J.B.M. van Woensel MD PhD

Scientific staff member (UD)
Main activities
Patient care, Research, Teaching
Pediatric Intensive Care
Focus of research
Pediatric Acute Lung Injury

Pediatric Intensive Care in resource poor settings

Key publications
  • van Woensel JBM, Vyas H [Contributors: de Neef M, Merkus MP, Ursum J, van der Lee JJH, Kneyber MCJ, de Weerd W, Duval ELIM, de Jaeger A, Rosiers F, van Berlaer G, Biarent D, Otte F, Baroncini S, Conio A, Sabra A, Duthy M, Pandya H, Nadel S, Betts H]] , Dexamethasone in children mechanically ventilated for lower respiratory tract infection caused by respiratory syncytial virus: a randomized controlled trial. CRIT CARE MED 2011;39 (7):1779-1783 [PubMed]
  • Bem RA, Bos AP, Wösten-van Asperen RM, Bruijn M, Lutter R, Sprick MR, van Woensel JBM, Potential Role of Soluble TRAIL in Epithelial Injury in Children with Severe RSV Infection. AM J RESP CELL MOL 2010;42 (6):697-705 [PubMed]
  • Bruijn M, van der Aa LB, van Rijn RR, Bos AP, van Woensel JBM, High incidence of acute lung injury in children with Down syndrome. INTENS CARE MED 2007;33 (12):2179-2182 [PubMed]
  • Bruijn M, Lutter R, Eldering E, Bos AP, van Woensel JBM, Effect of oxidative stress on respiratory epithelium from children with Down syndrome. EUR RESPIR J 2013;42 (4):1037-1045 [PubMed]
  • Schene KM, van den Berg E, Wösten-van Asperen RM, van Rijn RR, Bos AP, van Woensel JBM, FiO2 predicts outcome in infants with respiratory syncytial virus-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome. PEDIATR PULM 2014;49 (11):1138-1144 [PubMed]
All Publications
Research programmes

Acute lung injury in children


Pediatric intensive care is a relatively young specialism that has gone through major developments in de the past decades. The introduction of milestones such as the endotracheal tube, mechanical ventilators, cardiopulmonary bypass and extra-corporal oxygenation has made modern pediatric intensive care possible. Yet, the efficacy of many intensive care interventions and therapies in the critically ill child lack scientific evidence underscoring the need for research. As a principal investigator of the PICU of the AMC my research focusses on three subjects:

a.      Acute respiratory insufficiency

b.      Long-term effects of critical diseases and treatments

c.      Intensive care in resource poor settings.

a.    Acute respiratory insufficiency

The respiratory tract is one of the most vulnerable vital systems in infants and children, due to age specific anatomy and physiology as well as the maturing character of individuals in this age group. Causes, morbidity and outcome of acute respiratory insufficiency in (young) children differ from adult patients. In addition, treatments modalities that are applied in adults may not be extrapolated to children.

The focus and subjects of the research line ‘Acute Respiratory Insufficiency’ of the PICU of the Emma Children’s Hospital are:

-  Severe viral lower respiratory tract infections: pathogenesis, treatments and outcome

- Mechanical ventilation in children: modes, injurious effects

-  Age: age specific characteristics of acute lung injury in children, including pathogenesis and outcome

- Respiratory complications after anesthesia for (cardio)surgery: improving preventive screening methods


b.    Long term effects of critical illness and intensive care treatment

Critical illness and intensive care treatment may have both medical as well as psychological long-term deleterious effects in children and their caregivers. Knowledge and monitoring of these effects may have consequences for the treatment as well as preventive interventions during the acute phase.

The focus and subjects of the research line “Long term effects of critical illness and intensive care treatment” of the PICU in the Emma Children’s Hospital are:

- Medical effects: long-term medical effects of critical illness and intensive care treatment

- Psychological effects in patients: long term effects of intensive care treatment on psychiatric, psychological and neurocognitive functioning

- Psychological effects in parents and siblings: long-term effects of critical illness and intensive care admission of psychiatric and psychological functioning of parents and siblings

 c.    Intensive care and resource poor settings

Pediatric mortality due to circulatory and/or respiratory conditions in low and middle income countries is still unacceptably high. Reducing mortality requires improved knowledge on early recognition of life-threatening conditions and first line treatment of the critically ill children in these settings where other diseases and circumstances such as HIV, malaria, TB and malnutrition play a prominent role.

The focus and subjects of the research line “Intensive care and resource poor settings” of the PICU in the Emma Children’s Hospital are:

- Circulatory insufficiency: etiology, pathogenesis and consequences in resource poor settings

- Convulsions and Coma: etiology and outcome


J.B.M. van Woensel MD PhD

Dr. R.A. Bem MD PhD
Dr. J.C.J. Calis MD PhD

PhD Students
A.W.D. Edridge MD
M. Harmelink MA
S.A. Ingelse MD
R.S.N. Linssen
Drs. D.M.P. van Meenen MD
L. van de Riet
E.S.V. de Sonnaville

Prof. dr. M. Boele van Hensbroek MD PhD (Programmes)

Current research funding
  • AMC (Vrijgesteld)
  • Erasmus MC
  • GlaxoSmithKline Service Unlimited
  • Stichting AMC Foundation (Vrijgesteld)
  • Stichting AMMODO
  • Stichting tot Steun EKZ-AMC