|Carmel Collins||Amy Keir||Andrew McPhee|
The Neonatal Nutrition unit aims to conduct high quality research of nutritional interventions to enable children born prematurely to achieve optimal health, development and growth. Our key outcomes relate to optimal neurological development, appropriate growth and translation of research into clinical practice. We use experimental designs that will provide us with the highest levels of evidence, such as randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials.
Several of our research activities have matured over the past two years. Our group was the first to provide a docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) rich, omega-3 supplement directly to very preterm infants and provide safety and efficacy evidence. As a result, we have completed a world-first randomised, controlled trial into the effects of the DHA rich supplement on the incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in very preterm infants (the N3RO trial). This work was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Future research will focus on longer term follow-up of infants in the N3RO trial; a large trial of parenteral and enteral protein requirements in very preterm infants; and on the nutritional requirements of the ‘forgotten prems', those infants born between 34-36 weeks gestation.