Australia’s active surveillance system for severe childhood disease
PAEDS is a network of clinicians and public health researchers in seven Australian tertiary paediatric hospitals, and it also works with several associate investigators, collaborators and contributors.
PAEDS, through prospective case identification and ascertainment, collects timely and detailed clinical data on children requiring hospitalisation for the select conditions under surveillance. PAEDS data are used to better understand these conditions, inform policy and practice under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) and enable rapid public health responses for certain conditions of public health interest. PAEDS is well positioned compared to other passive surveillance programs that are usually less able to adequately capture such timely and comprehensive data.
Dedicated and experienced research nurses are employed specifically to conduct PAEDS surveillance work at each PAEDS hospital site. PAEDS nurses scan emergency department and hospital admission records and other sources, such as microbiology and radiology records, each day to detect cases that potentially fulfill the criteria for the conditions under active surveillance. Clinical data and immunisation history, verified on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR), relevant to the child’s condition are recorded in a de-identified way in a national PAEDS-specific web-based data management system.
PAEDS investigators at each site clarify clinical case presentations and liaise with hospital clinicians and laboratories to ensure surveillance data collected are optimal. Epidemiological analysis is routinely conducted to review and answer study questions on each condition. Where relevant, clinical specimens taken for patient management may be analysed further, such as for genotyping of varicella-zoster virus and influenza subtyping. All PAEDS investigators meet monthly via teleconference, and an annual face-to-face meeting is held each year.
PAEDS receives fundingfrom the Australian government
NCIRS, Kids Research, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, Cnr Hawkesbury Rd & Hainsworth St, Westmead Locked Bag 4001, Westmead NSW 2145 Tel (612) 9845 1433 | Fax (612) 9845 1418 | ABN 53 188 579 090
We acknowledge that the National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance (NCIRS) is on the land of the traditional owners the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the First Australians, and recognise their culture, history, diversity and their deep connection to the land. Together, through research and partnership, we aim to move to a place of equity for all. NCIRS also acknowledges and pays respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations from which our research, staff and community are drawn.
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