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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Post-joint surgery study wins clinical trial of the year award

Health Industry Hub | May 21, 2024 |

MedTech & Diagnostics: A study in post-joint replacement surgery has clinched this year’s Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA) Trial of the Year Award.

Professor Trisha Peel, Deputy Director of Research in Infectious Diseases at Alfred Health and Monash University led the Australian Surgical Antibiotic Prophylaxis (ASAP) trial, probing whether adding the antibiotic vancomycin to the current recommended antibiotic, cefazolin, would reduce or prevent post operative wound infections for people undergoing joint replacement surgery.

“While not common, post-surgery infection can be devastating and result in extended hospital admissions, further complications and mortality,” remarked Professor Peel.

“We wanted to examine whether the use of additional antibiotics, which is becoming more commonplace, actually helps or hinders the body’s ability to fight infection.”

ACTA Chair, Prof Chris Reid, shared that these awards serve to reinforce and celebrate the impact that innovative clinical trials have on healthcare delivery and patient care.

“Each year the nominations received are a testament to the extraordinary expertise, drive and imagination that exists in Australia for designing and conducting trials that change practice – both here and around the world,” said Professor Reid.

The ASAP study, encompassing over 4200 patients, ultimately concluded that the supplementation of a secondary antibiotic did not confer protection against infection. Rather, it potentially heightened infection rates and triggered more adverse reactions among patients.

“Our trial has answered the important about whether more antibiotics are better for our patients having joint replacement surgery: with the definitive answer a clear no,” asserted Professor Peel. “Given the number of joint replacements performed in Australia and globally, this trial will have a significant impact on practice.”

Professor Peel, said the award, which celebrates outstanding Australian achievements that advance clinical practice and save or improve patient lives, was a sign the trial was on track to guide practice.  

“Being recognised in this way is a nice sign that your trial is being respected by your peers for being impactful and meaningful, and will hopefully improve patient outcomes in years to come,” she concluded.

The awardees were joined by Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care, Professor Steve Wesselingh, CEO NHMRC, and Dr Jean-Frederic Levesque, Chief Executive of the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation and Deputy Secretary, Clinical Innovation and Research of the NSW Ministry of Health.

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