A Study of Early Continuous Positive Airways Pressure in Acute Respiratory Failure

Status: Published

What is this study about?

Mild breathing difficulties are common in children who have problems with their immune system (impaired immunity), however, if a child develops severe breathing difficulties, they may need support from a mechanical ventilator which breathes for them. 

Recent research studies in adults with severe breathing difficulties have found that it might be better to admit patients to the critical care unit early for a treatment called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) which can reduce the need for a mechanical ventilator. 

SCARF is a research study to find out which treatment results in more children recovering from severe breathing difficulties, without needing a mechanical ventilator.  The study is taking place at three NHS hospitals in the UK and will compare:

  • admission to the critical care unit for early CPAP; with
  • usual care on the ward (with the addition of oxygen). 

The study will include 148 children with impaired immunity – 74 children will be admitted to the critical care unit for early CPAP and 74 children will remain on the ward and receive usual care.

When is it taking place?

The study started in January 2013 and will continue recruiting patients until January 2016.

Who is leading the study?

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

This study is funded by the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (Project: 10AR31)

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