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

Photo: Researchers hope a simple nasal spray could cut the number of child tonsillectom....
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.”

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