Sheffield researchers win £1.65m in funding to help children scared of operations

Children who are scared of dental surgery could get help thanks to a £1.65 million grant.

Sheffield dental researchers have won a grant of £1.65 million from the National Institute for Health Research to investigate new way of tackling pre-operative anxiety in children.

The research which will be led by the Trust, alongside with researches from Sheffield Children’s Hospital and the University of Sheffield will be the first to examine if a premedication known as melatonin is suitable to calm nervous children who needs a general anaesthetic when performing specific related surgery.

The study will be recruiting over 600 parents and carers from at least 10 UK centres including Barnsley, Dundee, Liverpool and Manchester.

Professor Chris Deer, paediatric consultant at the School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust said: “The hospital anaesthetic room can be a worrying place for a child, and reducing anxiety can have a huge impact on a child’s hospital experience.

This major grant award exemplifies the excellent research collaboration that occurs between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Sheffield Children’s Hospital and the University of Sheffield, and affirms Sheffield as a leader of collaborative multi centred trails within the NHS.”

If the research is found to be successful, the researchers hope to change the NHS policy.

Dr Ayman Eissa, a consultant anaesthetist at Sheffield Children’s NHS foundation said: “While this study is based in Sheffield, it will run in many different centres all over the country and its outcomes could positively impact children nationwide.”

The Melatonin for Anxiety prior to General Anaesthesia in Children (MAGIC) trial opens for recruitment in early 2019 and findings will be expected to be available in late 2020 and in early 2021

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