Skip to main content

Our achievements

Improving patient care is the reason we conduct research across all clinical areas of Liverpool Women’s. We couldn’t do what we do without patients willing to take part. And the true testament of our varied programme of work is the benefit we bring to patients. Here are just a few examples of how our research is helping patients. 

  • Research to save unborn babies' lives

    Amniotic fluid is vital to the development of baby’s lungs and also acts as a protective cushion. Pregnant women whose waters break early can lead to a risk of premature labour, infection and problems in the development of the baby’s lungs. Mothers are normally looked after by rest, by doing tests for infection and by monitoring the baby with scans. It was thought that any attempt to replace the amniotic fluid would be unsuccessful because it would leak out again. However, research had begun to suggest that replacing fluid could improve the outcome of births so we undertook a study to see whether replacing liquid repeatedly was feasible. This experimental intervention has been credited by at least one family for saving their unborn child's life.

    The pilot phase of the study is now completed. Dr Devender Roberts who led the research hopes to undertake a further larger trial to determine, once and for all, if this new approach to managing pre-term rupture of membranes can really save babies lives.

  • Evidence-based medicine for babies

    A research programme being driven by Dr Mark Turner, a consultant at Liverpool Women’s, could result in sick babies being given evidence-based medicine. The aim of this trial is to look towards licensing an antibiotic in this vulnerable patient group - whilst tested on adults, a large number of medicines used in babies have not been tested - known as 'off-licence'.

    The collaborative research is hoped to help doctors make better, informed choices when caring for sick infants, so that doctors do not have to rely on 'off-licence' interventions, but instead can prescribe drugs which have undergone rigorous testing for safety and effectiveness like those generally used to treat adult patients.

  • Giving birth- research shows women value safety over choice

    From research undertaken at Liverpool Women’s, we established the importance of being open with women about birthing options throughout a woman's pregnancy. The study conducted, amongst 454 women accessing UK maternity care for the first time, showed how women’s preferences can change throughout the course of their pregnancies.

    The researchers also found that women felt health concerns should be paramount and entrusted their healthcare providers to act appropriately. Whilst most women felt that vaginal birth might be preferable, they accepted that their actual birth method would be determined by the circumstances of their pregnancy and the practices of the healthcare providers caring for them.

  • Bleeding after birth

    Liverpool Women's is the largest recruiter in Europe to this on-going study of a new drug treatment for bleeding after childbirth. This collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is now the largest study of its type into bleeding after birth.

  • Management for women whose membranes rupture very early

    AMIPROM - This study investigated a new management for women whose membranes ruptured very early (between 16 and 24 weeks). The new management involved regular injections with saline (salt water) to replace the water that was lost from around the baby, a treatment called amnioinfusion. It is the only randomised study to investigate amnioinfusion for ruptured membranes at this stage of pregnancy and to look at long-term outcomes in surviving children. Following completion of the pilot RCT, a grant application has recently been submitted (to the NIHR) to fund a larger definitive study with full health economic analysis to show whether amnioinfusion can improve the healthy survivor rate.