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A&E recognised for its cutting edge patient studies

Clinicians at Musgrove Park Hospital’s emergency department (A&E) have scooped an award for giving patients an opportunity to take part in vital research studies and play a role in improving treatments.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) named Musgrove’s A&E as the best research team in the south west peninsula.

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It follows the development of a number of high profile clinical trials and research that have taken place at the hospital’s A&E over the last six years.

The REVERT study, that saw two of Musgrove’s A&E consultants work together with the research team at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, looked at whether a modification to a Valsalva Manoeuvre, would benefit patients suffering from supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).

SVT is a condition where the heart suddenly beats much faster than normal.

The results of the study, published in respected medical journal, The Lancet, led to a significant change in practice for managing SVT worldwide and has meant fewer patients have needed drugs to manage this condition.

Other high profile studies that Somerset patients have been involved in include:

  • The HALT-IT, CRASH3 and NOPAC trials, which will help see if the tranexamic acid drug helps in patients bleeding from their bowel, after head injury or during a nose bleed respectively.
  • The Fluids in Shock (FiSh) trial, which aims to investigate whether giving less fluid is more beneficial to children with a severe infection than the amounts of fluid currently recommended in the UK.
  • The commercial REVERSE-AD study, which looked at the effectiveness of the new drug, idarucizumab, in reversing blood thinning in patients who had uncontrolled bleeding or were about to undergo an urgent procedure and were taking the blood thinner dabigatran. By taking part in the trial the hospital was able to rapidly implement the use of the drug as standard practice, giving patients at Musgrove Park quick access to this lifesaving drug.
  • Working with Swansea University in developing the Swansea Blunt Chest Trauma Tool, which will help clinicians to better assess blunt chest wall trauma cases, such as when a person hits a steering wheel or other non-sharp object.
  • A partnership the University of Ghent in Belgium in an international study that investigated healthcare professionals’ (in A&E and ambulance services) perception of appropriateness of CPR (resuscitation) following a cardiac arrest.

Dr James Gagg, the hospital’s clinical lead for emergency medicine and research in A&E said; “The award was testament to the outstanding dedication of staff across Musgrove insupporting research opportunities. We are very proud to be involved in so many clinical trials that will have such huge benefit to patients in Somerset and across the world.”

“The rapid growth of research activity in our A&E would not have been possible without our excellent staff. It also shows that important research is still possible despite ever increasing pressure on urgent and emergency care systems across the country.”

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Left to right: Dr Lindsey Lawson, staff grade practitioner, Paul Aston, healthcare assistant, Jayne Foot, research nurse, Dr James Gagg, clinical lead – emergency medicine, Dr Jason Louis, consultant – emergency medicine.

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