Five-year-old Olivia Isherwood is helping doctors find the best treatment for children who fall ill with pneumonia.
She became poorly with community-acquired pneumonia just before Christmas.
Symptoms include a temperature, lethargy and a cough which can cause vomiting. Doctors usually prescribe the antibiotic Amoxicillin for the bacterial infection but opinions differ the world over about how much and for how long.
Mum Erica was asked if she would like to enrol Olivia on a research programme, CAP-IT, Ormskirk District General Hospital is taking part in and led by University College London.
“Even though I’m a community children’s nurse, I didn’t know Ormskirk hospital was involved in this kind of national research so, of course, I said yes,” said Erica, who lives in Ormskirk.
“What we were asked to do was very easy to follow and there were things for Olivia too, including a diary she could draw in each day to show how she was feeling.
“I recommend anyone offered the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial to try it. You can change your mind at any time but the care is so fantastic there’s no reason you’d want to.”
The clinical trial is led at Ormskirk hospital by Consultant Paediatrician Dr Sharryn Gardner whose team has recruited 14 children so far to the study – four more than they were asked and with a month to go before the trial ends.
“Children like Olivia are helping us understand how best to treat pneumonia in children and use antibiotics to their best effect,” said Sharryn.
“We’re very proud of the clinical trials we do at Ormskirk and Southport. Evidence shows hospitals that do research have the best outcomes, so it’s important to all our patients not just the children on the study.”
The Trust leads or collaborates in a range of health studies in priority areas identified by the Department of Health.
Jeanette Anders, Research and Innovation Manager, said:
“We are involved in 39 studies to which we’ve recruited 336 participants. This is a great achievement and demonstrates our commitment to offering patients and the public the opportunity to take part in research.”
Pictured, from the left: Emily McDonald, Research Support Assistant; Moira Morrison, research nurse; Olivia Isherwood; Eric Isherwood; Dr Sharryn Gardner; Zena Haslam, research nurse.