BPSU - Life threatening bronchopulmonary dysplasia

Surveillance of life threatening bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) commences in July 2017. The study team aim to describe the incidence of life threatening BPD of prematurity, describe the antecedent factors, current treatment choices used in the UK and Ireland (including a description of the support mechanisms in terms of respiratory support alternatives) and describe the outcomes (to one year) for life threatening BPD of prematurity.

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DysplasiaPrincipal investigators

Dr Sundeep Harigopal, Dr Janet Berrington, Dr Sridhar Ramaiah
Neonatal Unit, Royal Victoria Infirmary,
Newcastle NE1 4LP

Email: sundeep.harigopal@nuth.nhs.uk; janet.berrington@nuth.nhs.uk; sridhar.ramaiah@nuth.nhs.uk


Many babies born more than 8 weeks early will have some problems with their breathing and need oxygen for many weeks. This is known as chronic lung disease and happens because the lungs were immature at birth. Most babies recover well, but some may go home in oxygen. A small number have such severe lung problems that they need to stay in hospital on breathing machines for many weeks or months, and may even die. Because very small numbers of babies have such severe problems, little is known about how they are cared for or what might make their outcome better. 

This study aims to collect data on these babies and how they are looked after, including what sort of breathing support and medicines they receive. An important step in better understanding this serious problem.

Case definition

Please report any infant initially delivered at <32 completed weeks of gestation, without associated significant (including cardiorespiratory) congenital abnormality, where at (or beyond) 38 weeks postmenstrual age the infant is receiving positive pressure support by any route (ventilation, nCPAP, BIPAP or humidified high flow nasal cannula with a flow more than 2lpm), or receiving pulmonary vasodilators without intercurrent illness to explain this need.


July 2017 to July 2018 (13 months of surveillance). Follow-up until July 2018 (12 month follow-up).


This study is being funded through Tiny Lives Charity.

Ethical approval

This study has been approved by North East Tyne and Wear South REC (REC reference: 16/NE/0343) and has been granted Section 251 HRA-CAG permission (CAG Reference: 16/CAG/0139).

Support group

Further information