PERN COVID Study

A Global Study of the Pediatric Emergency Research Networks: COVID-19 in Children 

Study Summary

The emergence of the COVID-19 outbreak has provided an important rationale to evaluate and describe the clinical course of disease in children with COVID-19. Given the rapid spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), it has been critical to study its epidemiology and outcomes as efficiently as possible using existing infrastructures. As a result, Dr. Stephen Freedman, an investigator of the Pediatric Emergency Research Team (PERT), submitted and was funded to conduct a 57-site, 14-country prospective cohort study. The study is being conducted by a global research consortium (Pediatric Emergency Research Network), which PERT is a member. The study will enroll a total of 12,500 children of whom 40% will have SARS-CoV-2 infection. Epidemiological and demographic information, clinical characteristics, and disease outcomes, will be collected at the time of ED admission, during the course of illness, and at two weeks and three months after enrollment, using World Health Organization (WHO) compliant case report forms. Statistical analysis of the collected data will allow for the identification of risk factors associated with children having confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, and/or severe COVID-19 outcomes. This study has been presented to the WHO’s pediatric research groups and they are provided with updated data from this study as it emerges to inform recommendation and guideline setting.

Objectives

  1. To measure the severity of the child’s illness, defined by intensive care unit admission for ventilator or inotropic support, death, and other outcomes as appropriate
  2. To investigate the frequency of each type and duration of supportive care provided to children (e.g. isolation, laboratory testing, imaging, supportive care), taking into account regional policies
  3. To measure the frequency of demographic, clinical, and epidemiological risk factors in screened children, taking into account regional baseline estimates
  4. To describe the sensitivity and specificity of different COVID-19 case screening phenotypes, accounting for differences in regional policies and local transmission characteristics

Principal Study Investigator: Dr. Stephen Freedman

Project Lead: Kelly Kim

Study Team: Dr. Anna Funk, Dr. Nathan Kuppermann, Dr. Todd Florin, Dr. Mark Neuman, Dr. Amy Plint, Dr. Santi Mintegui, Dr. Franz Babl, Dr. Stuart Dalziel, Dr. Michelle Eckerle