Pediatric obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Significant obesity-related comorbidities are being noted at earlier ages and often have implications for the acute and critically ill child. This article will review the latest in epidemiologic trends of pediatric obesity and examine how it affects multisystem body organs. The latest data evaluating the specific effects of obesity on acute and critically ill children will be reviewed. Available nonpharmacologic, pharmacologic, and surgical strategies to combat pediatric obesity will be discussed.
Central venous catheters are often mandatory devices when caring for critically ill children. They are required to deliver medications, nutrition, and blood products, as well as for monitoring hemodynamic status and drawing laboratory samples. Any foreign object that is introduced to the body is at risk for infection. Central venous catheters carry a particularly high risk of infection and these infections can be life threatening. Advanced practice nurses possess the power to influence catheter-related line infections in their critical care units. Understanding current recommendations for catheter material selection, site selection, site preparation, and site care can affect rates of catheter-related bloodstream infections. This article discusses risk factors for developing catheter-related bloodstream infections in critically ill children, as well as measures to decrease incidence of catheter-related bloodstream infections, including a review of recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Temperature measurement is a commonly used assessment parameter when caring for the critically ill child. Interpreting the temperature measurement mode and what constitutes clinically significant thermal instability are poorly defined. Thus, decisions made regarding patient management based on temperature measurement can be challenging for caregivers. Infants and children have unique physioanatomic considerations that impact maintaining thermoregulation. Numerous routes for taking temperature measurements are described including the oral, axillary, tympanic (aural), rectal, skin, urinary bladder, pulmonary artery, esophageal, nasopharyngeal, supralingual (pacifier), and temporal-artery. Numerous studies on temperature measurement have been conducted on children of various ages using a variety of thermometers and routes in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. Although there are limited studies reported on the critically ill child, research data pertinent to the critically ill child from subjects in the neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric intensive care unit, operating room, and inpatient units are summarized.