International Clinical Trails Day 2023

Saturday 20 May is International Clinical Trails Day.

NEAS is a research active organisation as a patient you may be offered the opportunity to take part in research studies.

We are a partner organisation of the NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria which provides the infrastructure to allow high-quality health and care research to take place across the region. Our vision is to improve health and care outcomes for the people of the North East and North Cumbria through research.

Today we're looking at the internship programme and one of our current studies on cholesterol, TOPCAT.

Research internship - Ben Morris

Paramedic Ben Morris started his research internship in January 2022, which gave him the opportunity to undertake a fully-funded research project and develop research skills, alongside his usual operational shifts.

The internship is part of the Health Education England (HEE) / NIHR Integrated Clinical and Practitioner Academic (ICA) Programme which funds research opportunities for allied health professionals.

Ben MorrisDuring the programme Ben has attended online teaching sessions hosted by Sheffield Hallam University, networked with colleagues from around the country and received mentoring from our own research team colleagues.

His research has been investigating the incidence and outcomes of patients receiving hyperventilation during management of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. In June he will be presenting a research poster at the 999 EMS Research Forum in Manchester.

Ben said: "Pre-hospital research is a really interesting and growing area; most of our current ambulance guidelines are adapted from in-hospital guidance and studies, it is only through the development of the paramedic profession over the last 20 years we are really starting to see high quality studies within the pre-hospital arena.

"We need more paramedics who understand the challenges of delivering healthcare in the ambulance service to participate in research and ultimately to challenge some of dogmas we currently have to ensure we are delivering the best interventions we can to the patients we care for."

TOPCAT study

Our research department developed the TOPCAT study - an opportunity to reach patients who may be at risk of high cholesterol, who would otherwise not be screened and who would remain undiagnosed and at risk. 

If a paramedic felt that a patient may be at risk of having high cholesteron, they would discuss the study with the patient and obtain consent to be enrolled into the research study.  

If the patient agreed to participate, a single total cholesterol measurement was taken. The results appeared on the deviceand the paramedic discussed with the patient their results. 

Those with high cholesterol were given a leaflet describing what happens next, and were advised to contact primary care for further management and support.

A research paramedic followed up with the GP after 60 days to see outcomes. 

Study results will be published in the coming weeks.   

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