Queen Alexandra Hospital: youngster "saves mankind" after taking part in Resvir AI respiratory trial

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An 8-year-old boy told his teacher he had "saved mankind" after taking part in a ground breaking research study at a major Hampshire hospital.

Charlie, 8, was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in 2023 after suffering from seizures and a high temperature. Having tested positive for Flu, Charlie's mother, Caroline, was asked if they could use the swab in a new trial called the Resvir study. The study uses artificial intelligence technology to identify respiratory infections in minutes.

Having learned of his participation in the study, Charlie excitedly told the news to his school teachers. He said: "I was poorly and they took a swab. We said they could use it for research. I went back to school and told my teacher that I had saved mankind."

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Caroline was pleased with the treatment her son received and saw no reason not help with the research study. She said: "The teams that looked after him in the Emergency Department were amazing and we have been referred quickly to Neurology so they can keep an eye on him. When we were asked to take part in research I thought that there was no reason not to, if you can help then you should.”

Charlie, 8, and his brother Finlay, 10, visited QA's Research Medical Unit after Charlie took part in an AI respiratory trial.Charlie, 8, and his brother Finlay, 10, visited QA's Research Medical Unit after Charlie took part in an AI respiratory trial.
Charlie, 8, and his brother Finlay, 10, visited QA's Research Medical Unit after Charlie took part in an AI respiratory trial. | Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust

More than 850 people were swabbed in the first phase of the trial, with the second phase set to launch later this year. Charlie and his brother Finley, 10, paid a visit to the Research Medical Unit at QA to learn more about research in the NHS. The brothers tried out virtual reality headsets, learnt how to use pipettes in the lab and looked at slides through microscopes.

Specialist Research Nurse Nicole Sproul said: “It was a pleasure to have Charlie and Finley visit us to find out more about what happens to swabs like Charlie’s as part of the Resvir study and meet some of the people at PHU who work within research. It is really special to be part of inspiring the next generation of researchers, nurses, scientists, surgeons or doctors.”

The research team are still looking for 150 swabs from people with cold or flu like symptoms to take part in the study. Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust say you can still take part. If you are visiting for an appointment or are an inpatient, a member of the team can visit you. Please ask the healthcare professional you are visiting that you would like to take part in the ResVir study. All other participants will be asked to visit our Portsmouth Research Hub, based at the John Pounds Centre in Portsea.

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