Study of Premature Babies Treated with Steroids | Action Medical Research | Children's Charity

Premature babies treated with steroids - a follow-up study

This research was completed on 31 July 2003

Project LeaderProfessor Henry L Halliday FRCP, Professor Neil Marlow DM, FRCP and Dr M Ann Johnson FRCP
LocationRegional Neonatal Unit, Royal Maternity Hospital, Belfast in conjunction with the Academic Division of Child Health, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham and the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Institute of Health Sciences, Oxford.
Grant awarded13 July 2000
Start date1 February 2001
End date31 July 2003
Grant amount£108,179.00
Grant codeSP3633

We do not provide medical advice. If you would like more information about a condition or would like to talk to someone about your health, contact NHS Choices or speak to your GP. Please see our useful links page for some links to health information, organisations we are working with and other useful organisations. We hope you will find these useful. We are not responsible for the content of any of these sites.

Premature babies often develop respiratory problems and although improved methods of treatment have increased their survival rates, about 25% of them develop chronic lung disease (CLD). This brings huge emotional and financial costs. Paediatricians have tried to limit the severity of CLD with steroids - drugs which have already been used successfully in childhood asthma, and studies show that this treatment improves babies lungs, and allows them to be taken off respirators and go home earlier. Recently, however, there have been concerns about the side effects of using steroids ­ particularly that this might increase the risk of cerebral palsy. Paediatricians and parents therefore face the dilemma of whether or not to use steroids to improve their babies' lungs and chances of survival, and take the risk of their developing cerebral palsy. This study will investigate the long term outcomes of 419 infants aged 3 to 6 years who were born prematurely and treated with steroids. The results will help paediatricians and parents decide the balance of benefits versus risks of this treatment.

Help us spread the word