Surgeon Captain Jason Smith has been confirmed as the Principal Investigator of the Year as part of awards jointly run by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and the National Institute of Health Research.
The work of Jason and his team included: the FALCON study, which evaluated different diagnostic tests for Covid-19; PRIEST, which investigated patients with symptoms of Covid-19 upon presentation at the emergency department; and RELIEF, a randomised trial on the use of lidocaine patches in patients with rib fractures to aid initial pain relief.
Professor Smith impressed the judging committee with his commitment to clinical research in the field of emergency medicine, and with the way in which he ensured that research could continue despite the pressures of the pandemic.
Jason said: “It really is a great honour to receive this award and to see Plymouth recognised in this way. However, I really don’t see it as my award – it is testament to my colleagues and to everyone involved in making it possible. I’m also very grateful to the Research and Development team here, as it wouldn’t have been possible without their support.
He added: “I think our successes here have demonstrated that it is possible to research in an emergency setting. We work in a really challenging environment and everyone is incredibly busy, as we see the sickest of sick patients come through our doors. But offering our patients the opportunity to become involved in research studies is the way we can make things better – it’s all about finding the answers to the important research questions we have.”
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