1 Aug 2012

Coroner calls for changes to medical trials

1:16 pm on 1 August 2012

A coroner has recommended changes in the way clinical trials are conducted, following the death of a Christchurch man.

The man was hit by a car while riding his scooter home from work in December 2009.

At the time, he was participating in a trial for a new anti-coagulant drug similar to Warfarin.

When he was taken to the emergency department, doctors were unable to check whether he was on Warfarin or the trial drug, even though he was wearing a bracelet advising he was testing a new drug.

This lead to a course of treatment which did not work, and he died from a heart attack due to loss of blood.

Coroner Sue Johnson recommends the records of all patients in clinical trials be updated on hospital computer systems, with information on treatment in an emergency.

She says it is not enough to have a medical bracelet, and the fact that doctors did not know he was on the new drug contributed to his death.