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Researchers hope a simple nasal spray could cut the number of child tonsillectomies

Research News
Published: 
Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 10:00am

Each year more than 40,000 people have their tonsils out – it is the most common elective childhood operation in Australia – but this number could be reduced by a simple nasal spray being trialed by Melbourne researchers.

Lead researcher Dr Kirsten Perrett, from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute said a largescale trial will test whether an anti-inflammatory nasal spray could help children who snore or have breathing difficulties while sleeping. Around 10 per cent of children worldwide experience this problem.

Dr Perrett said the most common treatment for snoring is to surgically remove the adenoids and tonsils.

“Surgery is a big deal for any child,” Dr Perrett said. “It requires an anesthetic, can be very painful and there are risks of bleeding. In addition, waiting lists for this surgery in some public hospitals are many months to years.”

Associate Professor, Gillian Nixon, a paediatric respiratory and sleep physician overseeing the trial at Monash Children’s Hospital, said the nasal spray needs to be used for six weeks.

“We are optimistic that this nasal spray may be a simple, safe alternative to surgery in many children to treat this common childhood problem,” Dr Perrett said.

“We will be recruiting around 300 children aged three to 12 years of age to test the effectiveness of the nasal spray.

“We are accepting children into the trial who have been referred for snoring to either the Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Children’s Hospital.”

HOW TO ENROL IN TRIAL

MCRI researchers are looking for more children to participate in the trial. To enroll the child must have a referral for snoring from their GP to either to the Royal Children’s Hospital, Monash Children’s Hospital or the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital.

If you are interested in being a part of the trial you can register online at https://www.mcri.edu.au/research/projects/mist-trial

Available for interview:

  • Dr Kirsten Perrett
  • A/ Professor Gillian Nixon

Media Contact
Christine Tondorf, MCRI Media Advisor

03 9936 6197 / 0413 307 092

Christine.tondorf@mcri.edu.au

Bridie Byrne, MCRI communications specialist (media/PR)

+613 9936 6211 / 0403 664 416

bridie.byrne@mcri.edu.au