Important pediatric news

August 1, 2007

Vaccines for children * Trampoline safety * Hepatitis A guidance ... and more.

Two more vaccines added to VFC program

Merck announced that its Rotateq and Gardasil vaccines have been adopted by all of the 50 state-run Vaccine for Children (VFC) programs in the US, as well as five city programs.

The Rotateq vaccine is indicated to prevent rotavirus gastroenteritis in infants and children between the ages of six to 32 weeks. Gardasil is indicated for females ages 9 to 26 to prevent cancers caused by the human papillomavirus.

Merck has also applied to the World Health Organization to receive prequalification status for Rotateq and Gardasil, in order to make the vaccines available in the developing world. These applications are under review.

Dear Mom and Dad, Please rethink that trampoline

Researchers wanted to know whether the number of recent pediatric trampoline-related injuries has increased, so they compared trampoline-related injury visits to the Emergency Department (ED) using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) from 1990 to 1995 and 2000 to 2005 (Acad Emerg Med 14;6:539).

What they found was that from 2000 to 2005, there was an average of 88,563 ED visits per year for these types of injuries in patients 0 to 18 years of age, with 95% of them occurring at home. In comparison, the data from 1990 to 1995 indicated that there was an average of 41,600 trampoline-related ED visits per year.

The study went on to say that children ages 5 to 12 were the most likely to be injured on trampolines, and a majority of the injuries affected the extremities. Soft tissue damage was the most common, followed by fractures and dislocation.

High growth hormone levels found in boys with autism and ASD

That's what researchers from four cooperating oganizations found when analyzing the medical records and blood samples from 71 boys affected by autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

These higher growth hormone levels could explain the larger head circumference, higher weight, and higher body mass index commonly found in autistic children. The two hormones are insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2-they stimulate cellular growth. The study was published online in Clinical Endocrinology; doi:10.1111/j1365-2265.2007.02868.x

CDC infection tracking system available

All health care facilities in the US now have the ability to track nosocomial infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections (MRSA), via a secure, Web-based reporting network.

The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) offers multiple options for data analysis, and more flexibility for sharing information both within and outside a facility. The network currently has more than 600 participants in 45 states, and is expecting almost 1,000 hospitals to tap into the database in the future.

The network was upgraded to meet the needs of states with mandatory public reporting of nosocomial infections-public reporting of these infections is determined on a state-by-state basis. California, Colorado, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia designated NHSN as a part of their mechanism to implement legislation requiring hospitals to report hospital-acquired infections.

For more information on NHSN, visit http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/nhsn.html