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Our team is committed to ensure that our babies benefit from cutting edge research.  At any one time there are several research projects underway on the unit.  All research taking place on the unit undergoes independent ethics committee and research and development review before it is undertaken.  This safeguards the rights and welfare of research participants, as well as making sure that high quality research is carried out.  Research findings are shared at local, national and international conferences.

Carrying out research is a very important part of what we do in the NICU in our goal to provide the best care and treatments possible for our patients.  It is through research that we are able to find out better ways to look after our babies.

Research enables us to develop and improve the nursing and medical care we give.  We can test new treatments and medications and improve current ones through research.  We can enhance the quality of our services and improve the health of patients by carrying out research in the NICU.

Safety for patients involved in research is very important to us.  Every study has a protocol (a set of rules or guidelines) and the research is conducted only when all the safety regulations and approvals are granted.  These approvals ensure that the research is planned and designed safely and in the right way to answer the questions the research is asking.  Studies are then closely monitored throughout for quality and safety.

Dr Ajit Mahaveer is the Research Lead for the unit.

Nicola Booth, Anna Hendrickson, Karen Dockery and Imelda Mayor are Research Nurses/Co-ordinators in the NICU. However, many of the medical and nursing team are involved in research.


Will I be asked to take part in Research?

Wherever possible we like to give parents the opportunity for their baby to be involved in research.  The chance to participate in a study will depend if the research is suitable for you, your baby, your baby's condition or baby's treatment.  You may find that you are able to, and are asked to consider your baby for more than one study.

If you are invited to take part in a study, you will be given information about the study, a written information sheet all about it, time to think about it and to ask any questions you have.  You will receive an information sheet telling you:

  • What is the purpose of the study.
  • Why you/your baby have been chosen.
  • What is involved in the study.
  • What will happen to if you take part.
  • What happens next/at the end of the study.
  • What will happen to the results of the research study.
  • What happens if there is a problem.
  • Contact for further information.

If you decide you would like your baby to participate in a study, you will be asked to sign a consent form to say you are happy to be involved.


What kind of research is happening on the unit?


A National study which aims to compare whether it is better to transfuse babies when platelets drop to 25 or higher threshold of 50.



A National study which aims to compare two types of percutaneious intravenous cardiac catheter (PICC) - a standard line and one impregnated with antimicrobial (coated with antibiotic and antifungal) to see whether there is any difference in infection rate from the PICC.


Rainbow - Opthalmology study being led by Mr Biswas and Dr Mahaveer

Comparison of laser therapy for the treatment of infants born prematurely with Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP); babies requiring ROP treatment are eligible for this study and are randomised to either laser or Ranibizumab treatment.


FLIPI - Jonathan Hurst Lead

Looking for babies under 32 weeks' gestation, intubated and to have received Surfactant.