Lorraine Walters was one of more than 4,000 people who took part in NHS research last year in Buckinghamshire. Now, she is calling for others to get involved too.
Lorraine was diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy. This is where the fertilised egg does not attach to the womb. Instead, the fertilised egg implants itself outside of the womb, usually in one of the fallopian tubes. Sadly, there is no chance of the pregnancy surviving. It can be life threatening if untreated.
It is usually treated with a single dose of a drug called methotrexate. But this only works if it is detected early. Also, this does not always terminate the pregnancy. If this is the case, another dose or surgery may be needed.
Lorraine was offered to take part in a study at Stoke-Mandeville Hospital. In this study, a lung cancer drug (gefitinib) is given with the treatment usually used. The hope is that together, the drugs can stop an ectopic pregnancy developing. This would get rid of the need for surgery or further medication.
Lorraine’s pregnancy ended two weeks after taking part in the trial. She didn’t need any surgery or further drug treatments.
The mother-of-two, 34, said:
The research midwives approached me and told me I could either take part in a new drug trial or have surgery. The new drug sounded like it would get everything over with quicker in the least invasive way possible. So, I thought it was a great idea.
Lorraine is urging others to consider taking part in NHS research trials by talking to their doctor or seeking out studies online.
I’m quite a helper. If something good can come out of something bad and help more people, it’s a great thing to do.
5 good reasons to take part in NHS research:
- Your wellbeing: learn more about your condition and feel more in control of your care.
- Your care: you may be monitored more and receive more tests and check-ups.
- Help others: your participation could improve and save the lives of others.
- Your health: you may benefit from a new test or treatment.
- Helping your NHS: new discoveries make the NHS stronger and more efficient.
Speak to your doctor about research. Or visit the NHIR website to search for studies.
A total 4,024 participants took part in 79 studies. These studies were supported by the NIHR at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. Also, a further 20 studies involved 311 people in county GP practices.
The Department of Health and Social Care funds the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to provide staff and resources to get trials up and running in the NHS.