August 9, 2018

Background: Acute asthma exacerbations are a common presentation to pediatric emergency departments (EDs). Standard treatment with inhaled beta agonists and corticosteroids are often sufficient in mild asthma but can fall short in the treatment of moderate to severe exacerbations. Magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) has long been touted as an adjunct treatment due to its bronchodilatory properties (both in its intravenous (IV) and nebulized form). Despite its routine use, the evidence for its benefit is inconsistent, particularly in the adult population where the most recent large RCT demonstrated modest benefits (Goodacre 2013).

July 11, 2018

Background: The most feared complication in the clinical course of children with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is the development of cerebral edema. Cerebral edema is rare (<1%) but is the leading cause of death in pediatric DKA. Many of the details about the risk factors as well as the mechanisms leading to DKA related cerebral edema are not well understood. Before we review the recent, groundbreaking study by Kupperman et al (1), examining the relationship between intravenous fluid content and rate of fluid administration in the development of DKA related cerebral edema, it’s important that we review the associated risk factors as well as the proposed mechanisms. It is important to know that the available data we are about to review comes from retrospective studies as well as case reports and case series and not from randomized control trials.

September 4, 2017

Button Batteries: Small, disc shaped battery cells which are designed for use in small electronic devices. Common sources are kids toys, watches, calculators and hearing aids. Most batteries use lithium as a power source

Button Battery Ingestion Danger:

  • Contact with mucosal surfaces (oropharynx, esophagus, nasal passage) results in transmission of current
  • Current transmission causes chemical burns and necrosis via alkaline injury (sodium hydroxide)
  • Tissue damage can progress rapidly and result in devastating injuries
  • Nasal passage and esophagus are most susceptible to injury (narrow places for battery to become lodged)
  • Injury Patterns
    • Viscous perforation
    • Fistula formation
    • Erosion into blood vessels and resultant bleeding and possible catastrophic bleeding with erosion into aorta

May 11, 2017

Background: Fever without source in infants less than three months old presents a difficult diagnostic dilemma for ED physicians.  Over the past 25 years several algorithms have been developed to help guide clinicians, most notably the Rochester, Philadelphia and Boston Criteria, in determining which infants require admission vs. outpatient management.  These studies were designed published between 1992 and 1994 prior to the wide spread use of HiB and pneumococcal vaccines in children, maternal GBS screening and the development of many new biomarkers. 

The Step-by-Step approach to febrile infants was developed by a European group of pediatric emergency physicians with the objective of identifying low risk infants who could be safely managed as outpatients without lumbar puncture or empiric antibiotic treatment. The algorithm was designed using retrospective data and this study attempts to prospectively validate it.

March 6, 2017

Pediatric Septic Hip Definition: Bacterial infection of the hip joint space and synovial fluid


  • Causes
    • Hematogenous spread in bacteremia
    • Local spread (i.e. from osteomyelitis)
    • Direct inoculation (traumatic or surgical)
  • High-Risk Subgroups
    • Age < 2 years (peak incidence 6 - 24 months)
    • Immunocompromised state (i.e. AIDS, active cancer, etc)
    • Functional asplenia (i.e. sickle cell disease)
  • Complications
    • Sepsis
    • Osteomyelitis
    • Chronic arthritis
    • Osteonecrosis
    • Capsule damage