The POPART Trial: Reducing endotracheal intubation in preterm babies with respiratory failure

21 August 2018

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The POPART Trial "Prophylactic Oropharyngeal Surfactant for Preterm infant Trial" is one of the PedCIRN funded trials. The main objective of this trial is to study whether administering the oropharyngeal surfactant Curosurf directly into the oropharynx directly after birth, reduces the rate of endotracheal intubation in preterm babies with respiratory failure. This surfactant enhances cell membrane permeability in the pharynx, improving respiration. Surfactant is commonly given to babies during endotracheal intubation.

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Premature babies or preterm babies are very vulnerable. They are lower in weight and are susceptible to sepsis, anemia and respiratory problems. Either of these health conditions puts the newborn’s life at risk, so research in these infants is vital. Neonates included in the POPART Trial must be born before 29 weeks of gestation and most of these children have a high risk of respiratory failure. Half of the babies will receive surfactant into the oropharynx directly after birth. The other babies will receive no intervention but standard treatment. The neonates will be monitored for 120 hours. The research question is whether administering oropharyngeal surfactant directly after birth compared to no intervention reduces the rate of endotracheal intubation for respiratory failure within 120 hours of birth. 

The POPART Trial, led by Prof. Colm O’Donnell (Principal Investigator), Neonatologist at National Maternity Hospital and University College Dublin (UCD), envisages enrolling 250 neonates in cooperation with various European hospitals (Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Belgium Czech Republic, Italy & Portugal). It is a Randomised, parallel group, controlled trial (Phase III). For more information see the additional information on the PedCRIN website.