Intern Report Case Discussion 2.2


Presented by Sarah Albers, MD

CC: FeverHPI: A 23-month-old female presents to the ED with fever for the last 2-3 days.  Recently finished antibiotics for an ear infection.  Mom said she was doing well until 2-3 days ago, when she developed some nausea, non bloody, nonbilious vomiting, loose stools, and a fever as high as 104 at home.  She was seen at another hospital last night, diagnosed with a virus and told her to take Motrin and Tylenol, 10 cc of each alternating.

Apparently, there was some miscommunication between mom and the previous hospital.  She has been giving 10 cc of Tylenol and Motrin Infant Drops instead of the child formula and so there is a concern for overdose.  She has had 2 doses of each, last dose of Motrin was about an hour and a half ago, Tylenol was about three and half hours ago.  The patient is eating and drinking, awake, interactive, slightly decreased urine output.  Mom said the urine is very foul smelling and darker than normal.








SOCIAL HISTORY: Positive for sick contacts.

BIRTH HISTORY: Full term, no complications.

Physical Exam and Vitals

BP 97/52, P 148, RR 32, Temp 39.0 (temporal), repeat 40.2 axillary.


Head:  Normocephalic, atraumatic.

Eyes:  Extraocular movements intact.  Pupils are equal, round, and reactive.  No conjunctival pallor or scleral icterus.

Mouth:  Mucous membranes pink, moist.  No intraoral lesions.

NECK:  Supple.

CARDIOVASCULAR:  S1, S2 regular.  No murmurs, rubs, or gallops.

RESPIRATORY:  Clear bilaterally.  No wheezing, rales, or rhonchi.

ABDOMEN:  Soft, nontender, nondistended.

MUSCULOSKELETAL:  No gross deformity.

EXTREMITIES:  No cyanosis, clubbing, or edema.

SKIN:  Warm, dry, and intact.

NEUROLOGIC:  The patient is awake, alert, interactive, and has a normal gait


WBC: 18

Hgb: 12.2

Hct: 36.5

Plts: 243

Fecal leukocytes: negative

Ova and parasites: negative

Stool culture: negative

C diff: negative

Blood culture: negative


pH 7.5

sp gr 1.009,

blood 1+

LE 3+

Nitrites neg

WBC’s 50-100

Bacteria 1+

UCx: >100,000 E Coli

Abd U/S Final Read:

1.  Unremarkable ultrasound examination of the kidneys.

2.  Two splenules in the left upper quadrant.

Side note:

This is a 23-month-old who had fever for 2 days.  She was seen previously at another hospital, and no urine was obtained.   Also, she had approximately 2 g of Tylenol over 2 hours.  Her 24 hour dose calculates to be approximately 80 mL/kg per dose which is below the toxic level.  The patient has also had approximately 400 mg of Motrin which calculates about 30 mg/kg which is below the toxic level as well.  Toxicology should be (and was) consulted (with no acute intervention).


1)    What is the most common source of UTI in Pediatrics?

  1. E coli
  2. b. Fungi (Candida species)
  3. Staphylococcus saprophyticus
  4. Streptococcus group B
  5. Adenovirus

Answer Aa)    E coli is the most frequent pathogen, causing 75-90% of UTI’s.

b)    Fungi (Candida) occurs especially after instrumentation of the urinary tract.

c)    Staphylococcus saprophyticus, occurs especially among sexually active females

d)    Streptococcus group B occurs especially among neonates

e)    Adenovirus (rare)

2)    How should the urine analysis be obtained in this non toilet trained child?

  1. Sterile bag collection
  2. Bladder catheterization
  3. Suprapubic catheterization
  4. Wring out the diaper
  5. Wait for the child to urinate

Answer BA urine specimen for urinalysis and culture in a non-toilet trained child should be obtained by bladder catheterization or suprapubic aspiration, before treatment is started.  Sterile bag collection has a notoriously high false positive rate (up to 85%).

3)    What is the concentration/dosage of Children’s Tylenol?

  1. 80 mg / 0.8mL
  2. 160 mg  /5 mL
  3. 100 mg / 5mL
  4. 50 mg / 1.25 mL
  5. 150 mg / L

Answer: Ba) Tylenol – infant drops concentration with calibrated dropper, c) children’s Motrin, d) Motrin – infant drops with calibrated dropper,  e)  Toxic dose of tylenol at the 4 hour mark.  If the Tylenol level is at or above this level, it must be treated!

UTI Pathophysiology

Almost all urinary tract infections are ascending in origin. Disturbance of the normal periurethral flora, which is part of the host defense against colonization by pathogenic bacteria, predisposes a person to a urinary tract infection. Bacteria of the periurethral flora also inhabit the distal urethra. Urine in the proximal urethra, urinary bladder, and other proximal sites in the urinary tract is normally sterile. Uropathogens must gain access to the urinary bladder and proliferate for infection to occur. Uropathogens in the distal urethra may gain access to the bladder because of turbulent urine flow during normal voiding or because of dysfunctional voiding. Successful urinary bladder colonization is unlikely unless bladder defense mechanisms are impaired because normal voiding usually results in an essentially complete washout of contaminating bacteria.

After birth, the periurethral area, including the distal urethra, becomes colonized with aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms that appear to function as a defense barrier against colonization by uropathogens. In early childhood, enterobacteria and enterococci are part of the normal periurethral flora. Escherichia coli is the dominant gram-negative species in young girls, whereas E coli and Proteus species predominate in boys. Children as old as about 5 years are predisposed to have urinary tract infections, partly because of periurethral colonization by E coli, enterococci, and Proteus species. These potential uropathogens usually diminish in the first year of life and are rarely found in children older than 5 years. Studies of girls and women prone to urinary tract infection showed that periurethral colonization occurs with the specific bacterium that causes the next infection.


Proliferation of bacteria in the urinary tract is the cause of urinary tract infection.

  • Infections are almost always ascending in origin and caused by bacteria in the periurethral flora and the distal urethra. These bacteria inhabit the distal GI tract and colonize the perineal area. E coli usually causes a child’s first infection, but other gram-negative bacilli and enterococci may also cause infection.
  • Staphylococcal infections, especially those due to Staphylococcus saprophyticus, are common causes of urinary tract infection among female adolescents.
  • Entry of bacteria into the urinary bladder may be the result of turbulent flow during normal voiding, voiding dysfunction, or catheterization. In addition, sexual intercourse or genital manipulation may foster the entry of bacteria into the urinary bladder. More rarely, the urinary tract may be colonized during systemic bacteremia (sepsis); this usually happens in infancy.
  • Risk factors for urinary tract infection include the following:
    • Children who receive broad-spectrum antibiotics (eg, amoxicillin, cephalexin) that are likely to alter GI and periurethral flora are at increased risk for urinary tract infection because these drugs disturb the natural defense against colonization by pathogenic bacteria.
    • Prolonged incubation of bacteria in bladder urine due to incomplete bladder emptying or infrequent voiding compromises an important bladder defense against infection. Symptoms of voiding dysfunction, such as urgency, frequency, hesitancy, dribbling, or incontinence may occur in the absence of infection or local irritation because of uninhibited detrusor contractions. When the child attempts to prevent incontinence during a detrusor contraction by posturing (eg, obstructing the urethra), bacteria-laden urine in the distal urethra may be milked back into the urinary bladder (urethrovesical reflux). This mode of bacterial access is a common risk factor for urinary tract infection among pediatric patients who use posturing or pelvic withholding procedures to prevent incontinence.
    • Voiding dysfunction is not usually encountered in a child without neurogenic or anatomic abnormality of the bladder until the child is in the process of achieving daytime urinary control. Children with voiding dysfunction may attempt to prevent incontinence during an uninhibited detrusor contraction by voluntarily increasing outlet resistance. This may be achieved by using various posturing maneuvers, such as tightening of the pelvic-floor muscles, applying direct pressure to the urethra with the hands, or performing the Vincent curtsy, which consists squatting on the floor and pressing the heel of one foot against the urethra.
    • Constipation, with the rectum chronically dilated by feces, is an important cause of voiding dysfunction. Neurogenic or anatomic abnormalities of the urinary bladder may also cause voiding dysfunction.
    • Neonatal circumcision decreases the risk of urinary tract infection by about 90% in male infants during the first year of life. The risk of urinary tract infection in a circumcised infant is about 1 in 1000 during the first year, whereas an uncircumcised male infant has a 1 in 100 risk of developing a urinary tract infection. Given this risk, 111 healthy male infants must be circumcised to prevent 1 urinary tract infection. The risk and long-term effect of scarring due to 1 preventable urinary tract infection in a male infant are not known.

This case discussion presented by Dr Sarah Albers

One Response

  1. To your final point, infant girls get more UTI than any group of boys, and are treated with antibiotics.

    The published rates of UTI in intact male infants are complicated by failure to control for incompetent caregivers and mishandling of the infant’s foreskin. The AAP now says NEVER retract an infant’s foreskin. Clean only what is seen.

    The use of the phrase “111 healthy male infants must be circumcised to prevent 1 urinary tract infection” is unfortunate. 111 healthy male infants WOULD have to be circumcised to prevent 1 urinary tract infection. Circumcision carries risk of complications, many of which don’t manifest until puberty, but WITH CERTAINTY every infant circumcision removes sexual tisue without the patient’s consent.

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