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Pediatric Emergency Research in the UK and Ireland (PERUKI): developing a collaborative for multicentre research
  1. Mark D Lyttle1,2,
  2. Ronan O'Sullivan3,4,
  3. Stuart Hartshorn5,
  4. Catherine Bevan6,
  5. Francesca Cleugh7,
  6. Ian Maconochie8,
  7. on behalf of PERUKI
  1. 1Department of Paediatric Emergency Medicine, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol, UK
  2. 2University of the West of England, Bristol
  3. 3Department of Emergency Medicine, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland
  4. 4Paediatric Emergency Research Unit (PERU), National Children's Research Centre, Dublin, Ireland
  5. 5Department of Paediatric Emergency Medicine, Birmingham Children's Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  6. 6Department of Paediatric Emergency Medicine, Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital, Brighton, UK
  7. 7Department of Paediatric Emergency Medicine, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
  8. 8Department of Paediatric Emergency Medicine, St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mark D Lyttle, Emergency Department, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol, BS2 8BJ, UK; Mark.lyttle{at}uhbristol.nhs.uk

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Paediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) has evolved significantly in the UK and Ireland. Recognition as a subspecialty by the Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health (RCPCH) and the College of Emergency Medicine, and the existence of the Association of Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM), have resulted in structured training programmes and enhanced paediatric emergency care. However, the limited evidence base for a number of childhood conditions treated in Emergency Departments (EDs) leads to variability in practice.1 To further improve emergency care of children in our population, further evidence must be generated. This can only be achieved through cohesive multicentre PEM research.

With presentations encompassing the full spectrum of childhood illness and injury, EDs theoretically provide an ideal research environment, yet there are a number of perceived challenges. These are resource, clinical, attitudinal, or system based, and impact on development, delivery and translation of findings. They include:

  • Funding limitations;

  • Rarity of serious outcomes and adverse events;

  • Balancing service delivery targets against research delivery;

  • Quality of emergency episode data;

  • Difficulties tracking patients throughout the care episode;

  • Providing sufficiently informed consent;

  • Reluctance to approach families;

  • Limited formal junior researcher training;

  • Dominance of specialist centres, inhibiting generalisability of findings;

  • Delay in translation of findings to effect …

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