New trial for feverish infants
Press release issued: 26 September 2005
Parents with small children who live in the Bristol area are being asked to consider taking part in a new medical trial being run by Bristol University. The study, known as "PITCH", will establish which is the most effective medicine for children with a fever: paracetamol, ibuprofen, or a combination of the two.
The study, known as "PITCH", will establish which is the most effective medicine for children with a fever: paracetamol, ibuprofen, or a combination of the two. Surprisingly, there have been no studies done outside of hospitals (where most fevers are treated) to indicate which treatment is best at bringing the child's temperature under control and making them feel better.
Previously well children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, who have developed a temperature of at least 38 °C and consulted their GP, NHS Direct or attended the Bristol Children's Hospital Accident and Emergency department as a result, could take part in the study.
Parents are being asked to consider participating before their child becomes unwell, since making that kind of decision may be difficult once the child is feverish.
Dr Alastair Hay, a GP in the city and researcher at the University of Bristol will be leading the trial. He said: "For the University to answer important questions such as this, we need the support of the public. Please consider responding positively if you are invited to participate in the trial."
This trial is part of a programme of community-based research being run in Bristol by the University. Twenty GP surgeries, 2 GP cooperatives, 1 Walk In Centre, and the Children's Hospital Accident and Emergency Department in Bristol are participating.
On agreeing to participate in the trial, parents will be asked to administer the study medicines for 48 hours and complete a symptom diary for up to 5 days. The child will also be given a 'data logger' to wear - a vest that contains an instrument which continually monitors the child's temperature (for the first 24 hours) and evaluates how long it takes for the fever to subside.
The study will look at two main outcomes: whether the fever clears in the first four hours, as measured by the data logger, and how much discomfort the child suffers during the first 48 hours as measured by the parents.
The longer term outcomes will obviously benefit future children with fever, once it emerges which is the better course of treatment.