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Clinical trial

The Amputation Surgical Site Infection Trial (ASSIT)

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Last updated:5th Dec 2013
Lower limb amputations are performed usually as a last resort in patients with acute and chronic limb ischaemia (CLI) caused by vascular disease, poorly controlled diabetes or, infection. In the period 2003-2008 there were approximately 5,000 amputations per year in the UK. The Centre for Disease Control defines a Surgical Site Infection (SSI) as an infection within 30 days of an operation or up to one year if an implant is left in place and the infection is related to an operative procedure. Figures from the Surgical Site Infection Surveillance reported that the highest rate of surgical site infection was reported in association with lower limb amputation at 13.1%. There is a clear under-representation and the infection rate within our institution is approximately 25% which reflects the infection rate reported in a recent trial by Sadat et al (22.5%) Prevention of surgical site infections is of paramount importance to patients, healthcare providers and policy-makers, as they impact on morbidity and mortality and have significant time and cost implications. Currently there is NO CONSENSUS as to what the best practice is towards antibiotic administration in such patients. From a questionnaire-based audit we performed including vascular departments across the entire country, practice varies in both course duration (single dose ? 5 days antibiotic course) as well as choice of antibiotics. The guideline at our institution suggests the 5-day course of antibiotic prophylaxis. The course duration varies depending on the clinical picture as well as microbiology results and recommendations. There are no randomised control trials that have investigated this aspect of patient care. We have set up one such trial and through it, we are looking to establish a standard practice which will hopefully be as beneficial as possible to the patient but also cost-effective for NHS.
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Study start date 2013-12-05

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