Diagnosing ChILD

When chILD is suspected, usually your child will be referred to your nearest children’s specialist hospital. This is because they will have the experience to evaluate and manage chILD. Unfortunately, ChILD Symptoms are non-specific. This means that there may be other conditions that may be the cause of your child’s illness that present similar to chILD and healthcare professionals have to rule these other conditions out. This can be a long and frustrating experience. Please find just some of these conditions:

  • Congenital Heart Disease
  • Bronchial Asthma
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Immunodeficiences
  • Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia
  • Failure to thrive

According to chILD EU, there is a list of investigations that could be undertaken. Some of these are essential to diagnosis yet, some may not be required. Please check out ChILD EU’s Living with chILD (UK-Version) for more information. If your child is going through diagnosis phase, please discuss these with your child’s healthcare professional.

Diagnosis

Once you have been referred, the first component in diagnosis is for the healthcare team to take a detailed history for your child’s illness. You will be asked about symptoms, when they started, if any other investigations have been performed, past or current treatments and also if you child had had any hospital admissions. This is a very important process so it may be useful for you to create a list or a diary of events.

  • Measurement of body weight and height 
  • Thorough clinical examination 
  • Measurement of respiratory rate
  • Measurement of oxygen saturations
  • Blood testing 
  • Blood gas analysis 
  • Plain chest x-ray 
  • Computer tomography of the lung (CT scan) 
  • Lung function testing 
  • 6 minute walk test (if over the age of 5) 
  • Echocardiogram
  • Sweat test (for cystic fibrosis)
  • Genetic testing (for pulmonary surfactant dysfunction)
  • Bronchoscopy 
  • Lung biopsy