Vinodh Krishnamurthy is a physician associate and joined the Royal Free London in 2014. He works at Barnet Hospital as a research practitioner within research and development.
“Pre-COVID, I was managing cardiology and stroke clinical trials at Barnet Hospital. I was supporting doctors with recruiting patients to clinical trials, giving research patients new treatment and following up with these patients, collecting data regarding any disease progression and any side effects from the new treatment.
“When the pandemic started, all ongoing research activities were stopped, and the research team were deployed to support the urgent public health priority studies with a focus on finding either effective treatments or vaccines for COVID. Having trained in microbiology, initially I was very excited to be supporting any COVID related research, but at the same time, I was also feeling anxious because I was approaching unwell patients on the wards and in ICU. I was concerned for the safety of myself and my colleagues due to the potential of being exposed to COVID. It was also a steep learning curve for all of us, we were working with teams in ICU and on the wards we weren’t familiar with. However, this soon changed, the teams were amazing and very supportive of clinical research which made our job a lot easier.
“The best part of working in clinical research during COVID has been meeting the patients who participated in trials. In my opinion, they are the bravest and most generous people I have come across and it has been a great privilege to have been given this opportunity to look after them. It was also incredible to see the speed we were able to get results from some of these trials. We are now using dexamethasone to treat patients admitted with COVID pneumonia. Dexamethasone was one of the trial medications in the RECOVERY Trial which we offered to our research patients during the first wave.”
“This pandemic has shown us new ways of how our nursing, clinical, pharmacy and research teams can adapt and work together to help deliver patient care and I hope this will continue.”