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Caffeine for the prevention of intermittent hypoxaemia in late preterm neonates

50 months
Approved budget:
Mrs Elizabeth Oliphant
Health issue:
Human genetics and inherited/congenital conditions
Proposal type:
Clinical Research Training Fellowship
Lay summary
Late preterm babies (born between 34 and 37 weeks of pregnancy) have worse outcomes than those born at full term, including a 30% increased risk of severe long-term neurodevelopmental impairment. Recently these babies have been shown to experience periodic decreases in blood-oxygen levels (intermittent hypoxaemia). Caffeine is used for similar indications in very preterm babies, and we postulate that it will be effective in preventing intermittent hypoxaemia in late preterm neonates and will hence improve brain development. In my PhD study I will conduct a randomised controlled trial to establish the best dose of caffeine to use for this indication. I will test the stability of the caffeine liquids used in the trial, and will measure the levels of caffeine in the babies saliva and correlate these will those in their mother's breastmilk. Subsequent studies can use this information to develop trials that assess the effect of caffeine on neurodevelopmental