The Pediatric Anesthesia COVID-19 Collaborative (PEACOC) is a research network to advance the care of children during the pandemic. Here we calculate the prevalence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among children undergoing anesthesia, look at prevalence in the population data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and assess independent risk factors for infection.
This was a multicenter, retrospective, observational study. Children aged 28 days to 18 years scheduled for anesthesia services at 12 centers requiring universal COVID-19 testing from March 29, 2020 to June 30, 2020 were included. COVID-19 positivity rates among those tested were plotted and trends were assessed using the Cochran Armitage test of trend. Independent risk factors were explored using multivariable logistic regression.
Data were collected and analyzed on 33,320 anesthesia encounters including 265 children with COVID-19. Over the study period, the rates of infections in the pediatric anesthesia population did not demonstrate a significant trend. In the general population, there was a significant downward trend in infection rates (P < .001). In exploratory analysis, multivariable risk factors for a COVID-19 positive test were Black/African American race, Hispanic ethnicity, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status III or above, overweight and obese body mass index (BMI), orthopedic cases, abdominal cases, emergency cases, absence of injury and trauma, and West region (all P < .05).
Rates of COVID-19 in pediatric anesthesia patients were consistently lower than in the general population. Independent risk factors of a positive test for children were identified. This is the first time universal testing for a single infectious disease was undertaken on a wide scale. As such, the association of infection with surgical case type or emergency case status is unprecedented.