Name: Helen Chitty
Job Title: Neonatal Higher Specialist Trainee Year 8
Title of talk: Emerging New Evidence for Volume-Targeted Ventilation in Neonates
Biographical Sketch: Dr Helen Chitty is a neonatal trainee who has done most of her training in the North East of England. Helen’s passion for clinical research started whilst working with the neonatal team at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, UK. She then developed this further at The Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne in 2011. There, through a project on hypothermia in preterm infants, she became interested in the evaluation and optimisation of standard interventions in neonatal care.

After returning from Melbourne Helen took up a post as Neonatal Research Fellow at The James Cook University Hospital. She was Principal Investigator for The VoluVent Trial, the first randomised controlled trial to compare two types of volume-targeted ventilation in newborn infants. Under the supervision of Professor Sinha and Professor Tin she led all aspects of this comparative effectiveness trial which forms part of her Doctorate of Medicine postgraduate degree (Newcastle University). Her thesis focuses on research into complex interventions within the neonatal intensive care setting. The major themes include ventilation and methods of consent for research in an emergency context.

This work has instilled in Helen a desire to improve neonatal care by enhancing the design of clinical trials. By ‘doing what we do but doing it better’ she hopes to use this experience to contribute to improved outcomes for sick or preterm babies.

Lecture Abstract: Volume-targeted ventilation is used widely but, despite this, different modes have not been compared using clinical outcomes. The latest Cochrane review published in 2010 (1) recommended that further research on neonatal ventilation should include comparisons of different volume-targeted modes. The VoluVent Trial is the first randomised controlled trial to compare two types of volume-targeted ventilation in preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome (ISRCTN 04448562). This comparative effectiveness trial compared volume-controlled ventilation and volume guarantee using clinically relevant outcomes. Aveaâ ventilators were used to deliver both modes and deferred parental consent was used.

This talk will include details of The VoluVent Trial and its results as well as the challenges of undertaking complex interventions research within an intensive care setting. The use of deferred consent, the power of parent involvement in clinical trial design, and the remaining gaps in knowledge will also be discussed.

References: 1.     Wheeler KI, Klingenberg C, McCallion N, et al. Volume-targeted versus pressure-limited ventilation in the neonate. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2010;11:CD003666