Management of Pediatric Thoracic Empyema in the North Queensland Region of Australia and Impact of a Local Evidence-based Treatment Guideline

Gautam, Anil, Wiseman, Gregory, Legg, Robert, Lindsay, Daniel, Puvvadi, Ramaa, Rathnamma, Bhanu Mariyappa, Stalewski, Harry, Norton, Robert, and White, Andrew Vernon (2022) Management of Pediatric Thoracic Empyema in the North Queensland Region of Australia and Impact of a Local Evidence-based Treatment Guideline. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 41 (1). pp. 1-5.

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Aim: The North Queensland region of Australia has a high incidence of pediatric thoracic empyema (pTE). We describe the management of empyema at the Townsville University Hospital which is the regional referral center for these children. The impact of a newly developed institutional guideline is also discussed.

Methods: This retrospective audit included children under the age of 16 years treated for empyema between 1 Jan 2007 and 31 December 2018. Demographic and management-related variables were correlated to outcomes. A local guideline was introduced at the beginning of 2017 and patient outcomes characteristics pre, and post introduction of this guideline are compared.

Results: There were 153 children with pTE (123 before and 30 after the introduction of a local guideline). Nonsurgical management was associated with a higher treatment failure rate. Median length of stay (LOS) was 11.8 (IQR 9.3–16) days. Longer hospital LOS was associated with younger age (r2 −0.16, P = 0.04), Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait (ATSI) ancestry (13.8 vs. 10.5 days, P = 0.002) and concomitant respiratory viral infections (14.4 vs. 10.9 days, P = 0.003). The introduction of local guideline was associated with significant decrease in the use of empirical chest CT scans (54.4% before vs. 6.7% after, P < 0.001) and duration of intravenous antibiotics (14 days before vs. 10 days after, P = 0.02). There was no significant change in the hospital LOS (12.1 days pre and 11.7 post, P = 0.8).

Conclusions: Younger age, concomitant viral respiratory infections and ATSI ancestry were identified as potential risk factors for increase LOS. Hospital LOS following the adoption of an institutional guideline was unchanged. However, such a guideline may identify populations at risk for an unfavorable course and avoid unnecessary antibiotic treatment and radiation exposure.

Item ID: 74795
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1532-0987
Keywords: children, quality assurance, thoracic empyema
Copyright Information: © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2022 05:27
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3213 Paediatrics > 321302 Infant and child health @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200105 Treatment of human diseases and conditions @ 100%
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