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Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2006 Apr;11(2):105-10. Epub 2005 Dec 20.

The role of neonatal networks.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC 27157, USA.


A neonatal network is a collaboration involving more than one clinical site where a common protocol is used for a randomized trial, observational study, or quality improvement project. Because the prevalence of important outcomes (e.g., death or neurodevelopmental impairment) is low among neonates, multi-site studies have been an essential contributor to the identification of interventions for improving the health of neonates. In this review we summarize key aspects of the conduct of multi-site studies and describe some of the prominent accomplishments and contributions of neonatal networks. Important contributions of randomized trials and observational studies include the identification, and assessment, of potential strategies for prevention of cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease, and blindness due to retinopathy of prematurity. In addition, quality improvement projects by neonatal networks have greatly facilitated the dissemination of information about, and implementation of, evidence-based interventions.

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