£10,000 grant will help burns patients

A study which is working to improve the use of antibiotics for burns patients has been given a lift thanks to a £10,000 grant.

The project led by Simon Booth, Burns Researcher at Queen Victoria Hospital, was awarded the highest grant given by the Hospital Saturday Fund.

The research, a collaboration between Queen Victoria Hospital and the University of Brighton, is focusing on identifying the right dose of antibiotic for each individual patient to make sure it reaches the infected wound. The study, approved by the National Research Ethics Service, involves taking blood and wound fluid samples to see whether there are sufficient concentrations of antibiotics in the wound and if the bacteria in the wound have resistance to the antibiotics.

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Over 140,000 people in England and Wales suffer burn injuries every year, with about 50,000 requiring treatment at specialised burn centres, approximately 13,000 of whom are admitted to hospital. A major problem in the care of these patients is infection, which is a particular risk to patients with burn injuries. An estimated 18 per cent of burn patients acquire infection-related complications – a major cause of morbidity, mortality and increased cost of care.

Simon Booth, Burns Researcher at the Queen Victoria Hospital, explains the project: “Burn wound infections are very common and yet people who are given antibiotics do not always improve, even when we know the bacteria should be killed by the antibiotics. This is particularly concerning with the rise of antimicrobial resistant infections. I am very grateful to the Hospital Saturday Fund for seeing the value of this research. It will give clinicians vital information about antibiotic prescribing and help in the fight to reduce antimicrobial resistance.”

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