The PASS Network was established in 2003 as a partnership between the NICHD’s Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch (PPB) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders joined the partnership in 2009. The Network is designed to conduct community-linked studies to investigate the role of prenatal exposure to alcohol in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as stillbirth and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), and how SIDS and these other outcomes may be interrelated. It is hoped that this knowledge will help women, families, physicians, and scientists find ways to improve pregnancy outcomes and infant health.
The PASS Network has two primary clinical sites, which are in the following locations:
In addition, the Network relies on three analysis centers—a Data Coordinating and Analysis Center (DCAC), a Developmental Biology and Pathology Center (DBPC), and a Physiology Assessment Center (PAC)—to gather and maintain data and to conduct specific types of analyses of study data. For details on participating sites, please see the Current Sites section below.
The PASS Network aims to determine:
The Safe Passage Study is currently the main study run by the PASS Network to understand some of the causes of SIDS, stillbirth, FASD, and other outcomes, especially those related to alcohol exposure at any time during pregnancy. The Study will enroll approximately 12,000 pregnant women from the United States and South Africa and will follow the development of their babies through pregnancy and the infants’ first year of life. The long-term goals of the Safe Passage Study are to decrease fetal and infant mortality and improve child health in communities at high risk of prenatal maternal consumption of alcohol .
Dukes KA, et al. The Safe Passage Study: design, methods, recruitment and follow-up approach, Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2014 Aug 5. PMID25131605.