Impact of Guidelines Regarding Brief Resolved Unexplained Events on Care of Patients in a Pediatric Emergency Department

Anchal Sethi, Kesha Baxi, Daphne Cheng, Steven Laffey, Neal Hartman, Kayla Heller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This study aimed to determine if the 2016 clinical practice guidelines regarding brief resolved unexplained events (BRUE) impacted our institutional approach to infants with BRUE. We sought to determine the statement's impact on admission rates, emergency department (ED) length of stay, and return ED visits or readmissions. Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of patients who presented to the ED at a tertiary pediatric hospital from January 2014 to June 2019. Diagnostic workup (laboratory testing, imaging, monitoring) in the ED was recorded. Cohorts of patients presenting pre- and post-2016 guideline were compared using χ2 and t tests. Subanalysis of higher-risk and lower-risk infant groups was also performed. Results: The demographics of the 2 cohorts were not significantly different. Comparison showed significant reductions in invasive testing after the guideline, both overall (P = 0.005), and specifically regarding comprehensive metabolic panel, blood culture, urine culture, and chest x-ray. Infants meeting higher-risk criteria also showed decreases in invasive testing (P = 0.02). Admission to the hospital and ED lengths of stay decreased in the post–American Academy of Pediatrics statement cohort (P < 0.001 and P = 0.007, respectively). There were no increases in readmissions or repeat ED visits. Conclusions: This study revealed significant reduction in invasive testing, shorter lengths of ED stays, and lower admission rates at a tertiary care children's hospital after the release of the American Academy of Pediatrics BRUE guideline with no increase in return ED visits or readmissions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1468-E1472
JournalPediatric emergency care
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • ALTE
  • BRUE
  • Pediatric emergency medicine


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