Infectious Disease

Offering a flu shot to children undergoing general anesthesia will greatly increase uptake

November 18, 2021

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Source:
Morrissey, T., et al. A-2032. Presented at: Annual Meeting of ANESTHESIOLOGY; 8-12 October 2021; (Hybrid meeting).

Disclosure:
The authors do not report any relevant financial information.

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A best practice warning when a child was checked in for surgery resulted in an approximately 3,500% increase in the number of patients vaccinated against influenza at Children’s Hospital Colorado, according to a press release.

The CDC estimates that 58.2% of U.S. children received the flu vaccine in the 2020-2021 season, a decrease of about 4.1 percentage points from the 2019-2020 season.

Reference: Morrissey T, et al. A-2032. Presented at: Annual Meeting of ANESTHESIOLOGY; 8-12 October 2021; (Hybrid meeting).

Tyler Morrissey, MD, an assistant professor of pediatric anesthesiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine at Aurora; and colleagues initiated the best practice alert in October 2020. The alert appeared on an admitting nurse’s screen as a pediatric patient checked in for a procedure using general elective anesthesia .

Tyler Morrissey

“If the patient didn’t have a documented flu shot for the season, that nurse would use a series of questions to determine if the patient was eligible for the vaccine and would get parental consent,” Morrissey told Healio Primary Care for the vaccine was issued and placed on the patient’s medical record to be administered under anesthesia. “

During the 2020-2021 flu season, before the best practice warning was implemented, patients were given only 30 perioperative vaccines within 6 weeks, according to the press release. 25 weeks after the start of the intervention phase, 1,063 vaccines were administered. No vaccination complications were reported.

“Surprisingly, patients and families had very few concerns about receiving the vaccine under anesthesia,” said Morrissey. “Our project has shown that families would take the opportunity to have their child vaccinated under anesthesia if it were offered.”

He added in a press release that the data shows “that having a standardized process for vaccinating children under anesthesia during surgery provides a ‘teachable moment’ and an opportunity to educate families about the importance of flu vaccination and a model for others Vaccinations for children during anesthesia, including the COVID-19 vaccine.

References:

CDC. Frequently asked questions about the 2020-21 flu season. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2020-2021.htm. Accessed November 12, 2021.

Morrissey, T., et al. A-2032. Presented at: Annual Meeting of ANESTHESIOLOGY; 8-12 October 2021; (Hybrid meeting).

The offer of flu vaccinations for children who have undergone surgery increases the number of those vaccinated considerably. Published October 4, 2021. Accessed November 12, 2021.

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