The Neonatal Research Network was established in 1986 to address the critical need for rigorous research in babies admitted to Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs), so that solid evidence generated by such research can be used to improve the treatment and health outcomes of critically ill newborn babies. Funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Network is a collaboration between NICUs from academic medical centers across the US and a coordinating center. See more here.
The NRN's mission is to investigate the safety and efficacy of treatment and management strategies for newborn infants. The objective of this program is to advance neonatal care by rigorous patient evaluation using common protocols that can study the required numbers of patients and can provide answers more rapidly than individual centers acting alone to provide evidence to guide clinical practice for critically ill newborns. We conduct randomized controlled trials of unproven or promising therapies, and observational studies of newborns at highest risk and disseminate the results of these research studies. See here for information on all our studies, and here for opportunities for outside institutions to participate in NRN studies.
The network has made significant contributions to newborn health. NRN studies that have changed clinical practice include hypothermia as neuro-protection for neonatal encephalopathy, phototherapy for extremely low gestational age neonates, and the SUPPORT trial. The registry data from the generic data base as well as follow-up has been the source of multiple publications. The registry data has made contributions to knowledge gaps including outcome following congenital heart disease, antenatal corticosteroid use, fetal growth restriction, Trisomy 13 and neuroimaging among extremely low gestational age infants. Tools generated from these studies are listed here.