Red Deer’s hospital intensive care unit is participating in an international clinical trial for the first time ever.
The hospital has 34 patients participating in a study into kidney failure treatment — the highest enrolment for a regional/community hospital in Alberta.
“In Red Deer, we have a very busy ICU. We have a very acute ICU, meaning we have very sick patients here in the central zone, and we keep very sick patients here in the central zone,” said intensive care unit manager Gillian Brown.
She said while the hospital is not a research institution like others in Edmonton and Calgary, it was approached by the University of Alberta, so Red Deer data will be included in the study.
“This is a really big project for us to be a part of and we were really pleased to be a part of it.”
The study investigates whether an early start to dialysis in critically ill patients is the best time to use the therapy.
Dialysis replaces the normal blood-filtering function of the kidneys for patients with renal failure due to acute kidney injury or chronic kidney disease.
Patient recruitment for the study was recently completed and 168 sites across 15 countries — including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, United Kingdom and France — participated and enrolled more than 3,000 patients.
The trial is led by Dr. Sean Bagshaw, chair of the department of critical care medicine at the University of Alberta and scientific director of Alberta Health Service’s critical care strategic clinical network, as well as Ron Wald from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
“There is no question (Red Deer) is an example of how regional centres — not only in Alberta, but also across Canada — can participate in important leading-edge research to improve care for critically ill patients,” Bagshaw said in a statement about the trial.
The Red Deer team is led by Dr. Michael Russell and Brown.
Brown said all the charting at Alberta hospitals is done electronically, which has given officials a look into what Red Deer is doing.
Red Deer has been approached to possibly participate in several other studies.
“They know we have the patients here, and the ability here, to do some of these initiatives,” said Brown.