In search of factors that increase vulnerability to the novel coronavirus, UNC Children’s Hospital providers, Tracie Walker, MD, and Stephanie Schwartz, MD, capture real-time data on children and youth hospitalized with COVID-19.
Since its inception in March of 2020, UNC has been participating in the study Overcoming COVID-19, led by Adrienne Randolph, MD, MSc, in Critical Care Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. With $2.1 million in funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the participating study centers captured real-time data on children and youth up to age 25 who have been hospitalized with COVID-19, in search of factors that increase vulnerability to the novel coronavirus. The study tracked children and youth in intensive care units, intermediate-care units, and general hospital wards. Physicians at study centers, like UNC Pediatric Intensivists, Tracie Walker, MD, and Stephanie Schwartz, MD, enrolled patients who are COVID-19-positive but have no symptoms, as well as patients with influenza, who to serve as a control group. The centers involved in the CDC-funded study are part of the long-standing Pediatric Acute Lung Injury and Sepsis Investigator’s (PALISI) network. These centers conducted surveillance of children during the 2009 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic and by maintaining preparedness in the interim, were able to quickly reactivate their sites for the COVID-19 study.
“We’re trying to do this is a very coordinated, thoughtful way to be safe and ethical and at the same time move rapidly to get information to answer a lot of important questions,” says Randolph.
Two recent publications in JAMA include UNC Children’s Hospital data as part of the pediatric Overcoming COVID-19 study:
Characteristics and Outcomes of US Children and Adolescents With Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) Compared With Severe Acute COVID-19 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2777026
Neurologic Involvement in Children and Adolescents Hospitalized in the United States for COVID-19 or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/fullarticle/2777392