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Portex Unit of Paediatric Anaesthesia, Pain Research, Critical Care, Respiratory Medicine, Physiology & Physiotherapy
The multi-disciplinary research teams within this theme investigate the causes, consequences and treatments of cardiorespiratory diseases in childhood. This work is of immense clinical importance because cardiorespiratory disease - the major cause of death in Western society - has its origins in childhood; and respiratory illness is the most common cause of paediatric admission to hospital. The Theme includes several groups with complementary research interests in clinical and basic science. For example, in the Cardiac Unit we are at the forefront of worldwide research; assessing mechanisms of artherogenesis and evolving management strategies, developing pioneering interventional cardiology techniques as alternatives to open heart surgery, applying computational fluid dynamics during open-heart surgery to improve the design of heart operations and reduce the risk of subsequent brain damage, and studying the long-term outcome of congenital heart disease in adults to improve current management in childhood and anticipate problems in adulthood. In anaesthesia, we have a particular interest in the monitoring of brain activity during drug-induced sleep. We have improved our understanding of pain mechanisms in the developing child, investigating novel pain-relieving therapies. The clinical research programme in Intensive Care Medicine is developing new treatments for the systemic inflammatory response to infection or injury. Respiratory physiology is a strong focus within the Theme, investigating lung growth and development in health and disease. Techniques that optimize the accurate assessment of lung function in childhood and acquired diseases of the lung. The long-term impact of childhood respiratory disease and adverse environmental factors on respiratory function in older children and adults are studied. The development and optimal management of acute and chronic lung disease, including cystic fibrosis, are also being studied. Optimising the quality of life and healthcare service delivery for children with acute and chronic illnesses is the particular focus of the Centre for Nursing and Allied Health research, where innovative research to improve symptom assessment and management, effectiveness of assistive therapies, and the partnership between families and healthcare professionals extends and complements the investigations of disease mechanism and medical treatment within the Theme. By involving so many efforts under the main umbrella of the Portex Unit, we are able to provide the highest quality care and research for the NHS. In addition, the Portex Unit is well situated to foster collaborative efforts between its home base at the Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Rayne Institute and University College London Hospitals
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