Sidra Medicine, a member of Qatar Foundation, has opened Qatar's first pediatric dedicated sleep laboratory. The state-of-the-art six-room sleep lab, one of the largest of its kind in Qatar, will address sleep issues in children and young people. It is equipped with the latest technologies including video and infrared monitoring to allow direct patient observation.
The sleep lab will accurately study cases of obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep related respiratory disorders caused by a variety of airway diseases and conditions including large tonsils or adenoids. In addition, the sleep lab will play a critical role in studying non-respiratory sleep disorders as a result of neurological issues like central apneas or due to behavioural abnormalities.
Division Chief of Pulmonology, Professor Ibrahim Janahi, whose department currently manages the sleep lab said: "Children with sleep problems usually have underlying illnesses or conditions. Sometimes these issues can be behavioural based but many times, simple conditions like adenoids and large tonsils that might be overlooked, end up causing sleep issues in young children. The lab works closely with departments such as pulmonology, ENT and neurology who refer patients for monitoring and observation."
"Depending on the physician's recommendation, the sleep study will be tailored to suit each child's medical condition in line with international standards. The child's movements are also recorded by video with infrared to ensure the safety of the child at all times," Professor Janahi said.
For her part, Medical Director of the sleep lab at Sidra Medicine Dr Muna Maarafiya, said: "The sleep labs have been designed to make the children as comfortable as possible, as if the children are going to sleep in their own beds at home. Our team works closely with child life professionals to provide child friendly and child focused care to help the children relax and go to sleep.
"We encourage parents to bring in their kid's favourite night time story or toy. We expect the parents to be active participants during the child's stay in the lab and allow one of them to stay overnight. We even have female technicians monitoring the lab so that female patients and/or mothers accompanying the child can feel comfortable."