Today’s episode of “PICU Doc On Call,” with Dr. Pradip Kamat and Dr. Rahul Damania, pediatric ICU physicians, delves into intriguing case and management strategies within the acute care pediatric setting.

This episode focuses on a 2-year-old child transferred to the PICU due to pneumonia-induced respiratory distress. As the child’s condition deteriorates, intubation becomes necessary to address acute hypoxemic respiratory failure.

We discuss the significance of minimizing unnecessary blood cultures in febrile patients with central lines in the PICU. A study implementing a quality improvement program is referenced, which successfully reduces blood culture rates, broad-spectrum antibiotic usage, and CLABSI rates without impacting mortality or length of stay.

Next, we’ll explore the comparison between a high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in pediatric patients experiencing respiratory distress. Findings from a randomized controlled trial revealed that HFNC is non-inferior to CPAP in terms of time required for liberation from respiratory support.

We further investigate the application of pediatric early warning scores (PEWS) and automated clinical prediction models to identify patients at risk of deterioration and transfer to the PICU. The importance of employing clinical judgment and a combination of assessment tools to determine the need for transfer is emphasized.

Lastly, we’ll highlight the significance of screening for social determinants of health in critically ill children and their families. A study demonstrates that a substantial number of participants had unmet social needs, underscoring the importance of screening to provide appropriate interventions and resources.

To summarize, this podcast episode covers key topics such as reducing unnecessary blood cultures, comparing HFNC and CPAP in respiratory distress, utilizing PEWS and clinical prediction models for patient identification, and the importance of screening for social determinants of health.

Be sure to listen in entirety as we discuss the case.