Clinical Research Symposium to Honor Drs. Kirpalani and Schmidt

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Neonatology Update

On May 9 and 10, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will host the Neonatology Clinical Research Symposium, which will highlight evidence-based medicine (EBM) and innovative, randomized clinical trials in neonatology. The symposium will be held in honor of the retirement of Neonatologists Barbara Schmidt, MD, FRCP(C), MSC, and Haresh Kirpalani, BM, MRCP, FRCP, MSc, pioneers of EBM in neonatology.

EBM is of increasing importance in neonatal practice. The conference will address key elements of the design, interpretation, and application of innovative randomized clinical trials in neonatology. The international faculty includes distinguished experts in clinical and translational research in neonatal-perinatal medicine. Since EBM has several components, the conference ranges broadly. Professor Gordon Guyatt (Canada), a widely cited researcher who coined the term EBM, will address the topic, “What should be the end-points of valid trials?”

Since both clinical and research work hinges on ethically obtained informed consent, this will be discussed in several ways: clinical counseling of parents of extremely preterm infants; building a trusting research relationship; and obtaining consent in emergency delivery room settings.

Peter Davis, MD, a well-known trialist from Australia, will lead a session focused on delivery room care and outcomes, including economic problems. For the “Knisely Lecture,” Alan Jobe, MD, Director of the Division of Perinatal Biology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, will discuss how results of trials performed in the developed world may not apply to low-resourced countries.

Roger Soll, MD, Coordinating Editor of Cochrane Neonatal and President of the Vermont Oxford Network, will provide insight on how knowledge from many subjects in large trials is applied to an individual infant. He will also discuss innovative approaches to individualizing care scientifically, including n-of-1 trials.

Upon completion of the conference, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss how current dilemmas in evidence-based medicine in newborn care have evolved
  • Discuss innovative approaches to parents to obtain informed consent
  • Apply knowledge from large patient trials to individual patients

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