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Dominic A. Harris and Sandi Lam

Object

The risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in children with traumatic brain injury (TBI) has not been well characterized given its rarity in the pediatric population. Investigation of risk factors for VTE in this group requires the use of a large sample size. Using nationally representative hospital discharge data for 2009, the authors of this study characterize the incidence and risk factors for VTE in children hospitalized for TBI.

Methods

The authors conducted a cross-sectional study using data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids' Inpatient Database to examine VTE in TBI-associated hospitalizations for patients 20 years of age or younger during the year 2009.

Results

There were 58,529 children with TBI-related admissions, including 267 with VTE diagnoses. Venous thromboembolisms occurred in 4.6 per 1000 TBI-associated hospitalizations compared with 1.2 per 1000 pediatric hospitalizations overall. By adjusted logistic regression, patients significantly more likely to be diagnosed with VTE had the following: older age of 15–20 years (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 3.7, 95% CI 1.8–8.0), venous catheterization (aOR 3.0, 95% CI 2.0–4.6), mechanical ventilation (aOR 1.9, 95% CI 1.2–2.9), tracheostomy (aOR 2.3, 95% CI 1.3–4.0), nonaccidental trauma (aOR 2.8, 95% CI 1.1–6.9), increased length of stay (aOR 1.02, 95% CI 1.01–1.03), orthopedic surgery (aOR 2.4, 95% CI 1.8–3.4), and cranial surgery (aOR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1–2.8).

Conclusions

Using the Kids' Inpatient Database, the authors found that risk factors for VTE in the setting of TBI in the pediatric population include older age, venous catheterization, nonaccidental trauma, increased length of hospital stay, orthopedic surgery, and cranial surgery.

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Dominic A. Harris, Danielle E. Sorte, Sandi K. Lam and Andrew P. Carlson

OBJECTIVE

The incidence of blunt cerebrovascular injury (BCVI) has not been well characterized in the pediatric population. The goal of this study was to describe the incidence, patient characteristics, and risk factors for pediatric patients with cerebrovascular injuries.

METHODS

The authors collected data from the Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID), a nationally representative database of pediatric admissions, for years 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2012.

RESULTS

Among an estimated 646,549 admissions for blunt trauma, 2150 were associated with BCVI, an overall incidence of 0.33%. The incidence of BCVI nearly doubled from 0.24% in 2000 to 0.49% in 2012. Patients 4 to 13 years of age were less likely to have BCVI than those in the youngest (0–3 years) and oldest age groups comprising adolescents (14–17 years) and young adults (18–20 years). BCVIs were associated with cervical (adjusted OR [aOR] 4.6, 95% CI 3.8–5.5), skull base (aOR 3.0, 95% CI 2.5–3.6), clavicular (aOR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1–1.8), and facial (aOR 1.2, 95% CI 1.0–1.5) fractures, as well as intracranial hemorrhage (aOR 2.7, 95% CI 2.2–3.2) and traumatic brain injury (aOR 2.0, 95% CI 1.7–2.3). Mechanism of injury was also independently associated with BCVI: motor vehicle collision (aOR 1.7, 95% CI 1.3–2.2) and struck pedestrian (aOR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0–1.9). Among pediatric patients with BCVI, 37.4% had cerebral ischemic infarction with an in-hospital mortality of 12.7%, and patients with stroke had 20% mortality.

CONCLUSIONS

The incidence of pediatric BCVI is increasing, likely due to increased use of screening, but remains lower than that in the adult population. Risk factors include the presence of cervical, facial, clavicular, and skull base fractures, similar to that of the adult population. Diagnosed BCVI is associated with a relatively high incidence of stroke with increased morbidity and mortality. The use of adult screening criteria is likely reasonable given the similarity in the risk factors identified in this study. Further studies are needed to investigate the role of treatment with antiplatelet agents or anticoagulation.

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Dominic A. Harris, Abigail J. Fong, Edward P. Buchanan, Laura Monson, David Khechoyan and Sandi Lam

When faced with calvarial defects, surgeons have long searched for repair materials. General criteria include ease of use, low cost, availability, cosmetic shape, and osteointegrative potential. While autologous bone is widely used and favored in contemporary reconstructive procedures, synthetic alternatives have been used throughout history and are necessary in current practice for select cases when autograft reconstruction is not an option (such as cases with severe bony comminution, bone graft resorption, infection, and limited donor site options). For centuries, surgeons have experimented with metals, ceramics, plastics, and later, resorbable polymers. This paper provides a tour of the materials that have been used and experimented with throughout the history of alloplastic cranioplasty.

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Sandi Lam, Dominic Harris, Brandon G. Rocque and Sandra A. Ham

Object

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is an alternative to ventriculoperitoneal shunting for hydrocephalus treatment. Choice of treatment options raises questions about which patients are likely to benefit from ETV. The authors performed a population-based analysis using an administrative claims database, examining current practice and outcomes for pediatric patients in the US.

Methods

The authors queried the MarketScan (Truven Health Analytics) database for Current Procedural Terminology codes corresponding to ETV and ventriculoperitoneal shunting from 2003 to 2011; they included patients 19 years or younger and extracted data from initial and subsequent hospitalizations. Hydrocephalus etiology was classified with ICD-9-CM coding. ETV failure was defined as any subsequent ETV or shunt procedure.

Results

Five hundred one patients underwent ETV. Of these, 46% were female. The mean age was 8.7 ± 6.4 years (± SD). The mean follow-up was 1.9 ± 1.8 years. Etiology of hydrocephalus was primarily tumor (41.7%) and congenital/aqueductal stenosis (24.4%). ETV was successful in 354 patients (71%). The mean time to failure was 109.9 ± 233 days. Of the 147 patients with ETV failure, 35 (24%) underwent repeat ETV and 112 (76%) had shunt placement. Patients in age groups 0 to < 6 months and 6 months to < 1 year had a significantly higher rate of ETV failure than those 10–19 years (HR 2.9, p = 0.05; and HR 2.3, p = 0.001, respectively). History of prior shunt was associated with higher risk of failure (HR 2.5, p < 0.001). There were no significant associations between hydrocephalus etiology and risk of failure. A second wave of failures occurred at 2.5–3.5 years postoperative in tumor and congenital/aqueductal stenosis patients; this was not observed in other etiology groups.

Conclusions

This study represents a cross-section of nationwide ETV practice over 9 years. ETV success was more likely among children 1 year and older and those with no history of prior shunt.

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Sandi K. Lam, Christina Sayama, Dominic A. Harris, Valentina Briceño, Thomas G. Luerssen and Andrew Jea

Object

Current national patterns as a function of patient-, hospital-, and procedure-related factors, and complication rates in the use of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein–2 (rhBMP-2) as an adjunct to the practice of pediatric spine surgery have scarcely been investigated.

Methods

The authors conducted a cross-sectional study using data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids' Inpatient Database. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were used to calculate unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals, and p values < 0.05 were considered to be statistically significant.

Results

The authors identified 9538 hospitalizations in pediatric patients 20 years old or younger who had undergone spinal fusion in the US in 2009; 1541 of these admissions were associated with rhBMP-2 use. By multivariate logistic regression, the following factors were associated with rhBMP-2 use: patient age 15–20 years; length of hospital stay (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.01, p = 0.017); insurance status (private [aOR 1.49, p < 0.001] compared with Medicaid); hospital type (nonchildren's hospital); region (Midwest [aOR 2.49, p = 0.008] compared with Northeast); spinal refusion (aOR 2.20, p < 0.001); spinal fusion approach/segment (anterior lumbar [aOR 1.73, p < 0.001] and occipitocervical [aOR 1.86, p = 0.013] compared with posterior lumbar); short segment length (aOR 1.42, p = 0.016) and midlength (aOR 1.44, p = 0.005) compared with long; and preoperative diagnosis (Scheuermann kyphosis [aOR 1.56, p < 0.017] and spondylolisthesis [aOR 1.93, p < 0.001]).

Conclusions

Use of BMP in pediatric spine procedures now comprises more than 10% of pediatric spinal fusion. Patient-related (age, insurance type, diagnosis); hospital-related (children's hospital vs general hospital, region in the US); and procedure-related (redo fusion, anterior vs posterior approach, spinal levels, number of levels fused) factors are associated with the variation in BMP use in the US.