Researchers at Skåne University Hospital seek knowledge on Covid-19

In parallel with caring for patients with Covid-19, several research studies about the coronavirus disease and its consequences are underway at Skåne University Hospital. The Covid-19 research has been given top priority at the hospital.

The Covid-19 research projects at Skåne University Hospital are conducted in collaboration with Lund University, Region Skåne and other national and international participants. The research includes, for example, a study that investigates how the new coronavirus is spread in the hospital environment including patient wards. There are also studies underway about immunity, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of Covid-19 patients, as well as a study that examines the pandemic as such, including its consequences on the individual and society.

“In some of the studies we will get results within a few weeks or months. Others will last for years or even decades”, says Ingemar Petersson, Head of Research at Skåne University Hospital and Professor at Lund University.

Some results to be expected in the near future

Results are expected in the near future from research on the anti-viral drug Remdesivir and its treatment effects on patients with Covid-19. This study is in its final phase.

Another study, recently started, is investigating the effect of treating Covid-19 patients with human plasma from people who recovered from the new coronavirus.

“Doing research is usually a slow process. But the development of Covid-19 has been so fast and many authorities, such as the Swedish Ethical Review Authority and the Swedish Medical Products Agency, have been instrumental in speeding up decisions so that research projects can get started quickly”, says Magnus Rasmussen, Specialist in infectious diseases at Skåne University Hospital and Professor at Lund University.

Other research projects are rebooted

Research on Covid-19 has been given top priority at Skåne University Hospital. This means that other research projects have been paused for a number of weeks.

“However, now we have the possibility to gradually reboot other research projects. This is partly because we at present have employed more than 200 medical students on a part-time basis. The medical student can help both in healthcare and in research projects. It is also thanks to the fact that we now have enough personal protective equipment to conduct other research projects besides those on Covid-19”, Ingemar Petersson says.

Prioritising the research of Covid-19 has been an easy choice.

“It is important that Skåne University Hospital in collaboration with Lund University, conduct research on the new coronavirus because it is a disease of a different kind than anything we have seen before. Together with researchers all over the world, we must quickly gather knowledge about Covid-19 enabling as many people as possible to being correctly diagnosed, and get treatment and rehabilitation”, Ingemar Petersson concludes.