This month CanadiEM is featuring an article from the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine (CJEM) that focuses on the use of pediatric catheterization in the emergency department (ED). Currently, catheterization is used in the pediatric ED for diagnosing young children with a suspected urinary tract infection (UTI). However, there have been few studies that have looked at short-term adverse events in this population.
As shown in this CanadiEM infographic, this study by Ouellet-Pelletier et al.1 set out to assess adverse events in the week following diagnostic urinary catheterization in children in the pediatric ED. Specifically, a prospective observational study was performed in a single ED at Sainte-Justine University Hospital. Parents of eligible children were invited to participate in the study following catheterization and were contacted by phone 7-10 days afterwards to answer a short questionnaire about potential outcomes. The results showed that UC was associated with an adverse event in approximately 1/5 of young children in the week after the procedure, with only 1% visiting a health care facility for follow-up care.
Overall, this study suggests that the rate of urinary catheterization-related complications in children is likely higher than expected, given that parents rarely seek help for these adverse events. Given the single center design and small sample size of this study, future research is needed to draw any conclusions about the risks of pediatric catheterization.