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Respiratory Infections in Children: A Need for Refined Diagnostics and Tailored Therapies

Wyss EventLecture

Hosted by Wyss Core Faculty David R. Walt, PhD, Diagnostics Grand Rounds brings clinicians with unmet needs to the Wyss Institute. The goal of these sessions is to inform technology developers about important clinical problems that can help them direct their technology development efforts. Presenters are asked to identify diagnostic needs that will have an impact on the quality of care they deliver.

Respiratory infections are a leading cause of hospitalization and one of the top causes of death in children. When faced with a child who is laboring to breathe, clinicians must rely on rudimentary tools to diagnose the underlying cause of respiratory distress and guide therapy. Children are often non-cooperative due to fear and discomfort around procedures so obtaining informative diagnostic tests can be challenging. Key questions when evaluating a child in respiratory distress are whether the patient has a bacterial or viral infection and if there is an asthmatic component. Accurate diagnostics for respiratory illnesses in children are not only critical for selecting the optimal treatment for the child in front of you, but they are a much-needed platform for accurately characterizing pulmonary disease to allow advancement of therapeutics and reduction in pediatric morbidity and mortality.

In this talk, Lael Yonker, MD, will discuss the challenges faced in pediatrics when caring for children with respiratory infections like SARS-CoV-2 and cystic fibrosis-associated infections and how refined diagnostics and tailored therapies could help improve children’s recovery.

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