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UK trial of policy of neonatal ECMO provides most reliable information so far

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 14 August 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:452
  1. Diana Elbourne, senior lecturer (,
  2. Adrian Grant, director,
  3. David Field, professor of neonatal medicine,
  4. Charles Skeoch, consultant in medical paediatrics,
  5. Ann Johnson, developmental paediatrician
  1. Medical Statistics Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT
  2. Health Services Research Unit, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD
  3. Department of Child Health, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 5WW
  4. Department of Child Health, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G4 0NA
  5. National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford OX2 6HE

    EDITOR—Shann suggests that striking advantages ascribed to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in the United Kingdom trial of this treatment versus conventional ventilatory management may have been due to “better” care in the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation centres rather than to the treatment itself.1 2 As principal investigators for the trial, we disagree.

    The trial was designed to be pragmatic in the sense that, as much as possible, it reflected the then-current clinical policies and practices; results were therefore likely to be applicable outside the trial. In …

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