You can find the first and only Private Paediatric Somnology Centre in Romania, with an integrated, multidisciplinary approach, at Regina Maria Health Network!
The Paediatric Somnology Centre is coordinated by Dr. Mihaela Oros, Ph.D., MD, Paediatrician, and Pneumology Specialist, Senior Level I + II Senior Specialist in Paediatric Sleep Medicine and Polysomnography at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre in the US.
What is paediatric somnology and why is it important?
Early identification of breathlessness during sleep in a child can be seen as a preventive action for future developments in the adult years. The impact of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (OSAS) is all the more important in paediatric age, as sleep needs are much higher than in adults – sleep duration is higher, corresponding to the intense neural and somatic development at that age. In addition, the pathogenesis of breathing disorders during sleep overlaps on a physiological system that is in dynamic development, generating specific vulnerabilities that are not commonly found in adults.
During sleep, growth hormones, prolactin, testosterone, increase in protein production and temperature regulation, as well as the intense modulation of the autonomic nervous system and its target organs, are secreted. Sleep contributes to immune function homeostasis, and many studies have shown that sleep deprivation or sleep fragmentation in children results in a higher incidence of infections and nonspecific immunity disorders. Sleep also has an important role in regulating emotional states and social behaviours, enhancing memory and facilitating learning. From this perspective, in the last two decades, there is a progressive association between sleep disorders in children and cardiovascular, metabolic, and neurocognitive development of children.
Progress at international level
In a context where social networks sometimes talk about paediatric somnology in terms of “another fabricated disease”, medical research proves the opposite. When apnoeic events with oxygen depletion occur in polysomnography or cardiorespiratory polygraphy, it is the time when problems turn out to be real and not just a product of one’s imagination.
The important advances made over the past 50 years in understanding the pathogenic mechanisms and consequences of sleep disorders, and in particular Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (OSAS) in adults, have further facilitated the development of paediatric somnology.
This inaugural process of paediatric somnology has been materialized primarily through the opening of children’s sleep laboratories through the over-specialization of physicians and through the studies whose results have been published in an effort to understand sleep patterns and sleep disorders specific to paediatric age.
Evolution of paediatric somnology in Romania
In Romania, somnology has come a long way to assertion, and paediatric sleeping is an area in which our first steps have been taken in our country. In March 2016, a press conference was held in Bucharest, where the results of the first study in Romania that evaluated the risk for breathing disorders during sleep in children and adolescents were communicated.
Epidemiological research was conducted in collaboration with the GFK Romania Research Institute on a sample of 1,272 respondents in January 2015, and the results showed that 9.6% or, in other words, 1 in 10 children risks developing respiratory distress during sleep. This data reflects the true size of the situation at the local level and justifies the efforts needed to raise awareness among doctors, the general public as well as the financial effort of a health system for the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of sleep apnoea syndrome in children and teenagers.
In this context, the launch of the Paediatric Somnology Centre within the REGINA MARIA Private Health Network represents the continuation of the knowledge and awareness efforts, in which the integration of the notion of time and biological rhythms represents a dynamic vision in the functioning of the organism. Permanent training and development of paediatric somnology centres in Romania is a priority for early diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders in children and adolescents.
Integrated approach of each case in the Private Paediatric Somnology Centre
The novelty that this centre brings to Romania is the integrated approach of each case, which is done by a well-defined investigation mechanism, complemented by constant testing and monitoring.
In this regard, the following tests are carried out:
- Specific surveys for children – assess symptoms associated with breathing disorders during sleep;
- Interdisciplinary consultations – identifying the problem and assessing the need for further diagnosis;
- Polysomnography – the gold standard in detecting breathing disorders during sleep;
- Cardiorespiratory polygraphy – investigates sleep, breathing, circulation, movement functions;
- Continuous Nocturnal Pulse Oximetry – measures oxygen saturation in peripheral blood.
A multidisciplinary team
Dr. Mihaela Oros coordinates a team of physicians covering a wide range of specialties such as: allergy and immunology, paediatric cardiology, paediatric surgery, paediatric ultrasound, genetics, paediatric neurology, nutrition, ENT, paediatric orthopaedics, paediatrics, paediatric pneumology, paediatric psychology / psychiatry, paediatric somnology, monitoring and treatment of breathing disorders during sleep.
The Paediatric Somnology Centre treats many conditions, such as Sleep Disorders or Nocturnal Waking, Snoring, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (SASO), ADHD, Enuresis, Periodic Limb Movement Syndrome (PLMS), Duchenne Disease and other neuromuscular diseases, genetic diseases, Jet Lag.
In this process, two concepts have served as guidelines for alignment with international standards: “Science as a basis for health policy”.
“Joint Physician – Leadership administrator”
In this respect, the medical information, guidelines and standards for the accreditation of somnology centres issued by the European and American Medical Societies were the foundation of subsequent plans and acquisitions, as well as of the arrangements made. All areas of the Paediatric Somnology Centre have been divided and sized according to these national and international standards. At the same time, the equipment was purchased according to the current criteria for monitoring certain diseases. The clinic’s plan has been developed in accordance with all these standards, both in terms of space, number of cabinets, surface, polysomnography surveillance rooms, equipment, as well as technical endowments and operational functionality.
The Paediatric Somnology Centre has a response capacity of approximately 1,500 cases a month, including paediatric specialties. Daytime and sleep investigations are part of the centre’s work and are carried out in situations where they are necessary in order to diagnose and monitor certain conditions. The centre offers 2 polysomnograms and 2 cutting-edge polygraphs for sleep monitoring.