Sheffield toddler’s role in sleep study

Erin Brown-Skinner.
Erin Brown-Skinner.
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A toddler has become the first patient to take part in a sleep study at Sheffield Children’s Hospital which aims to improve the lives of youngsters with Down’s Syndrome.

Erin Brown-Skinner, aged one, from Southey Green, has contributed to a trial taking place at three centres across the country, searching for an effective test for obstructive sleep apnoea.

The breathing condition disturbs sleep and can lead to problems with growth, learning and behaviour, as well as putting extra strain on the hearts of children with Down’s.

Erin had a heart scan in hospital, then returned home where tiny monitors were clipped to her toes and nose which measured levels of oxygen in her blood overnight.

The toddler’s mum Laura, 22, an NHS support worker, said: “I wanted to take part in the study not just for Erin to benefit, but also to help other families in the future as research is so important.”

Sheffield Children’s Hospital is taking part in a study led by researchers at Southampton University.

n Parents interested in getting involved in the research should email Janine Reynolds at for more details.