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Case study: David's story - why taking part in research was a simple decision

For David Robison, taking part in the Val-CARD study at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, was a ‘no-brainer.’

The study is exploring whether the drug sodium valproate can reduce complications affecting the heart and kidneys of patients following heart operations.

Upon being asked to take part, David says it was a simple decision when he weighed up the possible benefits, including reducing the damage caused by a heart lung machine following an operation.

David explains that he was provided with clear information and documents outlining what taking part in the study would entail, and says that one of the main advantages was how easy it was to take part.

“I was given clear instructions, and supported by a research team who had plenty of expertise. They were all very helpful, and prepared to answer any questions,” he adds.

“Although at this stage it is not possible to know the effect, taking part was well worth doing because it could reduce my recovery time after a major operation. To those thinking about taking part in research, I would say ‘do it!’”

The study’s Principal Investigator Marius Roman, Academic Clinical Lecturer in Cardiac Surgery at the University of Leicester, explains that research is conducted to benefit patients.

“We carry out research for patients,” he says. “Many people take part in research to help out other patients in the future, as well as finding ways to help themselves.

“Patients are key to research, and we always want to deliver research that is important for them and keep their needs in mind when trying to design trials.”

Both David and Marius stress the importance of relaying findings back to patients, but also to the wider scientific world so that more people’s treatment can be informed research.