The Wheezing Child - Croydon Health Services NHS Trust

Report
The Wheezing Child: assessment,
treatment and referral
Dr Christopher Hands, ST5 Paediatric Registrar
Croydon University Hospital, Thursday 11th September 2014
The Wheezing Child
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Why this talk:
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Common paediatric presenting problem
End point of variety of pathological processes
Large burden of disease
Frequent diagnostic uncertainty
Wide variations in management amongst paediatricians
and primary care physicians
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The Wheezing Child (2)
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Presentations:
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Bronchiolitis
Asthma
Virus-induced wheeze
Pneumonia
Chronic cough
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Presentations
Guidelines
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Guidelines on which this talk is based:
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SIGN (2006), Bronchiolitis in children
SIGN/BTS (2012), British guideline on the management
of asthma
BTS (2011) Guidelines for the management of community
acquired pneumonia in children
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Bronchiolitis
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Virtually all infants are infected by RSV by the age of
three years, around 40% to 50% develop involvement of
the lower respiratory tract and 2% to 3% develop severe
disease leading to hospitalisation
Pre-existing anatomical and immunological abnormalities
related to maternal smoking in pregnancy in particular
may mean that an RSV infection presents as severe
bronchiolitis, rather than a mild respiratory illness
Airway oedema and mucus plugging are the predominant
pathological features in infants with acute viral
bronchiolitis
Fig 1 Epidemiology of respiratory syncytial virus infection.
Bush A , and Thomson A H BMJ 2007;335:1037-1041
©2007 by British Medical Journal Publishing Group
Bronchiolitis (2)
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Factors which predispose to acute bronchiolitis
• Otherwise normal babies admitted to hospital for acute
bronchiolitis have evidence of airflow obstruction before their
bronchiolitic illness and this is still present at age 11 years
• Evidence exists of abnormality of immune function in
umbilical cord blood in babies of mothers who smoke during
pregnancy and these babies subsequently develop RSV
infection; the relation of these changes to RSV bronchiolitis
has yet to be worked out in detail
• In preterm babies who have airflow obstruction as a
consequence of prematurity and of its treatment, a lesser
degree of airway inflammation than usual can cause serious
respiratory compromise
Bronchiolitis (3)
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Absolute indications for hospital referral for acute
bronchiolitis
• Cyanosis or really severe respiratory distress
(respiratory rate >70 breaths/min, nasal flaring and/or
grunting, severe chest wall recession)
• Marked lethargy leading to poor feeding
• Respiratory distress preventing feeding (<50% of usual
intake in past 24 hours)
• Apnoeic episodes
• Diagnostic uncertainty (toxic infant, temperature ≥40
degrees centigrade)
Bronchiolitis (4)
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Relative indications for hospital referral for acute
bronchiolitis
Peak severity of illness day 3 – day 4
• Congenital heart disease
• Any survivor of extreme prematurity
• Any pre-existing lung disease or immunodeficiency
• Down's syndrome: these babies have a degree of
pulmonary hypoplasia and may also have potential or
actual upper airway obstruction
• Social factors: isolated family (concerns about the ability
of the family to notice any deterioration)
Bronchiolitis (5)
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Treatment:
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No evidence for efficacy of bronchodilators or steroids;
both can have important adverse effects
In hospital, nebulised hypertonic saline reduces length of
stay
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SIGN guideline is evidence-based
NICE guidance expected April 2015
Post-bronchiolitis symptoms
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Cough and wheeze may last several weeks after
bronchiolitis (post-bronchiolitic syndrome)
Intermittent symptoms may continue for several years
No study has shown that inhaled steroids are effective
Wheezing exacerbations may respond to standard
bronchodilator therapy
Post-bronchiolitis symptoms (2)
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The relation between RSV infection and subsequent
asthma is hotly debated
However, pre-existing atopy may be a marker for more
severe bronchiolitis, and atopy itself predisposes to
asthma
Asthma
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VIW/asthma most common paediatric ED presentation
Major cause of morbidity and hospital admission,
especially in winter months
Preventative medication commonly under-used
1.1 million children in the UK have asthma – 1 in 11
(Asthma UK)
BTS guidance for 5-12 year olds
BTS guidance for under 5 year olds
Indications for specialist referral in children
Virus-induced wheeze
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Between one quarter and one half of all pre-school
children have symptoms of wheeze with a respiratory
infection
Most do not go on to develop asthma
Under-5s with episodic wheeze but without interval
symptoms do not have asthma-type airway inflammation,
and are not helped by steroids
Episodes of wheeze and a history of atopy are strongly
predictive of those who will develop asthma
Paediatric pneumonia
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In a 2001-2 study, the incidence of childhood communityacquired pneumonia was found to be 14.4/10,000 for 016 year-olds, and 33.8/10,000 for children less than five
years old
Between 2006 and 2008, admission rates for childhood
CAP declined by 19%, after the introduction of the
conjugate pneumococcal vaccine (PCV7)
S pneumoniae is still the most common cause of
childhood CAP
Viruses cause 1/3-2/3 of cases of CAP
Mycoplasma is an important cause of CAP in school aged
children
Paediatric pneumonia (2)
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Bacterial pneumonia should be considered in children
when there is persistent or repetitive fever >38.5 degrees
together with chest recession and a raised respiratory
rate
Children with signs and symptoms of pneumonia who are
not admitted to hospital should not have a chest x-ray
All children with a clear clinical diagnosis of pneumonia
should receive antibiotics as bacterial and viral pneumonia
cannot reliably be distinguished from each other.
Paediatric pneumonia (3)
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Children aged <2 years presenting with mild symptoms of
lower respiratory tract infection do not usually have
pneumonia and need not be treated with antibiotics but
should be reviewed if symptoms persist
Amoxicillin is recommended as first choice for oral
antibiotic therapy in all children because it is effective
against the majority of pathogens which cause CAP in this
group, is well tolerated and cheap.
Paediatric pneumonia (4)
Questions
Case 1
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5 year-old boy
5th child of 7 in Somali family living in 2 bedroom house in
Norbury
Mother reports that he has been coughing ‘off and on’ for
the last six months
On direct questioning she says she thinks it’s worse at
night
Vitamin D deficiency, takes Abidec; no allergies
Imms up to date up to one year; has not had pre-school
booster
Born in Somalia at term; came to UK one year ago
Case 1: Examination
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Active, bright and alert, thin
Allergic nasal crease
Harrison’s sulci
No respiratory distress
Slightly prolonged expiratory phase; faint end-expiratory
wheeze throughout
PEFR 80% of predicted
Examination otherwise unremarkable
Case 1: Questions
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Does this child need further investigations?
What treatment would you initiate?
Case 2
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8 month-old Hungarian girl
Has been coughing for the last two days with a runny
nose
Mother brought her to the surgery today because she
‘seems to be having difficulty catching her breath’
Doesn’t want to drink as much milk as normal, but is
eating her normal finger foods and rice
Born in the UK at 36 weeks by caesarian section; stayed
in hospital for five days because of jaundice
No medical problems, Health Start vitamins,
immunisations up-to-date
No family history of atopy
Case 2: Examination
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Active, alert, coughing
Smiling and playful
Normal posture and movements
Heart rate 130, normal heart sounds, no murmurs
Capillary refill time 1.5 seconds
Temperature 37.8 degrees
Respiratory rate 55; moderate subcostal recession and
some intercostal recession
Showers of fine crackles throughout the lung fields;
polyphonic wheeze throughout
(Oxygen saturations 97%)
Case 2: Questions
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Does this child need further investigations?
What treatment would you initiate?
Case 3
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3 year-old girl
Has been unwell with a temperature and a cough since
yesterday; doesn’t seem to be improving
Mother has noticed that her daughter is having difficulty
breathing
Has been eating and drinking ok, still passing urine
regularly
Born at term; hospital admission for bronchiolitis at four
months, otherwise has been well.
No medications; immunisations up-to-date
Case 3: Examination
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Alert, watchful and miserable
Clinging to her mother
Temperature 38.5, heart rate 140, capillary refill time one
second
Respiratory rate 40; moderate subcostal recession
Oxygen saturations 95%
Reduced air entry and fine expiratory crackles at the
right base
Case 3: Questions
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Does this child need further investigations?
What treatment would you initiate?
Case 4
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2 year-old Ghanaian boy
Developed runny nose and cough last night (both elder
brothers unwell with colds)
This lunchtime started to have difficulty breathing and his
mother can hear wheezing
Born at term in the UK, normally well
Has eczema, normally managed with emollients; has had
two courses of topical steroids in the last six months
Has never had wheeze before
Immunisations up-to-date
Both brothers have hayfever; mother has hayfever and
eczema
Case 4: Examination
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Alert, happy, breathless
Temperature 37.9 degrees
Respiratory rate 60; oxygen saturations 93%
Good air entry throughout; widespread harsh wheeze
Heart rate 120; capillary refill time 2 seconds
Given salbutamol 100 micrograms ten puffs via spacer in
the surgery
Following therapy:
Respiratory rate 35; oxygen saturations 98%; minimal
wheeze
Heart rate 150
Case 4: Questions
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Does this child need further assessment in the
emergency department?
What treatment would you initiate?
Is there a role for oral steroids in this child’s treatment?
Case 5
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8 week-old boy, seen with mother and two elder sisters, aged
3 years and 5 years
Started coughing this afternoon; now seems to have some
difficulty in breathing
Mother thought he felt hot; measured his temperature as 37.6
at home
Born at 35 weeks by emergency caesarian section because of
antepartum haemorrhage
Mother smoked throughout pregnancy
Birthweight 1.8kg; current weight 2.9kg
Has been well since birth
Mother is a single parent and has two further children at
home, aged 7 and 10 years; all her other children are currently
well
Case 5: Examination
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Active, alert, smiling
Normal posture and movements
Temperature 38 degrees
HR 140; capillary refill time 1 second
Oxygen saturations 98%
RR 50; mild-moderate subcostal recession
Prolonged expiratory phase
Good air entry throughout; scattered crackles and faint
wheeze throughout
Case 5: Questions
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What is the likely course of this child’s illness?
Does this child need further assessment in the
emergency department?
What treatment would you initiate?
Case 6
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5 year-old boy
Became unwell with cough and fever yesterday morning
Today has had increasing difficulty in breathing and his
chest hurts
Born at term; no postnatal problems
Used to have a salbutamol inhaler for intermittent
episodes of wheezing, but it was lost a few months ago
No other medical problems; no medications
No family history of atopy
Not immunised as his parents ‘don’t believe in it’
Case 6: examination
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Alert, miserable, coughing
Temperature 38.5 degrees (paracetamol 2 hours ago)
Respiratory rate 40; oxygen saturations 95%
Does not cooperate with peak flow measurement
Prolonged expiratory phase; moderate subcostal
recession
Minimal air entry left lower zone; widespread wheeze;
resonant to percussion throughout
Given ten puffs of salbutamol inhaler via spacer:
Oxygen saturations 95%; minimal air entry left lower
zone; respiratory rate 40; no wheeze
Case 6: Questions
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Does this child need further investigations?
What treatment would you initiate?
Does this child need any ongoing therapy?
Case 7
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9 month-old Zambian girl (corrected gestational age)
Cough and gradually worsening difficulty in breathing
since yesterday
Only child; both mother and father have colds
Two previous hospital admissions with breathing
difficulties, and has been assessed on several other
occasions in the emergency department
Stage 3 retinopathy of prematurity; treated with laser
Takes Abidec and Sytron
Born in the UK at 27 weeks’ gestation
Stayed in NICU for 8 weeks; discharged home in air
Case 7: examination
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Alert, smiling
Wriggling and trying to escape from mother’s lap
Temperature 38 degrees
HR 120; capillary refill time one second
Oxygen saturations 97%
Respiratory rate 45; moderate subcostal recession
Good air entry throughout; polyphonic wheeze heard
throughout
Trial of inhaled salbutamol: no difference to wheeze or
respiratory rate
Case 7: Questions
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Does this child need further assessment in the
emergency department?
What treatment would you initiate?
What is the diagnosis?
Questions
Summary Points
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Wheeze is caused by different pathophysiological
processes
Age of the child aids differentiation of disease process
Bronchiolitis: supportive care only
Most infants with bronchiolitis don’t need hospital
admission
Most children under 2 with mild-moderate symptoms
don’t have pneumonia
Most pre-school children with wheeze don’t have asthma
Many asthma admissions are provoked by poor preventer
use/lost salbutamol inhaler
References
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1. Bush A, Thomson A, ‘Acute Bronchiolitis’ British Medical
Journal 2007;335:1037
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2. British Thoracic Society Community Acquired
Pneumonia in Children Group, 'Guidelines for the
management of community acquired pneumonia in
children: update 2011', Thorax 66: Supplement 2
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3. Frank PI et al, ‘Long term prognosis in preschool
children with wheeze: longitudinal postal questionnaire
study 1993-2004’, British Medical Journal 2008;336:1423-6
References (2)
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4. Maclennan C et al, ‘Airway inflammation in
asymptomatic children with episodic wheeze’, Pediatric
Pulmonology 2006; 41(6):577-83
5. Panickar J et al, 'Oral prednisolone for preschool
children with acute virus-induced wheezing' New England
Journal of Medicine 2009; 360:329-338
6. Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (2006),
'Bronchiolitis in children’
7. Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network and the
British Thoracic Society (2012), ‘British guideline on the
management of asthma’

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