County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is part of the
new Durham Tees Valley Research Alliance along with South Tees and
North Tees NHS Foundation Trusts, and has been recruiting patients
for the national COVID-19 research trial which has made a major
breakthrough in the fight against the virus.
Almost 100 patients cared for by CDDFT agreed to take part in
the RECOVERY study, a national clinical trial aiming to identify
treatments that may be beneficial for people hospitalised with
suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Across the Alliance, nearly 500
patients from the region have entered the study.
James Limb, Director of Research and
Innovation, explains, "Three months ago, there
were no known treatments for COVID-19. The RECOVERY Trial, led by
Oxford University and set up in record time at the start of the
pandemic, is testing seven potential treatments and, thanks to the
willingness of patients recruited to the study and the work of our
teams, we've been contributing vital data. Nationally, nearly 12000
patients are part of the trial."
"Last week, it was announced that the trial has identified
a clear survival benefit to giving a daily dose of a drug called
dexamethasone to any patient ill enough with COVID-19 to need
oxygen or ventilation."
"The significance of this result is enormous - dexamethasone is
inexpensive, well-tolerated, easily available, and it is the first
drug anywhere to show an improvement in survival for COVID
patients. The actual results show a one third reduction in deaths
in patients ill enough to be on a ventilator, and a one fifth
reduction in those needing oxygen."
"Moving forward dexamethasone should become a standard part of
the care given to patients with or suspected of having
"Taking part in clinical research trials takes a great deal of
commitment from clinicians, research nurses, patients, their
families and those caring for the patient. That said, it's so
important for patients to consider taking part in research so we
can discover better treatments, and in doing so, they can benefit
from treatments before they become more widely available.
"Whilst all hospitalised COVID-19 patients should be
considered for dexamethasone, the RECOVERY trial is continuing to
test other potential treatments for COVID including convalescent
plasma from survivors, and tocilizumab, a drug which alters the
immune response. Another six COVID-19 trials are also underway in
our hospitals, as well as a range of trials for other conditions.
We encourage all patients to take part in research - their help
plays an important part in improving medical care.
Published 24th June 2020
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