Trial of corticosteroid therapy for severe septicaemia in children – a pilot study.

Can steroid replacement help in treating children with septicaemia?

Scientific version
  • Researchers:
    Anabelle Smale, Dr John Pappachan, Dr Sarah Walker, Dr Saul Faust, Dr Simon Nadel, Helen Cracknell, Lucy Grace, Prof Andrew Wolf, Prof Diana Gibb, Prof Mike Levin, Prof Rob Heyderman
  • Start Date:
    03 December 2007
  • Category:
  • Location:
    University of Southampton, Southampton, UK, Bristol Children’s Hospital, Bristol, UK, St Mary’s Hospital, London, UK
Trial of corticosteroid therapy for severe septicaemia in children – a pilot study.

Severe septicaemia, including meningococcal septicaemia, is an important cause of death and disability in children. Although early recognition, powerful antibiotics, and good intensive care have improved survival, we need new ways to save lives and improve outcomes for survivors. Research in adults has shown that steroid replacement therapy might be useful. However, we know that children respond differently than adults, and a definitive trial in children is needed.

This pilot study will provide the necessary information to enable the rational design of a further, very large trial conducted at multiple hospitals to establish once and for all the value of corticosteroid replacement therapy in childhood sepsis. The current research is taking place at three paediatric intensive care units experienced in designing and carrying out clinical trials in critically ill children. It will provide information on how to measure the effects of steroids, information on length of therapy and a better understanding of how steroids work in children. As a result doctors treating children with septicaemia will ultimately know whether corticosteroids are safe and whether they are useful.

Read our news release on this project:

Researchers trial therapy for children with life-threatening septicaemia

This project was featured in our newsletter, Microscope. Click to view.

Charlotte lost her lower arms and legs to septicaemia

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