The DREAMS trial’s findings – that the steroid Dexamethasone reduces nausea and vomiting after surgery – were taken up into national and international guidelines.
One of the biggest problems for patients recovering from bowel surgery is postoperative nausea and vomiting. The DREAMS trial aimed to address this problem through routine use of dexamethasone, a common steroid, given before surgery.
The initial results of the trial showed dexamethasone use led to a significant decrease in nausea and vomiting during recovery. Additional benefits included an accelerated return to normal diet and a decrease in the need for additional anti-emetic drugs following surgery. Furthermore, these beneficial results were found to be long-lasting.
Professor Dion Morton, Professor of Surgery at Birmingham University who was part of
the DREAMS collaborative group, commented:
“We are extremely grateful for this funding that enabled this work to get off the ground. This support has enabled us to make a big step forward in improving care for patients who need bowel surgery, which wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. The changes to routine clinical practice resulting from this study are being adopted nationally and have already been taken up into
international guidance, enabling more patients to recover in comfort and get home more quickly”.
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