Critical care wardCritical care involves the care of the sickest patients in the hospital. Critically ill patients have usually been through a significant insult to their body (such as trauma, infection, burn) and have developed organ failure and require life-support. Critical Care is the largest theme bringing together clinicians and scientists from diverse backgrounds and includes collaborative research from hospitals throughout north-west London. Investigations range from evaluating biological mechanisms of organ failure through to the development of innovative technologies which allow the short-term and long-term support and recovery of organs. 

Many people are exposed to the environment of an Intensive care unit (ICU) either personally or through a family member. It is often a life-changing event and our work aims to reduce this impact facilitating post-ICU recovery.

Research themes:


BibTex format

author = {Patel, PB and Brett, SJ and O'Callaghan, D and Anjum, A and Cross, M and Warwick, J and Gordon, AC},
doi = {10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011750},
journal = {BMJ Open},
title = {Protocol for a randomised control trial of methylnaltrexone for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation and gastrointestinal stasis in intensive care patients (MOTION)},
url = {},
volume = {6},
year = {2016}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Introduction: Gastro-intestinal dysmotility and constipation are common problems in intensive care patients. The majority of critical care patients are sedated with opioids to facilitate tolerance of endotracheal tubes and mechanical ventilation, which inhibit gastrointestinal motility and lead to adverse outcomes. Methylnaltrexone is a peripheral opioid antagonist that does not cross the blood-brain barrier and can reverse the peripheral side effects of opioids without affecting the desired central properties. This trial will investigate whether methylnaltrexone can reverse opioid induced constipation and gastro-intestinal dysmotility.Methods: This is a single centre, multi-site, double blind, randomised placebo controlled trial. Eighty-four patients will be recruited from four Intensive Care Units (ICU) within Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Patients will receive intravenous methylnaltrexone or placebo on a daily basis if they are receiving opioid infusion to facilitate mechanical ventilation, and have not opened their bowels for 48 hours. All patients will receive standard laxatives as per the clinical ICU bowel protocol prior to randomisation. The primary outcome of the trial will be time to significant rescue-free laxation following randomisation. Secondary outcomes will include tolerance of enteral feed, gastric residual volumes, incidence of pneumonia, blood stream and Clostridium difficile infection, and any reversal of central opioid effects.Ethics and Dissemination: The trial protocol, the Patient / legal representative Information Sheets and Consent Forms have been reviewed and approved by the Harrow Research Ethics Committee (REC Reference 14/LO/2004). An independent Trial Steering Committee and Data Monitoring Committee are in place, with patient representation. Upon completion, the trial results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and international scientific meetings.
AU - Patel,PB
AU - Brett,SJ
AU - O'Callaghan,D
AU - Anjum,A
AU - Cross,M
AU - Warwick,J
AU - Gordon,AC
DO - 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011750
PY - 2016///
SN - 2044-6055
TI - Protocol for a randomised control trial of methylnaltrexone for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation and gastrointestinal stasis in intensive care patients (MOTION)
T2 - BMJ Open
UR -
UR -
VL - 6
ER -