The paediatric research unit at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust aims to improve the quality of life, treatment and care for children through high quality research and clinical trials. The unit’s research activities focus on infectious diseases, allergy and asthma, sleep disorders and haematology.

Paediatric research trials

Trial: Biomarkers of acute serious illness in children (BASIC)

Research area

Serious bacterial infections, children’s services

Summary

The aim of the BASIC study is to investigate new biomarkers, a biological feature used to measure the presence or progress of a disease, for diagnosing bacterial infections in children more quickly. 

Who can take part?

Children who have been transferred to a children's intensive care unit due to a serious bacterial infection.

Study location

St Mary’s Hospital

Contact

Sobia Mustafa, staff nurse

Email: Sobia.Mustafa@nhs.net

 

Trial: Barrier enhancement for eczema prevention (BEEP)

Research area

Eczema, children’s services

Summary

This study is looking specifically at the prevention of eczema in children, and whether using a moisturiser all over a child’s skin in their first year can prevent eczema in later life.

One in five children will have eczema. Children from families with a history of eczema, asthma or hay fever are more likely to be affected. There are many different ways of treating eczema, but there is lack of knowledge on how to prevent it.

In this study all participants will be given best practice skin care advice, however half of the babies will be randomly allocated into an intervention group where the skin care advice will also include instructions about applying a moisturiser (provided by the team) to the baby’s skin once a day for a year.

All families taking part will be required to complete follow-up questionnaires for five years after taking part. When the child is two years old, their skin will need to be examined by a research midwife for signs of eczema.

Who can take part?

We are looking for 250 pregnant women, or women who have given birth in the last three weeks to take part. They must have a history of eczema, asthma or hay fever in their family.

All families who take part will be given best practice skin care advice to use with their baby over the course of the study.

Study location

St Mary’s Hospital

Contact

Anna Bosanquet, senior research midwife

Email: beep@imperial.ac.uk.

Further information: www.beepstudy.org

Learn more

The BEEP study is led by the University of Nottingham. Imperial College Healthcare is one of the largest sites recruiting participants for the trial.

 

Trial: Childhood meningitis and encephalitis cohort study (UK ChiMES)

Research area

Meningitis and encephalitis, children’s services

Summary

UK ChiMES is a nationwide study which explores the pattern of disease, treatment and outcomes of childhood meningitis and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

Who can take part?

Any child who either had:

  • a lumbar puncture
  • a diagnostic test to confirm meningitis
  • presents with symptoms of meningitis or encephalitis, such as a very high temperature and headache

Study location

St Mary’s Hospital

Contact

Heather Hanna, paediatric research nurse

Phone: 020 3312 7871

Trial: Infection in children attending an emergency department (ICED)

Research area

Infectious diseases, emergency care, children’s services

Summary

The aim of the ICED study is to investigate new and rapid ways of diagnosing bacterial or viral infections in children who are admitted to the accident and emergency department (A&E).

The team behind the study will analyse donated blood samples to see if they can diagnose whether a child has a viral or bacterial infection and the seriousness of their illness more quickly.

This could help clinicians implement effective treatments more rapidly, and decide which patients can be discharged from hospital and into the care of their GP. 

Who can take part?

Children of all ages

Study location

Children’s accident and emergency department, St Mary’s hospital

Contact

Rikke Jorgensen, senior staff nurse in paediatrics A&E

Phone: 020 3312 6377

 

Trial: Kawasaki study

Research area

Kawasaki disease, children’s services

Summary

The aim of the study is to investigate the causes and mechanisms behind Kawasaki disease, a rare inflammatory disorder that affects children under the age of five.

The disease causes a variety of different symptoms similar to other illnesses such as a rash and swollen glands in the neck. If the disease is left untreated it can cause further complications such as heart disease. The exact cause of the disease is unknown and there is currently no diagnostic test available.

Previous studies have shown that genetics play a role in why some children appear to be affected by Kawasaki disease.

The team behind the study will analyse the genomes of children who have or have had Kawasaki disease with the aim of identifying the genes that cause susceptibility to the disease. This could pave the way for improved diagnosis of the disease and the development of targeted treatments.

Who can take part?

We are currently recruiting children who have been affected by Kawasaki disease, past and present.

Study location

Paediatrics research unit, St Mary’s Hospital

Contact

Farhana Abdulla, paediatric research nurse

Phone: 020 3312 1449

 

Trial: Ostrich study

Research area

Asthma, children’s asthma, children’s services

Summary

Asthma is the most common long-term condition affecting children and young people in the UK. This study aims to determine the best way to use the medication salbutamol (ventolin) to treat acute severe asthma in children.

Salbutamol is the main drug used to treat asthma worldwide. The current management of childhood acute severe asthma is based on national guidelines which recommend the use of salbutamol in a drip.

Who can take part?

Children aged between one and 15 years who:

  • have been admitted to St Mary’s Hospital due to respiratory distress
  • are receiving salbutamol in a drip
  • are about to receive salbutamol in a drip

Study location

Paediatric research unit, St Mary’s Hospital

Contact

Ladan Ali, paediatric research nurse
Phone: 020 3312 6377

 

Trial: Interferon (Peg B) follow up study

Research area

Hepatitis B, children services

Summary

This follow-up study will examine whether the drug Pegylated Interferon can be used to effectively and safely treat chronic hepatitis B, a viral infection that attacks the liver, in children.

Who can take part?

Children with hepatitis B

Study location

Paediatric research unit, St Mary’s Hospital

Contact

Farhana Abdulla, paediatric research nurse
Phone: 020 3312 1449