Perth Children’s Hospital Driving COVID-19 Research to Better Protect Kids & Understand Community Transmission of the Disease

Perth Children’s Hospital Driving COVID-19 Research to Better Protect Kids & Understand Community Transition of the Disease

Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH) researchers, in partnership with PathWest and Clinipath, initiated two research studies to help the world better understand the rate and prevalence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19, in children. The team seeks to collect evidence that children’s novel coronavirus cases tend to be milder than those in adults and the role children plan in community transmission of the disease. Testing commenced in June and runs through December 2020.

The Testing Study

While the medical center takes standard blood samples for routine testing, the research team will select from random samples to study whether SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are present. If the antibodies are in fact present, that indicates that the particular child was previously infected by SARS-CoV-2. With enough sufficient data, the hope is that the researchers can form better clarity on the implications for management and delivery of care in Western Australia.

Understanding Community Infection & Transmission

In the second study, PCH collaborates with Telethon Kids Institute to screen an anticipated 300 children ahead of ear, nose or throat surgery at PCH during a nine-month stretch. This particular study dovetails and complements the DETECT schools study which focuses on the scanning of Western Australia school community members for possible undetected COVID-19 cases.

Western Australia Won’t be Complacent

Roger Cook, Minister for Mental Health declared that “Western Australia is once again leading the way in research into COVID-19 in kids in a non-invasive way that will help us better understand the prevalence of the disease in children and the best level of care for the future.” Mr. Cook, although stating that Western Australia’s numbers were encouraging, he noted that they could not remain complacent there. He emphasized that “research is another way we are able to best protect our kids, each other and the community.”

Chief Executive Officer for PCH’s Foundation, Carrick Robinson, emphasized the critical importance of data, and where this vast and remote part of the continent stands and where it should go. The health provider needs to better understand the impact of the disease on children and of course how the disease is transmitted to the more at risk elderly adults in particular. Taking care of Western Australia’s children must bridge some current gaps in knowledge, reports Mirage News.

Who is PathWest & Clinipath?

PathWest is the pathology and forensic arm of the Western Australia health system, providing excellence and innovation in pathology and forensic services, testing, teaching and research. PathWest has a network of 27 laboratories and 76 collection centers distributed across the State. Their pathology services cover the broadest range of routine, complex and rare tests, and provide diagnostic pathology, forensic pathology and commercial testing services within a multitude of laboratory medicine disciplines, including pre-analytical, hematology, biochemistry, microbiology, anatomical pathology, immunology, forensic pathology, forensic biology and diagnostic genomics.

Clinipath, a member of the Sonic Healthcare Group, provides quality pathology services in the Western Australia for community for over three decades.

About Perth Children’s Hospital

Part of the Western Australia government, this pediatric hospital and trauma center offers medical care to children and adolescents up to 16 years of age. A specialist tertiary hospital, the facility includes 298 beds. The provider prides itself on providing world class care to children and adolescents.

With a significant research group called CAHS, they seek to discover news ways of preventing, diagnosing and treating childhood diseases and conditions to improve the health and wellbeing of children. That’s because effective research can help providers deliver excellence in child health outcomes and the patient experience by integrating the latest evidence-based research into clinical care, treatment practices and prevention strategies.

CAHS research is segmented by department. For a comprehensive review of research at CAHS, see the link