Current Studies

The PIFCO Study is a large study (recruiting over 300 babies) designed to measure how much the heart, lung and breathing muscles contribute to breathing problems in very preterm infants. This knowledge will help us better predict, diagnose, treat and prevent breathing problems after preterm birth. (Funding: National Health and Medical Research Council)

PIFCO Study – more info

The Lung Ultrasound Study aims to determine the predictive value of bedside lung ultrasound in preterm infants with respiratory distress and evolution of a type of chronic lung disease called bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).

The Enteral Vitamin A for improving Respiratory Outcomes Study (EVARO Study) is designed to evaluate the efficacy of oral Vitamin A supplement in decreasing the risk of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in the infants born before 28 weeks gestation. Previously, alternative routes of giving Vitamin A to very small infants have been explored including intramuscular injections and an intravenous line. However, the painful nature of intramuscular injections and the increased risk of infection from intravenous line have limited the widespread use of supplement Vitamin A. By giving infants Vitamin A through oral feeds we aim to overcome these limitations and reduce the incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia.


Completed Studies

The CureNeb Study was designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of using an aerosol surfactant in the first hours of life in preterm infants with respiratory distress. Babies born at term produce their own surfactant, a substance that helps us breathe by keeping the air sacs in the lungs open. Preterm infants often need to be given surfactant to help them breathe, and in this study we investigated the best way to supply it.  The percentage of infants needing to be intubated (to help them breathe) within 72hrs of birth was significantly lower in infants receiving the aerosol surfactant compared to those in the standard care group. Based on these results, we now give preterm babies aerosol surfactant. (Funding: State Health Research Advisory Council of WA)

The N3RO Study is a University of Adelaide-led study investigating whether supplementing preterm infants with fatty acids will decrease their likelihood of developing the lung disease bronchopulmonary dysplasia. We will follow up with these babies at two years of age. (Funding: National Health and Medical Research Council)

The BOOST II Trial was an international trial led by the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute measuring the effect of different oxygen saturation levels in very preterm infants, once they reached two years old. Researchers compared babies with oxygen levels between 91-95% with those at a range of 85-89%. As a result of this study, we now ventilate preterm babies so that their oxygen saturation levels are around 90%. (Funding: National Health and Medical Research Council)