Tuesday, 7 December 2021

UK experts join Indian medics to counter surgical infection threat

BIRMINGHAM: Experts from the University of Birmingham have tied up with medical professionals in India to set up an innovative research centre that will help improve care for surgical patients. A team from the university’s joint research team, involving the UK’s National Institute for Health Research Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery (NIHR), travelled to Punjab recently to launch the first-ever surgical research hub in India at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMC) in Ludhiana and deliver a training workshop.

“Each year, 4.2 million people die within 30 days of an operation, half of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries such as India. Surgical Site Infection (SSI) is the most common surgical complication and this workshop represents an important step forward in reducing SSI in India and other countries,” said NIHR’s Clinical Research Fellow Dr Dmitri Nepogodiev. “SSI can have a catastrophic impact on patients in India, driving many people into poverty as they struggle to work and pay healthcare bills. Reducing SSI has huge benefits as patients suffer less and save money, whilst being able to return to work or school faster,” he said.

As part of the global initiative, patients would also need fewer and shorter courses of antibiotics, helping to reduce global antimicrobial resistance as well as for hospitals reducing costs by discharging patients earlier and preventing re-admissions. Dr Nepogodiev co-led the programme with Programme Manager Dr Sohini Chakrabortee, along with surgeons from India – Dr Dhruv Ghosh (CMC Ludhiana) and Dr Rohin Mittal (CMC Vellore). Hub Lead Dr Ghosh added: “There is a critical need to improve surgical infrastructure across India and beyond in order to improve patient care and reduce the devastating impact of a lack of surgical care.

“We are delighted to link with our partners at the University of Birmingham in this latest stage of a global health research initiative that has the potential to save many thousands of lives in India.” Among the first studies to be launched by the joint India-UK team is a surgical trial to look at interventions to reduce the impact of post-surgical infection. The team will also evaluate access to healthcare for patients requiring surgery.

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