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Trust pharmacist wins funding award for research at Harefield

22 November 2016


Haifa Lyster, consultant pharmacist in transplantation and ventricular assist devices, has won a personal research award from Pharmacy Research UK. 

Haifa Lyster
Haifa Lyster

Haifa’s research will focus on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a type of advanced life support where blood is drawn from the veins and oxygenated outside of the body. Haifa will look at how ECMO can alter the way the body handles medicines and aims to provide guidance to improve treatment and outcomes. 

The study, which will form part of Haifa’s PhD at the University of Portsmouth, will investigate whether adult patients with ECMO have altered pharmacokinetic profiles to commonly used anti-infectives, and will look at three antifungal drugs - caspofungin, posaconazole and voriconazole. 

Antibacterial and antifungal medicines are often used in patients who are receiving ECMO support in the intensive care unit, and changes in these may lead to side-effects or a failure to treat the infection. 

It is hoped that the findings will help improve ECMO safety and could act as a blueprint for the design of future studies for other drugs. The research could also help establish the correct doses of anti-microbial drugs for these patients - a significant benefit to patients and a major advance in combatting drug-resistant infections.

Haifa joined Harefield in 1998 and works closely with the transplant team. She said: “I’m delighted to have been chosen for this award and am looking forward to this exciting project. This research will help us understand more about how effective these drugs are in treating ECMO patients, and could well result in direct benefits for patient care.”

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