First patient recruited to the RSVHarmonie study

Baby Ashy - HarmonieStudy.jpg

Published 22.11.2022

The Trust has recruited its first young patient to the RSVHarmonie study, which looks at how babies can be protected from Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a common and sometimes serious infection.

This little boy was born at around 32 weeks and stayed on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 29 days for respiratory and feeding support. It was during the doctors’ rounds where the benefits of this vaccine, and how the study is looking at whether it protects babies from the serious complications of RSV, was explained and the opportunity given for him to be enrolled to the RSVHarmonie study.

RSV is the most common winter illness that affects nearly all babies prior to their second birthday. Most of the time this can cause a mild illness, like a cold, however for some babies it can be more severe.

The Trust has been protecting their most vulnerable infants for many years with regular antibody (Palivizumab) injections but has not been able to offer protection to other infants. If this study shows that all infants who receive the antibodies are protected, it could make a huge difference to hundreds of babies and infants.

Dr Katharine McDevitt, Consultant Paediatrician and Principal Investigator for this study, said: “This study is very exciting and important. At this time of year our children’s wards are full of infants hospitalised with RSV and sadly, every year, some of those children will need urgent transfer to a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. Infants who have had RSV then remain more vulnerable to further hospital episodes with respiratory illnesses and wheezing. We are very excited to be recruiting infants to this study in Peterborough and look forward to recruiting more.”

Infants can be recruited and randomised on the day of birth right up to the day before their first birthday and for families of newborn infants that would like this, the team will try and enable it whilst still on the maternity unit. We would advise any parents who are interested to let your midwife know during your stay. It is fantastic for Peterborough City Hospital to be involved in international paediatric research.

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