Kensington & ChelseaNews

Chelsea children with breathing difficulties taking part in research to combat wheezing

Children with breathing difficulties at Chelsea’s Royal Brompton Hospital are taking part in research to tackle wheezing.

Wheezing, often recognised by a high-pitched sound during breathing, is prevalent among young children. Without appropriate treatment, it can lead to severe conditions like asthma or diminished lung function, significantly affecting children’s quality of life.

Traditional treatments, usually involving steroids based on the assumption of allergies, often fail to address the individual nature of each case.

Dr Shalini Hillson, based at Imperial College in South Kensington, who works for the Masonic Charitable Foundation’s research training fellowship, aims to transform the treatment of wheezing children.

It aims to tailor treatments to each child’s specific needs, moving away from the conventional one-size-fits-all approach. Through bedside tests – including fingerprick blood tests, nose and throat swabs, and simple breathing assessments – she intends to distinguish between different types of wheezing.

This approach should lead to more effective, personalised treatment plans, potentially preventing future wheezing attacks and safeguarding long-term lung health.

The samples are being taken from children participating in the study who attend clinic at the Department of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine at the Royal Brompton in Sydney Street.

A grant of £250,000 from London Freemasons is paying for the research, which Dr Hillson said “is an opportunity to revolutionise treatment and marks a promising step forward in paediatric respiratory care”.

Pictured top: Dr Shalini Hillson at work (Picture: Masonic Charitable Foundation)


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