Backround and aims Research improves care for preterm infants but taking blood may be inappropriate/ethically challenging, and limited by patient size. We aimed to ‘salvage’ residual blood after routine testing, and sought parental perspectives.
Methods We gave parents a single information leaflet and asked permission to collect non-invasive or ‘un-used’ samples to support a portfolio of research studies: stool/breast milk (gut microbiome), serum (cytokine), and DNA from residual cell pellet (epigenetic). We also sought consent for sample sharing with other approved studies. Parents could decline specific aspects. Serum/cell salvage was stored prior to analysis.
Results 99% of parents participated: 92 recruits provided 527 salvaged blood samples supporting two additional studies to date.
Conclusions Parents wanted to participate in research with non-invasive sampling/salvage of waste. This provided valuable samples over extensive time periods. This could be used in other vulnerable groups. Bio-banking of such valuable samples may provide important opportunities for future research, avoid additional invasive sampling, and be time efficient.