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Outcomes and Factors Associated With Prehospital Treatment of Pediatric Anaphylaxis

Trainor, J. L.; Pittsenbarger, Z. E.; Joshi, D.; Adler, M. D.; Smith, B.; Gupta, R. S.

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2020 Jun 17


OBJECTIVE: Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening reaction requiring prompt treatment with intramuscular epinephrine (EPI). We sought to describe presenting features of pediatric anaphylaxis and compare patient characteristics and outcomes of children treated with prehospital EPI with those untreated. METHODS: We abstracted data from emergency department (ED) records for children meeting the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Disease criteria for anaphylaxis (2015-2017) in one tertiary care children's hospital. We analyzed associations between patient characteristics and outcomes and receipt of prehospital EPI using descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression. RESULTS: Of 414 children presenting with anaphylaxis, 39.4% received IM EPI and 62.1% received antihistamines before hospital arrival. Children with Medicaid received pre-emergency department EPI less frequently than did children with private insurance (24.5% vs 43.8%, P = 0.001). Factors positively associated with prehospital EPI administration were history of food allergy (odds ratio [OR], 4.4 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 2.4-8.2]) or arrival by emergency medical services (OR, 8.0 [95% CI, 4.2-15.0]). Medicaid insurance was associated with decreased odds of prehospital EPI (OR, 0.33 [95% CI, 0.16-0.66]) and prehospital H1-antihistamine use (OR, 0.30 [95% CI, 0.17-0.56]). Prehospital EPI treatment was also associated with decreased rates of observation (37% vs 63%), inpatient admission (38% vs 62%), and intensive care unit admission (20% vs 80%) compared with no pretreatment (P = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Prehospital treatment with EPI remains low, and barriers to optimal treatment are more pronounced in children with public insurance. Prehospital treatment with EPI was associated with decreased morbidity including hospitalization and intensive care unit admission.

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