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July 1997

The Diagnostic Value of the Respiratory Rate in Febrile Children Younger Than 2 Years

Author Affiliations

Departamento de Medicina Faculdade de Medicina Universidade Federal da Bahia Salvador, Brazil

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151(7):747-748. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170440109022

The article by Taylor et al1 published in the March 1995 issue of the Archives assesses important questions for health care providers, particularly pediatricians who work at emergency services. Taylor et al determined age-specific values of the respiratory rate to define tachypnea in febrile children younger than 2 years. After defining these age-specific values, the authors estimated the validity of tachypnea in identifying children in whom subsequently pneumonia was or was not diagnosed, using a combination of radiological findings and follow-up clinical data as a standard criterion. They showed to be aware of methodological standards for precision (or uncertainty) of the results for test accuracy when they reported 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for test sensitivities and specificities.2,3 Confidence interval is considered to be an adequate way to describe sensitivities and specificities, and several other parameters estimated from samples, because it helps health care providers to assess the strength