The Duke Neonatal Perinatal Research Unit (NPRU) is committed to helping our tiniest patients. Read our parent testimonials below to learn more.
“When my husband and I went in for my 18 week anatomy scan, we were told to expect our baby to come early. I developed a placenta previa that was slowly moving upwards; slower than our doctor liked. When we discussed "early" we figured it would be 36 weeks. Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine having our third child at just over the halfway mark of my pregnancy. The baby had a different opinion and wanted to meet us early. Our tiny, perfect daughter was born at a whopping 1lb 6oz at 24 weeks. She gave a little squeak in the delivery room before they whisked her to the ICN. We didn't know what to expect. Reading or hearing about other parent's NICU journey can only offer a glimpse into the world of prematurity.
We were incredibly lucky to have delivered our sweet girl at Duke. Through the 146 days we spent in 5 rooms across the ICN and TCN, we were offered a crash course in preemie parenting offered by the incredibly competent staff. We were never spoken down to, we were treated as parents, not interrupting bystanders. We were included in daily decisions the team made about our baby. Despite our preemie's unique set of issues, we always felt as though our team was competent, involved, and invested in the health and well-being of our baby. When we went home at night to our other children, we always knew that our baby would be loved and well cared for. I never expected to develop the relationships that I did and I feel that Duke really tries to set that up between the care teams and the families. We were always encouraged to speak up and offer our parental opinions. We were encouraged to be hands on. Our older children were encouraged to visit whenever possible.
I feel that we wouldn't have received the same level of care at any other hospital. Our little corner of the Duke NICU started to feel very homey and warm by the end of our stay. As thrilled as we were to finally be able to take our baby home, I know that Duke and our team will always have a positive impact on our family.” - Molly
"We decided to participate in every Duke Research Study our daughter qualified for because we knew the care she was getting was a direct result of past research and participation from other families. We felt very strongly that if one baby in the ICN could benefit from a study then it was worth our daughter's time, energy and possible slight discomfort. We had a little hesitation with one study, however, the research team addressed our concerns and was very patient, thorough and transparent. This made us very comfortable and confident with the purpose of the study, procedure, results and potential feedback. Another benefit was potential medical issues the study may identify through the use of cutting edge technology, highly trained research staff and additional examinations. We have no regrets about participating in any of the studies and hope that other families continue to help future babies. If given the chance to continue a study we would have happily agreed and want to assist in any way. It's the least we can do given the sacrifices and breakthroughs from previous patients. Duke's approach, dedication and professionalism are apparent by the quality and individualized care our daughter received. We believe in the research, programs, staff and complex medical decisions that helped get our daughter to the point where she now lives a happy and healthy life.” - Peggy
Hello, my name is Sharika. I chose to participate in research because I thought it was interesting, and it could also be helpful to other preemies and their families now and in the future. My daughter Olivia was born at 24 weeks. She has been in the NICU for 114 days. Her dad and I visit her every day. It was rough in the beginning, and I was always sad but now I feel a lot better. I make sure that I hold her a lot, and I try to interact with her as much as I can. She's very special to me, and I love her so much. Although this has been a long, emotional journey, I have met so many great people. She has great doctors, nurses, and supportive people right by her side & I can't wait until she comes home.” - Sharika
Christian, Colton, Elsie and Marshall
"My husband and I decided to participate in research with our quads at an early stage in their life. They were born at 25 weeks and 5 days, and we had no idea what to expect with them. They had to go through quite a few tests and procedures and many of those were part of research, so we were asked if we'd like to participate. After thinking about it for a while, we decided to go through with it. 20+ years ago, babies born at 25 weeks would have had no chance at survival. But, because of research, they now have ways to save these precious little ones. This is why we chose to participate; every baby deserves a chance at life, and we are so thankful to the doctors and nurses at Duke who gave our babies that chance! Now at 37 weeks, our babies are thriving and will soon be home with us!" - Katlyn
"We decided to participate in research because the potential for it to change another baby's life and outcome is so rewarding. Research is essential in medicine. We certainly benefited from past research because look how far NICU outcomes have come from decades ago. Research is responsible for increasing survival rates and bettering practices. My daughter thrived because of past research and the practices it changed. We hope that all the studies we participated in while in the NICU will benefit babies for years and decades to come." - Kayla
“Medical research is very important, and I have realized how valuable and helpful it can be, through my experiences at Duke. When I was three years old, I was diagnosed with leukemia and had a bone marrow transplant. If other people had not been willing to participate in research, some of the procedures might not have been available to me. I am very grateful to those who took part in research before me."
"I am more than happy to return the favor and have my son participate in research, to help future babies going through a similar situation. If it were not for research, my son might not have done as well in the intensive care nursery. I am very thankful for all of the research that takes place at Duke."
"The knowledge about techniques and procedures these doctors and nurses have, are proof that research is effective, and very important. I cannot say enough positive things about Duke research, and all the nurses and doctors I have met throughout the years, who have helped my son and me. As a result of excellent treatments and medical care, my son and I are both healthy and happy!” -Kimberly
Some of Our Babies
|Alan and Alex Hudson|
How you can participate
If you currently have a baby in the Duke Intensive Care Nursery, and you think you may want to participate in any of our research studies, please ask your baby’s nurse or doctor to contact us. The NPRU team will then contact you to explain the criteria for study eligibility and describe the potential benefits and risks for entering the study. Learn about our current research opportunities.
How you can help
Our mission is to provide the professional infrastructure and clinical expertise directed toward improving the quality of care and long-term outcomes for our babies. Find out how you can help support our babies and our research.
To learn more about the Duke Intensive Care Nursery, visit the Duke Division of Neonatology website. For more information about the Neonatal Perinatal Research Unit or to learn more about our clinical trials, email us at email@example.com, or call 919-681-4913.