The REMAP-CAP study led by Imperial College London has been named joint Critical Care Team of the Year at the BMJ Awards 2021.
The Critical Care Team of the Year Award recognises teams who have used innovative approaches to deliver safe patient-centred care to critically ill patients. Due to the high standard of finalists this year, two teams were jointly recognised: Imperial College London for REMAP-CAP and NHS England South West for Retrieve Adult Critical Care Transfer Service.
The winners of the 13th Annual British Medical Journal (BMJ) Awards were announced at a virtual ceremony on 29 September. Dr Phil Hammond, co-host of the awards ceremony, said: “The judges were unable to choose between these two outstanding initiatives. Both teams showed what could be done in a national emergency when expertise and resources are combined with enormous dedication and shared purpose.”
Internationally important trial
REMAP-CAP is an international, adaptive platform trial led by Imperial and the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre (ICNARC) in the UK, and University Medical Center Utrecht in Europe.
The trial has evaluated over 16 different treatments and has delivered some of the most important treatments for COVID-19. In January 2021, the trial showed the effectiveness of the interleukin-6 inhibitors tocilizumab and sarilumab for treating patients with severe COVID-19.
The speed at which the trial was scaled up as the pandemic started was only possible through their skill and commitment Professor Anthony Gordon UK Chief Investigator for REMAP-CAP
To date, more than 5,000 patients have been recruited into the trial from over 143 Intensive Care Units across the UK.
Professor Anthony Gordon, UK Chief Investigator for REMAP-CAP and Professor of Anaesthesia and Critical Care at Imperial, said: “I am delighted that the amazing work carried out by the critical care research team at Imperial, along with colleagues at ICNARC has been recognised through this national award.
"The speed at which the trial was scaled up as the pandemic started was only possible through their skill and commitment. It also recognises the dedication of the clinical teams at 143 ICUs throughout the UK who took part in the trial, in the most challenging of times. Together, we have improved the care of patients with this devastating disease around the world.”
The trial was planned before the pandemic
The REMAP-CAP study was originally designed for community-acquired pneumonia, and with ethics and regulatory approval already in place the investigators were able to move swiftly. The first patient was recruited on 9 March 2020, two days before the pandemic was officially declared by the World Health Organization.
“We knew from previous experience how difficult it is to set up a trial in the middle of a pandemic but how important it is to generate evidence quickly,” says Professor Gordon.
The day after the interleukin-6 inhibitor result was announced, NHS guidelines were issued advising the drugs should be considered for all critically ill patients with COVID-19. “Just over 10,000 patients have now been treated with these drugs in the UK, equivalent to 850 lives saved,” says Gordon. The trial was carefully designed to be embedded in clinical practice, making it straightforward for clinicians to take part. “They have embraced the trial as they wanted to get rapid answers."
The study is supported in the UK by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and Imperial College London & ICNARC are partners in the EU funded PREPARE consortium.
Read about all the 2021 winners on The BMJ Awards Showcase page.
Article text (excluding photos or graphics) © Imperial College London.
Photos and graphics subject to third party copyright used with permission or © Imperial College London.
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