Almost three centuries ago, in May 1747, the Scottish physician James Lind, appointed surgeon of the HMS Salisbury, conducted what some deem to be the first clinical trial in history. After weeks at sea, scurvy began to take toll on the ship's crew - and on May 20th Lind recruited twelve sick sailors to trial a variety of treatments, including vinegar, cider, diluted sulfuric acid and oranges and lemons. His experiment, the first to control variables - e.g. through selecting patients with similar symptoms - revealed the effectiveness of citrus fruits as the remedy.
SInce then, May 20th has been designated as the International Clinical Trials day, and units across the world celebrate it with a variety of public engagement activities. Tamar Cameron, Rebecca Beckley and Annabel Coxon from the Oxford Vacine Group invited the visitors of the Children's Hospitals to take part in clinical trials, and challenged them to a quiz on Inflammatory Bowel Disease and a game of Microbe Mugshots.
Volunteers taking part in clinical trials play a fundamental role in advancing biomedical research. If you would like to get involved in the clinical trials run by Paediatrics, visit our recruiting page.