International Clinical Trials Day is an annual event acknowledged around the world to commemorate what is thought to be ‘the first ever’ clinical trial conducted in 1747 by Naval Surgeon, James Lind aboard HMS Salisbury.
Why do we celebrate International Clinical Trials Day?
On this day nearly 275 years ago, James Lind was a naval Surgeon on HMS Salisbury. During his time at sea in 1747, many of the crew were experiencing symptoms of scurvy for which there was no cure. Lind decided to investigate the cause of the illness.
On the 20 May of that year, he selected 12 men to help with this investigation, all of whom had symptoms of scurvy. In addition, these 12 men had similar basic diets and were also sharing the same living quarters. Lind then divided the group of 12 into six pairs and over the course of 14 days gave them a variety of additions to their basic diet.
One pair of men drank cider, a second pair was given spoonful’s of vinegar, the next two had oranges and lemons, another pair ingested sea water, a further pair had diluted sulphuric acid, and the last pair was given a paste of mustard seeds, garlic, radish root and myrrh. The two men who consumed citrus fruits showed enough improvement within six days that they were deemed well enough to return to their duties.
As a result of this trial, albeit over 40 years later, an admiralty order ruled that all naval ships had to be stocked with lemon juice before they went on their voyages. This eradicated scurvy almost completely from the Royal Navy.
How can I get involved in research?
Getting involved in research doesn’t always mean becoming a patient participant. There are other ways for you to get involved in research. To find out more, click here.
Clinical Trials at UHDB
Here at UHDB, we have a team of dedicated research professionals including Research nurses, midwives, practitioners and the pharmacy clinical trials team across Royal Derby Hospital and Queen's Hospital Burton, along with the pharmacy clinical trials team who have all joined the battle to find out more information and look for a treatment for COVID-19. Since the pandemic began the research teams across the Trust have focussed resources on implementing and supporting COVID-19 studies.
The Trust is part of national and international teams of researchers working to develop new investigations into treatments and to build and share our knowledge of this virus. You can find out about the incredible work of our research teams during the pandemic here.
Earlier this year, a number of women involved in research at UHDB spoke to us about their careers in research. To find out more about them, see their stories below:
- Professor Fran Game, Clinical Director for Research and Development and Consultant Diabetologist
- Claire Wood, Midwife
- Dr Shalini Ojha, Consultant Neonatologist
- Dr Emma Salt, Consultant Physiotherapist
- Hannah Scrafton, Research Nurse
- Liz Bedford, Principal Pharmacist for Research and Development
- Catherine Johnson, Consultant Nurse in the Renal Team
Clinical Trials myth-buster
Clinical research is strictly regulated by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority) and the Health Research Authority (HRA) and must adhere to guidance set out in the UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research.
This is not only to protect patients’ welfare but also to produce trusted evidence at the end of each trial. Many research studies impact on the introduction of new treatments including medicines and medical devices, which can benefit patient care now and in the future.
There are many myths about clinical trials which have been dispelled and are availbale here, courtesty of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).