The study, a world-first carried out by researchers at The University of Nottingham, discovered that children given oral treatment recovered as quickly, suffered less pain, required less oxygen therapy in hospital and were able to go home sooner than those given injections.
Two-and-a-half million children are affected by pneumonia each year in Europe. Until now, most children have been admitted to hospital and treated with injected antibiotics.
The findings suggest that these injections — endured by generations of children — may be unnecessary and could be replaced with oral doses of the medicine in the majority of cases. The study has been published online in the medical journal Thorax.
The research involved 243 children in hospitals throughout the UK. It was led by Terence Stephenson, Professor of Child Health, and Dr Maria Atkinson, both of The University of Nottingham’s Medical School.
The study is the first in the developed world to compare oral treatment versus intravenous (IV) treatment for children with community-acquired pneumonia, who are unwell enough to need admission to hospital.
Professor Stephenson said: “This is good news for children who hate injections; good news for parents whose children will spend less time in hospital; good news for paediatricians who hate sticking needles in children and good news for the NHS, as fewer beds will be occupied and the treatment is cheaper.”
Dame Helena Shovelton, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “Treating childhood pneumonia will be less painful and distressing for parents, for children and for the health professionals caring for them, thanks to this research. We are very proud to have made this breakthrough possible.”
The research project involved 243 children, enrolled over a 21-month period at eight UK hospitals. Half were randomly assigned to receive a week of oral antibiotic treatment and half to receive antibiotics intravenously.
Follow-up over subsequent weeks showed that both types of treatment are effective in tackling the illness — and the former actually had a number of advantages over the latter. Oral antibiotics are also cheaper than those given via the IV route.
The researchers concluded: “We suggest that in countries like the UK, all but the sickest children with community-acquired pneumonia should be treated with oral amoxicillin initially.
“We expect that the majority of children will still require hospital admission but for a shorter period, to ensure oral medication is tolerated, and temperature and respiratory distress are settling. Most importantly children will be spared the pain and distress that injections cause.”
Emma Thorne | alfa
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences
27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences