Walsall patients who suffer from a condition that causes their blood pressure to drop abnormally low are being sought for a clinical trial that aims to identify the most effective treatment.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust recruited its first patient to the CONFORM-OH trial on 1 March and has since recruited another one. The Trust’s FORCE team (Faculty of Research and Clinical Education) has a target of at least 30 patients to take part.
It is being led by Consultant Cardiologist Dr Rumi Jaumdally and Consultant Physician Dr Upul Fernando, supported by Clinical Research Practitioner Ben Jones, and is being sponsored by Newcastle University. Walsall is one of just four sites across the UK participating.
Dr Jaumdally explained that CONFORM-OH is a study looking at the effectiveness of different treatments for Orthostatic Hypotension (OH).
“Orthostatic Hypotension (also called Postural Hypotension) is a condition where a person’s blood pressure drops abnormally low when they stand up after sitting or lying down,” he said. “This can lead to dizziness, headaches, falls and fainting. As well as the potentially serious impact of having a fall, particularly for elderly people, we know that OH has also been identified as a risk factor in the development of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
“The trial is comparing Conservative treatment Fludrocortisone and Midodrine which are routinely used in the NHS but we do not know which one is the most effective in improving patients’ symptoms. We are grateful to the patients who have stepped up to take part in this important trial so far – their willingness to do so will definitely make a difference to the lives of others.”
Dr Jaumdally said patients need to be aged 18 or over to take part and appealed for all communities to get involved to address current inequalities with patient diversity across the country.
Recruitment will last for another 30 months and there will be one year of follow up which means the trial’s total run will be four years.
Ben is one of the six per cent of the population thought to suffer from OH.
He added: “I am delighted that we are able to offer this study to our patients at Walsall. As someone who suffers with this condition I know first-hand the impact it can have on quality of life so it is vital that we provide evidence for which treatments are most effective at improving its symptoms.”