Abstract: Since food allergy knowledge and perceptions may influence prevention and management of school-based reactions, we evaluated them among nurses in an urban school district. All District of Columbia public school nurses were asked to anonymously complete a food allergy knowledge and attitude questionnaire. Knowledge scores were calculated as percentage of correct responses. Attitude responses were tabulated across five-point Likert scales, ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The knowledge questionnaire was completed by 87% of eligible nurses and the attitude questionnaire by 83%. The mean total knowledge score was 76 ± 13 with domain score highest for symptom recognition and lowest for treatment. Regarding attitudes, most (94%) felt food allergy is a serious health problem, for which schools should have guidelines (94%). Fewer believed that nut-free schools (82%) and allergen-free tables (44%) should be implemented. Negative perceptions of parents were identified as: parents of food-allergic children are overprotective (55%) and make unreasonable requests of schools (15%). Food allergy knowledge deficits and mixed attitudes exist among this sample of urban school nurses, particularly related to management of reactions and perceptions of parents. Food allergy education of school nurses should be targeted to improve their knowledge and attitudes.
Abstract: Cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) is the most common food allergy in infants and can affect a family’s quality of life. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the knowledge and experience of general practitioners (GPs) in terms of CMPA diagnosis and management and to explore the views of parents on the current diagnostic process. Two surveys were conducted in June 2014, which collected data from GPs and parents of infants diagnosed with CMPA in the United Kingdom. The questionnaires included quantitative and qualitative questions, which measured self-reported knowledge, management and perceived treatment progression, and the educational needs of GPs. We also explored parents’ experiences of local healthcare support in relation to CMPA. A total of 403 GPs and 300 parents completed the surveys. The main symptoms of CMPA and diagnosis period differed between GPs and parents. Other key points include different perceptions on symptom presentation and improvement, lack of awareness from GPs about current guidelines, and the significant burden on both families and GPs. This is the first study attempting to establish GP and parental experience in diagnosing CMPA. It is notable that the difference can be improved through training, appropriate diagnostic tools and improved communication between physicians and parents.
Abstract: Food allergy in children is increasing and the perception of food allergy among parents is even more common. In a questionnaire-based study of 702 children aged 6 to 48 months in four primary care settings, the aim was to determine the prevalence of perception vs. proven food allergy, parental anxiety and general pediatrician knowledge of food allergy. In 95/702 children (13.5%) parentally-reported food was associated reactions. IgE and/or skin prick test (SPT) and/or an open provocation test were performed in 48 (6.8%) and allergy was proven in 38 (5.4%) children. Discrepancy between parental perception and proven allergy is significant (p < 0.001), especially for food other than milk, egg and peanut (p < 0.001). Allergy to milk was the most common. Allergy to peanut was significantly more common in children ≥2 years (p < 0.05). Severe reactions occurred in 5/95 (5.2%) of all children and in 5/38 (13.1%) of allergic children, in 3/5 caused by peanut. Parents of children with proven allergy do not experience high degree of anxiety. The perception of food allergy among general pediatricians is limited, and in children with severe reactions precautionary measures and information to parents were insufficient. Parents and general pediatricians need additional education in food allergy.
Abstract: Infants who are breastfed are at an immunological advantage when compared with formula fed infants, evidenced by decreased incidence of infections and diminished propensity for long term conditions, including chronic wheeze and/or asthma. Exclusive breastfeeding reduces the duration of hospital admission, risk of respiratory failure and requirement for supplemental oxygen in infants hospitalised with bronchiolitis suggesting a potentially protective mechanism. This review examines the evidence and potential pathways for protection by immunomodulatory factors in human milk against the most common viral cause of bronchiolitis, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and subsequent recurrent wheeze in infants. Further investigations into the interplay between respiratory virus infections such as RSV and how they affect, and are affected by, human milk immunomodulators is necessary if we are to gain a true understanding of how breastfeeding protects many infants but not all against infections, and how this relates to long-term protection against conditions such as chronic wheezing illness or asthma.
Abstract: Whilst the prevalence of low blood pressure in preterm infants seems to have fallen over the last number of years, the problem is still frequently encountered in the neonatal intensive care unit and many babies continue to receive intervention. Great variability in practice persists, with a significant number of extremely low gestational age newborns in some institutions receiving some form of intervention, and in other units substantially less. A great degree of this variability relates to the actual criteria used to define hypotension, with some using blood pressure values alone to direct therapy and others using a combination of clinical, biochemical and echocardiography findings. The choice of intervention remains unresolved with the majority of centres continuing to administer volume followed by dopamine as a first line inotrope/vasopressor agent. Despite over 40 years of use there is little evidence that dopamine is of benefit both in the short term and long-term. Long-term follow up is available in only two randomised trials, which included a total of 99 babies. An under recognized problem relates to the administration of inotrope infusions in very preterm infants. There are no pediatric specific inotrope formulations available and so risks of errors in preparation and administration remain. This manuscript outlines these challenges and proposes some potential solutions.
Abstract: The objective of this paper was to review existing information regarding food effects on drug absorption within paediatric populations. Mechanisms that underpin food–drug interactions were examined to consider potential differences between adult and paediatric populations, to provide insights into how this may alter the pharmacokinetic profile in a child. Relevant literature was searched to retrieve information on food–drug interaction studies undertaken on: (i) paediatric oral drug formulations; and (ii) within paediatric populations. The applicability of existing methodology to predict food effects in adult populations was evaluated with respect to paediatric populations where clinical data was available. Several differences in physiology, anatomy and the composition of food consumed within a paediatric population are likely to lead to food–drug interactions that cannot be predicted based on adult studies. Existing methods to predict food effects cannot be directly extrapolated to allow predictions within paediatric populations. Development of systematic methods and guidelines is needed to address the general lack of information on examining food–drug interactions within paediatric populations.