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Image relating to UHCW Enrols 30 staff members in COPCOV Study of Hydroxychloroquine prevention of COVID-19 within first month

UHCW Enrols 30 staff members in COPCOV Study of Hydroxychloroquine prevention of COVID-19 within first month

University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust have today announced that 30 members of staff have volunteered to take part in the world’s only trial on preventative medicine that is not a vaccine being scientifically researched as a way of protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 infection.

The COPCOV study is investigating whether a daily dose of hydroxychloroquine, a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug currently used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, can help to prevent the virus as part of the largest interventional COVID-19 trial in the world, involving up to 40,000 frontline healthcare workers.

UHCW is the only Trust in the Midlands currently offering this pioneering study and opened recruitment to COPCOV on August 10th; joining other UK sites in Brighton and Sussex Hospitals, Oxford University Hospitals and Imperial College Healthcare as the study moves towards national roll-out.

Consultant Microbiologist Dr Steve Laird, research lead on the study at UHCW, believes the research could potentially change the way COVID-19 is managed globally.

He said: “The Trust would like to thank the staff who have already signed up to support this research. The UK trial has so far recruited 106 participants and it’s amazing to see a large amount of these are local healthcare staff, including from UHCW. This is another example how our employees are going above and beyond every day to support and protect our patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 infections are on the increase in the UK and if this study is successful it has the potential to add vital evidence based medicinal routes to the nation’s COVID-19 strategy.

“We are really proud of the work we have done in order for UHCW to be selected as a pioneer in the UK for this study. It’s great to be able to offer the opportunity for our staff to take part in national and international studies and really helps to put Coventry on the map as a leader in ground-breaking healthcare research.”

Hydroxychloroquine has been used for over 50 years to prevent and treat malaria and to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It has an excellent safety profile, making it potentially suitable for mass use.

Trial participant David who, has worked at UHCW for almost 20 years, was one of the first people to volunteer to take part in COPCOV at UHCW. He explained why he took part in the study and explained why healthcare workers may want to take part in the trial: “I am taking part I want to believe that do my bit to help researchers find out if there is a benefit in using hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19 infection.”

“I know hydroxychloroquine had been tested for use in preventing malaria so was happy that it is safe to use. I’ve been in the study for 30 days now with no ill effects and it’s been nice and simple, taking one tablet a day and taking my temperature twice a day.

“To any healthcare worker who is interested in taking part in the trial then I’d say give it a try, it’s a simple process and it may just contribute to saving many lives in the long run.”

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