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West J Emerg Med. 2010 Feb;11(1):60-7.

Emergency Department Septic Screening in Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and Non-RSV Bronchiolitis.

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Kern Medical Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, Bakersfield, CA.



To identify factors associated with culture-proven serious bacterial infection (SBI) and positive emergency department septic screening (EDSS) tests in children with bronchiolitis and to identify factors associated with the performance of EDSS.


We reviewed an existing study database of patients with bronchiolitis. We defined a positive EDSS as urine with >/=10 WBC per high power field or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) with >/=10 WBC per high power field (>25 WBC in neonates), or if organisms were identified on gram stain. We defined SBI as significant growth of an accepted pathogen in blood, urine or CSF. Our composite endpoint was positive if either of these was positive. The decision to perform testing was modeled using modified Poisson regression; the presence of the combined outcome was modeled using logistic regression modified for rare events.


We studied 640 children. Testing was performed in 199/640 (31.1%). These tended to be younger than two months RR 2.69 (95% CI 2.11, 3.44), febrile RR 2.01 (95% CI 1.58, 2.55), more dehydrated RR 1.50 (95% CI 1.28, 1.75) and had more severe chest wall retractions RR 1.54 (95% CI 1.22, 1.94). Only 11/640(1.7%) had a positive EDSS or SBI. Younger age (OR 0.67 per month; 95% CI 0.45, 0.99) and a negative RSV antigen test (OR 6.22; 95% CI 1.30, 29.85) were associated with the composite endpoint.


Testing was more likely to be performed in children younger than two months of age, and in those who were febrile, dehydrated, and had more severe chest wall retractions. A positive EDSS or SBI was rare occurring in younger infants with non-RSV bronchiolitis.


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