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Randomized Study of Early Continuous Positive Airways Pressure in Acute Respiratory Failure in Children With Impaired Immunity (SCARF) ISRCTN82853500

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rachel Agbeko


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OBJECTIVES: Previous trials in adults with impaired immunity and respiratory failure suggest that early noninvasive ventilation avoids endotracheal intubation and improves survival. No randomized clinical trials have addressed this question in children. DESIGN: We undertook an open, parallel-group randomized trial in three pediatric hospitals. SUBJECTS: Children with impaired immunity and acute respiratory failure defined as tachypnoea (> 90th centile); a new requirement for supplemental oxygen; and new chest radiograph infiltrates. INTERVENTIONS: Children were randomly assigned to early PICU admission for continuous positive airways pressure (early continuous positive airways pressure) or to standard care. The primary outcome was endotracheal intubation by 30 days. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: One-hundred fourteen children met inclusion criteria of whom 42 were randomized between January 2013 and January 2016. There was no significant difference in endotracheal intubation by 30 days with early continuous positive airways pressure (10/21; 48%) compared with standard care (5/21; 24%), odds ratio 2.9 (0.8-10.9), p value equals to 0.11. However, 30-day mortality was significantly higher with early continuous positive airways pressure (7/21; 33%) compared with standard care (1/21; 5%), odds ratio 10.0 (1.1-90.6), p value equals to 0.041. Mortality at 90 days was early continuous positive airways pressure (11/21; 52%) versus standard care (4/21; 19%), odds ratio 4.7 (1.2-18.6), p value equals to 0.029, whereas mortality at 1 year was similar early continuous positive airways pressure (13/21; 61.9%) versus standard care (9/21; 42.7%), odds ratio 2.2 (0.6-7.4), p value equals to 0.22. There were two serious adverse events: early continuous positive airways pressure (pneumothorax) and standard care (hemothorax). CONCLUSIONS: This study provided no evidence to support early PICU admission for continuous positive airways pressure in children with acute respiratory failure and impaired immunity. There was a trend toward increased endotracheal intubation and a higher early mortality in the early continuous positive airways pressure group.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Peters MJ, Agbeko R, Davis P, Klein N, Zenasni Z, Jones A, Mackerness C, George S, Veys P, Ray S, Mouncey PR, Harrison DA, Rowan K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Pediatric Critical Care Medicine : a Journal of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies

Year: 2018

Volume: 19

Issue: 10

Pages: 939-948

Online publication date: 01/10/2018

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

ISSN (print): 1529-7535

ISSN (electronic): 1947-3893

Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Ltd.


DOI: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000001683

PubMed id: 30095746


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