All posts by dbhcurrentawareness

Notts. Safeguarding Children Board Christmas 2017 newsletter

NSCB christmas newletter

Link to newsletter here


BMJ: Drooling Reduction Intervention randomised trial (DRI): comparing the efficacy and acceptability of hyoscine patches and glycopyrronium liquid on drooling in children with neurodisability


Objective Investigate whether hyoscine patch or glycopyrronium liquid is more effective and acceptable to treat drooling in children with neurodisability.

Design Multicentre, single-blind, randomised controlled trial.

Setting Recruitment through neurodisability teams; treatment by parents.

Participants Ninety children with neurodisability who had never received medication for drooling (55 boys, 35 girls; median age 4 years). Exclusion criteria: medication contraindicated; in a trial that could affect drooling or management.

Intervention Children were randomised to receive a hyoscine skin patch or glycopyrronium liquid. Dose was increased over 4 weeks to achieve optimum symptom control with minimal side-effects; steady dose then continued to 12 weeks.

Primary and secondary outcomes Primary outcome: Drooling Impact Scale (DIS) score at week-4. Secondary outcomes: change in DIS scores over 12 weeks, Drooling Severity and Frequency Scale and Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication; adverse events; children’s perception about treatment.

Results Both medications yielded clinically and statistically significant reductions in mean DIS at week-4 (25.0 (SD 22.2) for hyoscine and 26.6 (SD 16) for glycopyrronium). There was no significant difference in change in DIS scores between treatment groups. By week-12, 26/47 (55%) children starting treatment were receiving hyoscine compared with 31/38 (82%) on glycopyrronium. There was a 42% increased chance of being on treatment at week-12 for children randomised to glycopyrronium relative to hyoscine (1.42, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.95).

Conclusions Hyoscine and glycopyrronium are clinically effective in treating drooling in children with neurodisability. Hyoscine produced more problematic side effects leading to a greater chance of treatment cessation.

Link to article here

Cochrane review: Triage tools for detecting cervical spine injury in pediatric trauma patients



Pediatric cervical spine injury (CSI) after blunt trauma is rare. Nonetheless, missing these injuries can have severe consequences. To prevent the overuse of radiographic imaging, two clinical decision tools have been developed: The National Emergency X-Radiography Utilization Study (NEXUS) criteria and the Canadian C-spine Rule (CCR). Both tools are proven to be accurate in deciding whether or not diagnostic imaging is needed in adults presenting for blunt trauma screening at the emergency department. However, little information is known about the accuracy of these triage tools in a pediatric population.

Authors’ conclusions

There are currently few studies assessing the diagnostic test accuracy of the NEXUS criteria and CCR in children. At the moment, there is not enough evidence to determine the accuracy of the Canadian C-spine Rule to detect CSI in pediatric trauma patients following blunt trauma. The confidence interval of the sensitivity of the NEXUS criteria between the individual studies showed a wide range, with a lower limit varying from 0.18 to 0.91 with a total of four false negative test results, meaning that if physicians use the NEXUS criteria in children, there is a chance of missing CSI. Since missing CSI could have severe consequences with the risk of significant morbidity, we consider that the NEXUS criteria are at best a guide to clinical assessment, with current evidence not supporting strict or protocolized adoption of the tool into pediatric trauma care. Moreover, we have to keep in mind that the sensitivity differs among several studies, and individual confidence intervals of these studies show a wide range. Our main conclusion is therefore that additional well-designed studies with large sample sizes are required to better evaluate the accuracy of the NEXUS criteria or the Canadian C-spine Rule, or both, in order to determine whether they are appropriate triage tools for the clearance of the cervical spine in children following blunt trauma.

Link to review here

The role of endoscopic ultrasound in children with Pancreatobiliary and gastrointestinal disorders: a single center series and review of the literature

BMC Pediatrics published 6th December 2017

The role of endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) in the management of pancreatobiliary and digestive diseases is well established in adults, but it remains limited in children. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility, safety, and clinical impact of EUS use in children.

The present findings were consistent with results observed in the current relevant literature and support EUS as a safe and feasible diagnostic and therapeutic tool, which yields a significant clinical impact in children with pancreatobiliary and gastrointestinal disorders.

Link to article here

BMJ Article: Cognitive trajectories from infancy to early adulthood following birth before 26 weeks of gestation: a prospective, population-based cohort study

Image: Wikimedia commons


Objective To determine the trajectory of cognitive test scores from infancy to adulthood in individuals born extremely preterm compared with term-born individuals.

Design A prospective, population-based cohort study.

Setting 276 maternity units in the UK and Ireland.

Patients 315 surviving infants born less than 26 completed weeks of gestation recruited at birth in 1995 and 160 term-born classroom controls recruited at age 6.

Main outcome measures Bayley Scales of Infant Development-Second Edition (age 2.5); Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (ages 6/11); Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence-Second Edition (age 19).

Results The mean cognitive scores of extremely preterm individuals over the period were on average 25.2 points below their term-born peers (95% CI −27.8 to −22.6) and remained significantly lower at every assessment. Cognitive trajectories in term-born boys and girls did not differ significantly, but the scores of extremely preterm boys were on average 8.8 points below those of extremely preterm girls (95% CI −13.6 to −4.0). Higher maternal education elevated scores in both groups by 3.2 points (95% CI 0.8 to 5.7). Within the extremely preterm group, moderate/severe neonatal brain injury (mean difference: −10.9, 95% CI −15.5 to −6.3) and gestational age less than 25 weeks (mean difference: −4.4, 95% CI −8.4 to −0.4) also had an adverse impact on cognitive function.

Conclusions There is no evidence that impaired cognitive function in extremely preterm individuals materially recovers or deteriorates from infancy through to 19 years. Cognitive test scores in infancy and early childhood reflect early adult outcomes.

Link to article here

Cochrane review:

Image: Wikimedia commons


Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) is common in infants, and feed thickeners are often used to manage it in infants as they are simple to use and perceived to be harmless. However, conflicting evidence exists to support the use of feed thickeners.

Authors’ conclusions

Gastro-oesophageal reflux is a physiological self resolving phenomenon in infants that does not necessarily require any treatment. However, we found moderate-certainty evidence that feed thickeners should be considered if regurgitation symptoms persist in term bottle-fed infants. The reduction of two episodes of regurgitation per day is likely to be of clinical significance to caregivers. Due to the limited information available, we were unable to assess the use of feed thickeners in infants who are breastfeeding or preterm nor could we conclude which type of feed thickener is superior.

Link to review here

E-Learning for Healthcare: About the Avoiding Term Admissions Into Neonatal units programme

Atain programme

This e-learning programme will help healthcare professionals involved in the care of newborns, both in the hospital and community settings, to improve outcomes for babies, mothers and families through the safer delivery of care.

It is one of the outputs from the Atain programme (an acronym for ‘avoiding term admissions into neonatal units’) to reduce avoidable causes of harm that can lead to infants born at term (i.e. ≥ 37+0 weeks gestation) being admitted to a neonatal unit.

The e-learning programme addresses the key learning needs identified through Atain, with a focus on four key clinical areas:

  • respiratory conditions
  • hypoglycaemia
  • jaundice
  • asphyxia (perinatal hypoxia–ischaemia).

Link to their webpage here