100th Royal Surrey patient recruited to major Covid-19 study | News

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100th Royal Surrey patient recruited to major Covid-19 study

Nyarai Cheto, 100th RECOVERY trial patient at Royal Surrey

Royal Surrey has recruited its 100th participant for a national trial which is testing potential treatments for critically-ill patients with Covid-19.

The 100th participant at the Royal Surrey site joined the trial last weekend (Sunday 7 February). The study called Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY (RECOVERY), is led by Oxford University. The RECOVERY trial is the world’s biggest study testing existing treatments to see if they also work for Covid-19. Data from the trial is regularly reviewed so that any effective treatment can be identified quickly and made available to patients.

Nyarai Cheto, 38, the 100th Royal Surrey patient who works as a nurse in another Surrey Trust, decided to be part of the trial in the hope that it would improve her recovery and support new treatments for Covid-19. She said:

“I chose to join the trial after hospital staff fully explained the benefits, and I was interested to know how the drugs worked in Covid. Ultimately, I want to get better and promote new treatments for Covid. I feel blessed to be a part of the trial.”

To date, the study has found that a cheap and widely available steroid, dexamethasone, and tocilizumab, an anti-inflammatory treatment, together reduce the risk of death, the need for mechanical ventilation and the duration of hospital stay for Covid-19 patients. In combination, these treatments are thought to reduce mortality by about one third for patients requiring simple oxygen and nearly one half for those requiring invasive mechanical ventilation. The trial has also ruled out three drugs – Hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir-Ritonavir, Azithromycin – and Convalescent Plasma as ineffective.

Around 10 per cent of patients admitted for Covid-19 at Royal Surrey have joined RECOVERY, ranging from babies to older adults. Dr John de Vos, Clinical Director of Guildford Ward, the Covid-19 High Dependency Unit, has been instrumental in involving patients in the trial resulting in the highest number of patients recruited by any clinician.

Dr Kath McCullough, Divisional Research Lead for Access and Medicine who has been leading the Covid-19 research at the hospital, said:

“It’s a privilege to be part of the RECOVERY study and to be able to offer our patients trial treatments that may improve their recovery, even save their lives. This is one of a number of Urgent Public Health studies that Royal Surrey is a site for and we have worked hard to integrate our clinical research into acute clinical areas. As well as the staff conducting these trials, the success is down to every patient and their family who has given their consent to be part of our trials - the outcomes highlight how important research is and that it can make a huge difference to patient outcomes."

Jane Colbourne, Matron for Guildford Ward, echoes these sentiments: "I’m proud of how well the research and clinical staff have collaborated and are working together despite extremely challenging circumstances. As a result the positive outcomes mean that we can offer treatments that benefit our patients, now and in the future."

The RECOVERY trial has recruited more than 36,000 participants across 178 sites. It is currently testing Colchicine (commonly used anti-inflammatory), Regeneron’s antibody cocktail (a combination of monoclonal antibodies directed against coronavirus), Aspirin (commonly used to thin the blood) and Baricitinib (an anti-inflammatory used to treat rheumatoid arthritis). 

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