiolitis during the study period. Infants in the twin group were younger (122.4 ± 131.7 vs. 204.5 ± 278.8 days, P = 0.014), had a lower mean gestational age (35.3 ± 2.6 vs. 38.6 ± 2.5 weeks, P < 0.001), and were more likely to have been born prematurely compared with singleton infants (65.6% vs. 13%, P < 0.001). On a multivariable logistic regression analysis, young age, early gestational age and male gender were the only variables identified as risk factors for pediatric intensive care unit admission (P < 0.001, P < 0.001 and P = 0.03, respectively). In contrast, the mere fact of a child being a twin was not found to be a significant risk factor for disease severity. In addition, if one twin is hospitalized due to RSV infection, the other has a 34% chance of also being hospitalized with bronchiolitis. Young age was a significant risk factor for hospitalization of the second twin (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that twins hospitalized with RSV bronchiolitis do not have an increased risk for severe infection as compared to singletons. However, a twin of an infant hospitalized with RSV infection has a considerable risk of also being hospitalized with bronchiolitis, thus close monitoring is recommended. 

January 2010
E. Bilavsky, H. Yarden-Bilavsky D.S. Shouval, N. Fisch, B-Z. Garty, S. Ashkenazi and J. Amir

Background: Secondary thrombocytosis is associated with a variety of clinical conditions, one of which is lower respiratory tract infection. However, reports on thrombocytosis induced by viral infections are scarce.

Objectives: To assess the rate of thrombocytosis (platelet count > 500 x 109/L) in hospitalized infants with bronchiolitis and to investigate its potential role as an early marker of respiratory syncytial virus infection.

Methods: Clinical data on 469 infants aged ≤ 4 months who were hospitalized for bronchiolitis were collected prospectively and compared between RSV[1]-positive and RSV-negative infants.

Results: The rate of thrombocytosis was significantly higher in RSV-positive than RSV-negative infants (41.3% vs. 29.2%, P = 0.031). The odds ratio of an infant with bronchiolitis and thrombocytosis to have a positive RSV infection compared to an infant with bronchiolitis and a normal platelet count was 1.7 (P = 0.023, 95% confidence interval 1.07–2.72). There was no significant difference in mean platelet count between the two groups.

Conclusions: RSV-positive bronchiolitis in hospitalized young infants is associated with thrombocytosis.

[1] RSV = respiratory syncytial virus

September 2009
A.I. Eidelman, O. Megged, R. Feldman and O. Toker

Background: Respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis is the single leading cause of pediatric admissions for infants in the first year of life, presenting regularly in epidemic proportions in the winter months and impacting in a major way on pediatric inpatient services.

Objective: To quantitate the burden of RSV[1] disease on a pediatric service with the purpose of providing a database for proper health planning and resource allocation.

Methods: We conducted a prospective 5 year study of documented RSV infections in a single pediatric service. RSV disease was confirmed by direct immunofluorescence testing of nasal swabs from all hospitalized cases of bronchiolitis.

Results: On average, 147 ± 17 cases of RSV bronchiolitis were admitted annually in the November–March RSV season, representing 7%–9% of admissions and 10%–14% of hospital days. There was a consistent male preponderance of admissions (55–64%) and 15–23% of admissions were patients less than 1 month old. In peak months RSV cases accounted for as many of 40% of the hospitalized infants and was the leading cause of over-occupancy (up to 126%) in the pediatric ward during the winter,

Conclusions: RSV infection is a major burden for pediatric inpatient services during the winter season. This recurrent and predictable “epidemic,” which regularly leads to over-occupancy, requires increased manpower (nursing) and resources (beds, pulse oximeters) to facilitate proper care. Since this annual event is not a surprise nor an unexpected peak, but rather a cyclical predictable epidemiological phenomenon, proper planning and allocation of services are crucial.

[1] RSV = respiratory syncytial virus

March 2006
G. Tal, K. Cesar, A. Oron, S. Houri, A. Ballin and A. Mandelberg

Background: We recently published preliminary evidence on the effectiveness of hypertonic saline in infants with viral bronchiolitis.

Objective: To further establish the efficacy of nebulized hypertonic saline in these infants

Methods: In a continuing, second-year randomized, double-blind controlled trial, an additional 41 infants (age 2.6 ± 1 months) hospitalized with viral bronchiolitis were recruited during the winter of 2001–2002. The infants received inhalation of 1.5 mg epinephrine dissolved either in 4 ml normal (0.9%) saline (Group I, n=20) or 4 ml hypertonic (3%) saline (Group II, n=22). The therapy was repeated three times daily until discharge. Pooling our 2 years of experience (2000–2002), a total of 93 hospitalized infants with viral bronchiolitis were recruited; 45 were assigned to Group I and 48 to Group II.

Results: The clinical scores at baseline were 7.6 ± 0.7 for Group I vs. 7.4 ± 1.3 for Group II (P = NS). However, the clinical scores at days 1 and 2 after inhalation differed significantly between the two groups, invariably favoring Group II: 7 ± 1 vs. 6.25 ± 1.1 (P < 0.05), 6.45 ± 1 vs. 5.35 ± 1.35 (P < 0.05), respectively. Adding aerosolized 3% saline to 1.5 mg epinephrine reduced the hospitalization stay from 3.5 ± 1.7 days in Group I to 2.6 ± 1.4 in Group II (P < 0.05). The pooled data of both years revealed that adding 3% saline to the inhalation mixture decreased hospitalization stay from 3.6 ± 1.6 to 2.8 ± 1.3 days (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: This second-year experience and our 2 year pooled data analysis strengthen the evidence that the combination of 3% saline/1.5 mg epinephrine benefits hospitalized infants with viral bronchiolitis

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