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POLAR: Research into Resuscitation of Preterm Infants at Birth


Positive end-expiratory pressure levels during resuscitation of preterm infants at birth

The POLAR trial aims to establish how to best, and safely, support the fragile lungs of premature babies at birth. The trial will compare two commonly used strategies that both use gentle pressure to open the lungs. The trial will assess whether a brief period of higher pressure, called PEEP (positive end expiratory pressure) at birth, helps premature babies immediately after birth, and improves their survival without chronic lung disease, compared with the current typical newborn resuscitation practice of a using a lower, unchanging level of PEEP.

This international trial is being led by Melbourne Children's Trials Centre (MCTC) at the Murdoch Children's Research Centre (MCRI), Melbourne Australia. The trial is expected to recruit participants for approximately 5 years with 906 infants being recruited from up to 25 hospitals across Australia, Europe, the UK and the USA. The total duration of the trial is expected to last 7 years including a two-year follow-up period.

The NPEU Clinical Trials Unit is leading the set-up of UK regulatory and ethical approvals for UK sites.

For more information about the POLAR trial please visit the POLAR trial website. Here you will find information for parents and trial delivery information for clinicians.

Contact Details

POLAR UK Co-ordinating Centre
NPEU Clinical Trials Unit
National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU)
Nuffield Department of Population Health
University of Oxford
Old Road Campus


Lead International Co-ordinating Centre

Murdoch Children's Research Institute
50 Flemington Road

3052 Australia