Safety and feasibility of a clinical trial of permissive hypoxia in paediatric critical illness

Status: Published

What is this study about?

Around 19,000 critically ill children are admitted to paediatric intensive care units (PICU) each year in the UK. Of these, around 75% of will receive breathing support via supplementary oxygen, often in conjunction with a ventilator.  It is known that adding too much oxygen can injure the lungs and possibly other parts of the body. Current advice is not to use oxygen to achieve ‘normal’ blood oxygen levels (also called oxygen saturations) when the lungs are sick but to aim a few percentage points lower (88-97%). Despite this, these recommendations are not usually followed and doctors and nurses tend to aim for higher numbers – most often 97-100%.

Oxy-PICU aims to find out whether children who come to intensive care in an emergency who need both ventilation and extra oxygen should be treated with oxygen at a lower level (88-92%, which is still within the recommended range) or at the level currently used (95-100%).

Prior to conducting a large, expensive clinical trial, we are conducting a feasibility (or pilot) study to address the question ‘can a large clinical trial be done?’. All elements of the trial will be tested, including interviews with parents and guardians to seek their views on how we should seek informed consent when a child is very ill.

The study will take part in three NHS hospitals and will include 120 children.

When is it taking place?

1 September 2016 to 31 August 2017

Who is leading the study?

Professor Mark Peters, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust

Who is funding the study? 

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity


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