'Research in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)' - video transcript

  • YouTube link to video - this video is 271 seconds long
  • Video description - This video explains why research is conducted in the intensive care unit (ICU), and what this might mean for patients and their relatives.

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The following features are present in this video to enhance the visual production. All essential information that is needed to understand the context of this video is available through the video's audio content or the descriptive transcript:

  • Background music
  • Logos
  • Animated video content showing doctors and nurses speaking to patients in hospital, and illustrating research taking place
  • Written extracts from the video's audio

Descriptive transcript

0:04 - Audio

Hello, I'm a Research Nurse. I'm a trained nurse who also helps to run clinical research studies in the Intensive Care Unit. Or "ICU".

Clinical research is how the NHS improves treatments for patients and increases knowledge about health and care.

Over 99% of NHS trusts in England support clinical research. It's an every-day part of what we do.

GPs, hospital doctors, nurses, paramedics, physios… everyone wants to improve the care they provide to patients. Including in the ICU.

Over the last decade clinical research has changed the way we look after patients.

For example, although life support machines are life-saving, we now know that traditional ways of ventilation were damaging the lungs.

As a result of the ARDSnet study we now use less volume and pressure for each breath, to prevent damaging the lungs. Using this way of ventilating people has improved both short-term survival, and long-term quality of life.

We support many different types of studies in the ICU. All have to be approved by an independent Ethics Committee that reviews the risks and benefits to patients.

We’ll only ask patients to join a study if their doctor thinks it’s okay for them to be in it.

1:32 - Onscreen text

[Research nurse, addressing doctor: Do you think this patient is suitable for the study?]

[Doctor: Yes, it would be fine to include them, if they want to.]

1:35 - Audio

Of course, usually a patient needs to agree to take part in a research study. This is called, “giving consent”.

Before asking for this, doctors will take into consideration the patient’s condition and the time-line of the study. If that’s all okay, then a research nurse, or member of the study team, will discuss the research with the patient. Typically, we'll give the patient an information sheet, and answer any questions they may have. 

2:02 - Onscreen text

[Research nurse, addressing patient: Is there anything else you’d like to know?]

2:05 - Audio

A patient can say "yes", or "no". Either way, it won't affect their quality of care.

If they agree, they will be asked to sign a consent form. If they consent, but decide later that they don't want to take part, they can leave the study at any time.

2:22 - Onscreen text

[You can change your mind at any time.]

2:24 - Audio

Asking for consent in an ICU  can be more challenging than in other places. That's because patients can be seriously unwell, and may not be able to speak for themselves.

For example, they could be sedated, or too unwell to understand what’s being asked of them.

With these patients, a research nurse or member of the study team, speak to a family member or close friend.

We’ll give them an information sheet about the study, and ask if they think the patient would like to take part.

If the relative or friend believes the patient would say yes, we’ll ask them to sign a consultation form.

Later on, if the patient is feeling better, a member of the study team will talk to the patient, to see if they want to stay in the study.

3:12 - Onscreen text

[Research nurse, addressing patient: Would you like to stay in the study?]

3:13 - Audio

Some studies have narrow windows of time to include patients. So a doctor might have to talk to family members about the research very soon after the patient’s admission. 

If a relative or friend is unavailable, we’ll ask a doctor - one who’s involved in care, but not the study - to give consent. 

Later on, if the patient is feeling better, a member of the study team will talk to the patient, to see if they want to stay in the study.

3:41 - Onscreen text

[Research nurse, addressing patient: Would you like to stay in the study?]

3:43 - Audio

Whether you’re giving consent for yourself, or for someone else, it’s important to remember that the study will not necessarily lead to a better health outcome for the patient.

But crucially, it will increase our knowledge. Which may improve treatments and care for critically ill patients in the future. 

If you have any questions about research studies, don't hesitate to ask. We’d love to talk to you about what we do!

For more information about clinical research, visit the National Institute for Health Research’s website at www.nihr.ac.uk

4:26 - Closing frame