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100 kids videoed as they sleep for Sickle Cell study

PUBLISHED: 21:01 07 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:32 05 October 2010

A HUNDRED children are to be videoed as they sleep by doctors in a breakthrough study into Sickle Cell disease. Experts at the Royal London Hospital are to monitor how the disease effects the way kids sleep and interferes with their night-time breathing

By Gemma Collins

A HUNDRED children are to be videoed as they sleep by doctors in London’s East End in a breakthrough study into Sickle Cell disease.

Experts at the Royal London Hospital are to monitor how the disease effects the way kids sleep and interferes with their night-time breathing.

The study at the children’s wing of the hospital in Whitechapel is the first of its kind in Britain.

“Sickle Cell is a neglected disease compared with other genetic conditions,” said consultant paediatrician Prof Jonathan Grigg.

“Few studies have looked at problems with breathing in patients with sickle cell, and fewer still have explored this in young children.”

BLOOD CELLS

Sickle cell, which is caused by distorted red blood cells, can reduce children’s oxygen levels in their blood or cause their adenoids and tonsils to become enlarged.

But the two-year study will be able to test this theory and enable doctors to start treatments earlier, such as removing tonsils or providing night-time oxygen face masks.

The study, funded by a £160,000 grant from the Barts & The London Charity, is being carried out by haematologists and sleep researchers using the paediatric sleep service laboratory at the hospital.

Around 100 pre-school children are involved who will be videoed as they sleep. The recordings of their breathing rate, heart rate, blood oxygen levels and physical activity during the night will then be analysed as part of the study.

There are around 800 youngsters in East London suffering from the disease, which affects mainly the African and Afro-Caribbean population. Nearly half are being treated at the Royal London.


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