The ‘myth’ of the clinical trial guinea pig
A common perception of clinical trials is that they are risky – and that those who take part are little more than “Guinea pigs”. In this week’s Scrubbing Up, Dr Jonathan Sheffield, chief executive of the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network says we need to rethink our ideas about clinical trials. In a national poll in 2012, 82% of the public thought it was important for the NHS to offer opportunities to take part in clinical research, and fewer than 7% said they would never take part. The first thing to remember is that clinical research is part of what the NHS is all about. Doctors use clinical research studies to compare current treatments with potentially better ones, so that we can keep improving the care we offer NHS patients. Without the evidence that clinical research provides, medicine would never progress. A lot of clinical trials involve using existing medicines in new ways, or in new combinations, to see if we can make them more effective. The point is, there are many different types of clinical study, covering all aspects of medicine, so the scope of research in the NHS goes way beyond most people’s perception. So how risky is it to take part in a clinical trial? All clinical research studies have to go through very strict ethical and regulatory checks before they get anywhere near a patient, and the UK has one of the best records world-wide for patient safety. In the NHS, patients volunteer to take part in clinical research, and they do so for a whole number of reasons. Sometimes it is because a clinical trial can offer a new treatment option. The key point is that there are strict rules about gaining the consent of patients and carers before they take part in a clinical research study – and these rules are taken very seriously indeed. Last year, more than half a million NHS patients chose to take part in nearly 3,000 clinical research studies. Through clinical research, we can keep making patients, and the NHS, better.
Top 10 Reasons Why Guinea Pigs Are Good for the Soul
Cuddling Your Guinea Pig Improves Your Health Cuddling your guinea pig can lower your blood pressure, lessen the amount of the stress hormones in your body, elevate the amount of mood-elevating hormones, improve your cardiovascular health, and lessen feelings of fear and anxiety. Your Guinea Pig Won’t Judge You Let’s face it – life can be tough. Guinea Pigs Ward off Boredom It happens to everyone at some point in time. Guinea Pigs Remind You That There is Power in Simplicity Life seems more complicated now than ever before in history. Guinea pigs remind us that a simple life can be a happy life. Guinea Pigs Bring Out the Best in You The responsibility, commitment, selflessness, and patience that come with caring for a guinea pig makes us stronger and better people. If you see a hurt or abused guinea pig, wouldn’t your heart melt? Wouldn’t you reach deep down inside, reach out, and help another living being? Caring for another life makes us better people, inside and out. Guinea Pigs Can Improve Your Social Life When you have a guinea pig, you can connect with other guinea pig owners and form new friendships. Guinea Pigs Remind You That Life has a Deadline Guinea pigs only live for 5-7 years, on average. Guinea pigs are a reminder that today should matter because tomorrow is not guaranteed. Guinea Pigs Can Make You A Youtube Star The popularity of YouTube Videos has dramatically increased in the past few years. There are people who have made funny videos with their guinea pigs and gotten over 3 million views. Guinea Pigs Bring Beauty Into Your Life It is a strange person who doesn’t look at a guinea pig and think “HOW CUTE!”. Beauty is a treasure that everyone should add to their life, and guinea pigs bring beauty into our lives. Guinea Pigs Make Easy Conversation Partners Who doesn’t love the wheeks and purrs and rumbles of a guinea pig? Well, maybe at 2 am it’s not so great, but guinea pigs do make great conversation partners.
Guinea pigs can give their owners deadly pneumonia
Guinea pigs are making people ill, a new report states. Most guinea pigs likely harbour the bacteria responsible for the inflammatory lung condition, which is detectable by the animals developing pink eye. Dr Steven Gordon, chair of infectious disease at the Cleveland Clinic, who was not involved in the study, said: ‘We love our pets, but we’ve got to be smart about pets and hygiene. ‘We should be washing our hands after pet contact, and certain high-risk people – like those with compromised immune systems – should avoid contact with pets. STEROIDS IN INHALERS PUT ASTHMATICS AT RISK OF PNEUMONIA Asthma sufferers may be at risk of pneumonia if they use an inhaler, research revealed in April. Researchers from Bernhoven Hospital found three cases of guinea pig-related pneumonia have occurred in the Netherlands over approximately three years. They both had guinea pigs as pets who had recently shown respiratory symptoms. The man had two guinea pigs, while one of the female patients had 25. The other woman worked in a vet clinic where she cared for guinea pigs suffering from pink eye and nasal inflammation. In one of the individuals, this bacteria could be traced back to their specific guinea pig. Lead author Dr Bart Ramakers said: ‘Doctors and veterinarians should be aware of the bacterium, especially now that we have demonstrated that it can be transmitted from guinea pigs to humans. Dr Gordon said: ‘Many guinea pig owners are exposed to this pathogen, but few are going to develop symptoms to the point of needing hospitalization. He recommends people seek treatment for their guinea pig if the animal appears ill, particularly if it shows signs of pink eye or respiratory illness. Dr Gordon added: ‘We love our pets, but we’ve got to be smart about pets and pet hygiene. ‘We should be washing our hands after pet contact, and certain high-risk people -like those with compromised immune systems – should avoid contact with pets.