St John of God Subiaco Hospital becomes first facility in WA to participate in new COVID trial

St John of God Subiaco Hospital is the first health care facility in Western Australia to take part in a medical study monitoring the prevalence of COVID-19 in asymptomatic elective surgery patients.

17 Jul 2020

 Prof Corcoran and caregivers in theatre with patient collecting samples

The Asymptomatic SARS-Cov-2 Infection in Elective Surgical Patients in Australia Study is designed to identify active, asymptomatic cases, as well as people who have unknowingly had past infections to learn more about the virus and pinpoint hotspots for community transmission.   

Testing will be conducted throughout Australia during June and July 2020, and is being coordinated by the Australian Government Department of Health with the Australian National University and ANZCA Clinical Trials Network.

St John of God Subiaco Hospital’s involvement is being led by Anaesthetist and Principal Investigator Clinical Prof Tomas Corcoran.

Patients who agree to participate in the study will have a nasal swab and a blood test, taken while under general anaesthetic, to identify active and previous COVID-19 infections respectively.

Test results will be available within 24 hours. In the unlikely event that a patient tests positive, they will be cared for appropriately and provided the necessary treatment, while physical distancing measures will be implemented to prevent further transmission.

St John of God Subiaco Hospital Chief Executive Officer Prof Shirley Bowen said the  involvement in this latest research was a part of the hospital’s sophisticated program of medical research which provides members of the community leading, compassionate care and services.

“As such, we are pleased to be the first Western Australian health care facility participating in this important trial that could act as another line of defence against COVID-19,” she said.

“By participating in the study, we can detect asymptomatic patients who are COVID-19 positive, administer the appropriate care and prevent infections from spreading to the wider community.

“We can also guarantee participating patients that their information and results will be kept confidential at all times and that the test will not increase their surgical risk or result in changes to their treatment.”

Watch the Channel Ten News story to learn more.

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