The Clinical Platform comprises 2 services: the Centro de Investigación Clínica en el Anciano (CICA [Center for Clinical Research in the Elderly Patient]) and the Laboratorio de Evaluación Multifuncional del Anciano (LEMA [Laboratory for Multifunctional Evaluation of the Elderly Patient])
Centro de Investigación Clínica en el Anciano (CICA)
The Centro de Investigación Clínica en el Anciano (CICA) was set up with the following objectives:
- To promote and channel research on the use of medication in elderly patients.
- To promote interaction between the pharmaceutical industry and the services of Hospital de Getafe (First Phase) and other hospitals (Second Phase) for better performance of clinical trials and other studies on the use of medication in elderly patients.
- To generate in-house research projects on therapy for elderly patients, taking into account their specific needs and characteristics.
- To make CICA a National and European reference center for clinical trials involving elderly persons.
The Trials Unit is located on the 4th floor of Hospital Universitario de Getafe, beside the geriatrics ward, and has full access to the infrastructure already available at the hospital. It comprises 3 standard rooms, 1 with 2 beds and another with 2 reclining armchairs. The rooms have a bathroom with shower.
One of the rooms has a separate area for handling biological samples, with a refrigerated centrifuge, fridge, freezer (–20C), and a security cupboard for storing documentation from ongoing trials, medication, and any necessary disposable material. It also has a consultation area and office where outpatients are seen. A clinical pharmacologist in the Geriatrics Department is responsible for tasks associated with pharmacovigilance.
The research unit has all the necessary material for storage of samples at the appropriate temperature until they are shipped or used.
The Pharmacy Department is responsible for the management of research medication following standard procedures.
The staff of the unit comprises a manager (Head of Geriatrics, HUG), a clinical pharmacologist who coordinates the activities of the unit, a geriatrician, and a nurse. Physicians from the Geriatrics Department also participate in tasks associated with clinical trials (eg, recruitment and visits).
Laboratorio de Evaluación Multifuncional del Anciano (LEMA)
The main objectives of the Laboratorio de Evaluación Multifuncional del Anciano (LEMA) are to detect, diagnose, and treat elderly patients at high risk of hip fracture and other consequences of falls, as well as to carry out associated research.
This laboratory works in close collaboration with the Unidad de Caídas y Ortogeriatría (Falls and Orthogeriatrics Unit) in order to improve the diagnosis of potential disorders of gait and movement. These disorders often lead to falls and fractures, which in turn lead to multiple complications.
The LEMA is equipped with the latest diagnostic technology, as follows: an elastography device for measuring muscle quality; an ultrasound machine, for studying the vascular system; an impedance monitor for measuring the redistribution of lean and fat mass; a posture monitoring device, for evaluating various aspects of the patient’s posture and balance; a Doppler ultrasound device, for measuring vascular function; an EndoPAT device for studying endothelial function; a system for recording pulse wave velocity and arterial stiffness; and a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scanner for assessing body composition.
The LEMA is also equipped with a novel device, GAITRite, which comprises an electronic walkway that measures all gait-related spatial-temporal parameters (eg, way in which the patient walks, number of steps, time, type of footstep, stability, and balance). This technology enables the Geriatrics Department to detect problems associated with gait and movement and thus offer personalized rehabilitation.
GAITRite makes it possible to evaluate the various functional problems faced by the elderly person, thus ensuring an early diagnosis and more personalized and specific treatment involving physical exercise, especially anaerobic exercise. The project falls within one of the research lines of the Geriatrics Department, which leads the thematic research network Reticef (Red Temática de Investigación Cooperativa en Envejecimiento y Fragilidad [Thematic Joint Research Network on Aging and Frailty]). The network aims to determine the mechanisms underlying aging and frailty.