Skip to main content

Research into patterns and types of fractures in children under three

Baby in cot

A research project is being carried out at the Neonatal Unit, Jessop Wing, Royal Hallamshire Hospital and in the Radiology Department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. This is called ‘Patterns and Types of Fractures in Children Aged Below Three Years who were Born Preterm’.

We know that children born before 37 weeks of pregnancy (preterm) have weaker bones and so are more likely to fracture their bones than term babies (those born after 37 weeks of pregnancy). However, we do not know up until what age preterm babies’ bones remain weak, how many fractures they get, the pattern of these fractures or if they are different to the types and patterns of fractures seen in children who were born at term.

Understanding this is important for three reasons:

  • firstly, if we show that the bones of preterm babies do not fracture after a certain period of time, then we will need to find another explanation for children older than this, who come to hospital with fractures, even if they were born preterm.
  • secondly, if we show that the pattern of fractures is different to that seen in term babies, it will help doctors decide if a baby who was born preterm but has no other signs of disease has fractures because they were born preterm or for some other reason, including child abuse.
  • finally, there are medicines that make bones stronger, so when they are discharging preterm babies home, results of this study may help doctors decide whether and for how long to give babies these medicines in order to stop them from having fractures.

About the research

Researchers at The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Children’s Hospital are conducting this project. It will run from December 2017 to September 2018.

We will look at patient notes of all babies born in the Jessop Wing, Royal Hallamshire Hospital between January 2005 and December 2014 to collect the information we need, including whether or not the babies were born preterm.

We will then look at the Emergency Department records at Sheffield Children’s Hospital to see which of these babies returned with at least one fracture, up to the age of three years old.

We will record types and patterns of fractures in those who were born preterm and compare with types and patterns of fractures in those who were born at term. We will not record any information that will help others to identify the babies.

We have obtained permission from local and national groups of people (including the South Yorkshire Research Ethics Committee) to carry out this work.

Opting out

If you have any questions about the project or would prefer for your child’s information to be excluded from the research, please email Dr Amaka Offiah or contact either of the hospital research offices:

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
Research Team, Level 4
The Jessop Wing
Royal Hallamshire Hospital
Tree Root Walk
S10 2SF
Tel: 0114 271 2270

Sheffield Children’s Hospital
Clinical Research Facility
D Floor Stephenson Wing
Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Western Bank
S10 2TH
Tel: 0114 226 7980

You might also be interested in...

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Sheffield Children's@SheffChildrens
As well as going the extra mile in her day job, Bianca has also signed up for two upcoming running events!So far,…
July 2021: To protect our patients we are restricting visitors to one person per patient at Sheffield Children’s at all sites. Please help us to keep everyone safe.See more NHS guidance about COVID-19

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.