Heart failure patients to be given placebo in new study

Patients suffering heart failure could be given a placebo in place of an adrenaline shot, as part of a new study to determine the effectiveness of the drug during resuscitation.

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Heart failure placebo study gets ethical approval

Heart failure patients will be unable to give their consent to take part in a trial where they will be given a placebo rather than a standard adrenaline shot.

However, the study has been approved by the Oxford Research Ethics Committee and is funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

The first 8,000 patients to suffer a cardiac arrest out of hospital will form the sample for the trial, which will begin in Wales, the West Midlands, North East, the south coast and London this autumn.

"Adrenaline is an unproven treatment for cardiac arrest, which is why there is a need for this study.

The study is referred to as a 'double blind trial', as neither the patient nor the paramedic, nurse or doctor will know in which treatment group someone was in.

It is not possible to obtain consent in the immediate emergency situation as resuscitation must be started without delay. A member of the research team will seek consent to continue in the study as soon as possible once the initial emergency has passed."

– Warwick Medical School website

Heart failure patients given placebo in new study

Patients suffering heart failure could be given a placebo in place of an adrenaline shot, as part of a new study to determine the effectiveness of the drug during resuscitation.

Paramedics will have to unwittingly administer the salt water dummy drug to unknowing patients in an experiment to be carried out by Warwick University, along with the University of Surrey.

Patients have been routinely given adrenaline since the 1960s Credit: PA

Around 50,000 people in the UK suffer a cardiac arrest, according to the university, and resuscitation attempts are successful in only one in four cases.

Cardiac arrest patients have routinely been given an adrenaline jab since the 1960s, but the team of researchers has said because it reduces blood flow to the brain, it could cause severe brain damage and even death.

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