Research to develop further understanding of Covid-19 continues at UHDB | Research news

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Research to develop further understanding of Covid-19 continues at UHDB

QHB ICU research team

Research studies into Covid-19 at UHDB are well underway.

A wide range of studies are taking place across our sites, some of which are looking into more effective treatment methods, whilst some support better understanding of the disease. Two of these are running in Intensive Care settings in the Trust.

REMAP-CAP is an adaptive clinical trial, which means that patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 are given different treatment methods at regular intervals, such as steroids, antiviral domains, immune-modulation drugs and convalescent plasma, to see which has a positive impact on the patient’s recovery.

The GENOMICC study is an observational study which aims to find out if patients have a genetic pre-disposition that makes them either more or less vulnerable to Covid-19. This will help to predict prognosis after a diagnosis as well as helping clinicians to better develop treatment plans for individual patients.

Dr Amro Katary, Intensive Care Consultant and Intensive Care Unit Research Lead at Queen’s Hospital Burton, said: “The REMAP-CAP trial is quite challenging, as the protocol of medication we offer changes rapidly, and the patients also need to be consented within the first 24 hours of their admittance to ICU, so this can be really difficult. 

“The GENOMICC trial is a bit simpler as it involves taking a blood sample and sending it away for analysis to see if certain genes show a correlation between being more negatively impacted by Covid-19.

“This wouldn't have happened without the dedication of a number of teams that support us with our work as there is a lot to implement when it comes to running research trials. Teams such as the Clinical Trials Pharmacists have been amazing in helping us get hold of some of the medications at Burton, as some were only readily available in Derby.

“We’re very blessed to have a very enthusiastic research nurse team here and, along with the consultants, the nurses came in out of hours to get as many patients enrolled onto our trials as possible."

Over the course of the pandemic, the Trust has been involved in a number of other studies focusing on Covid-19. These include the RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of Covid-19 therapy) trial. In this on-going study, one of the first positive findings was improved outcomes for patients treated with Dexamethasone, which has already become a standard of care at the Trust. The SIREN study, which is also on-going, analyses the immunity of staff members to the virus.

UHDB is also working with Rolls-Royce and Lancaster University on the Rapid Video Recording of Aerosol Generating Procedures (RVR-AGP) study to understand how to make operating theatres safer when conducting aerosol generating procedures. Finally, a team of Renal consultants has recently published a study into how Covid-19 patients who also develop Acute Kidney Injury are adversely affected by the virus. This is the first study of its kind to come from the UK.

Dr Magnus Harrison, Executive Medical Director, said: “The work of our research teams across the Trust is fantastic, and it is so rewarding to see the Trust contributing to the global effort to eradicate Covid-19. We are involved in a series of Covid-19 research trials and have staff members issuing innovative research studies relating to the virus, so this is a further testament to the strength of our research teams.”