Health team wins research award
A University team has won a prestigious medical award.
Professor Steve Cunningham and his colleagues in the Child Life and Health department won UK Research Paper of the Year at the BMJ Awards 2016.
The BMJ Awards are the UK’s premier medical awards programme, recognising and celebrating the inspirational work done by doctors and their teams.
The award for UK Research Paper of the Year recognises original UK research published in the past year with the greatest potential to significantly improve health and healthcare.
In their paper, Professor Cunningham and his team studied oxygen saturation targets in infants with a common respiratory infection.
Bronchiolitis is the most common cause of chest infections in young children and causes more hospital admissions each winter than asthma.
One of the main reasons for being admitted to hospital is because blood oxygen levels are low. In the US, doctors have recommended to start giving extra oxygen at a lower blood oxygen levels than in the rest of the world, but this had never been studied to show that it is safe.
The team found that the US-recommended level was safe and, unexpectedly, in some cases children appeared to get better more quickly if lower blood oxygen levels were used.
The work will change practice across the world for the management of infants with bronchiolitis, and also calls into question how acute respiratory infections in older children and adults should be managed.