The NIHR GSU is responsible for conducting research, delivering training and trying to improve surgical outcomes in low- to middle-income countries. It works with countries such as Benin, Ghana, India, Mexico, Nigeria and Rwanda by following a hub and spoke model. This model means that, by collaborating with governments or university hospitals in each of these countries, the GSU can connect with smaller, local hospitals.
Surgical site infections develop when microbes colonise a surgical wound. These microbes could be from the environment or another part of the body, such as when microbes leak from the gut if it is punctured. They are one of the most important causes of healthcare-associated infections and can have a significant impact on the lives of people in low- to middle-income countries, where social security networks may not exist. Someone with an infection may not have easy access to a hospital, might not be able to spend an extended period not working or may not have funds to cover treatment.
Researchers at the GSU wanted to find out how impactful SSIs were for people living in low-to-middle-income countries. The SPECIES study, which is about measuring the effect of SSIs on the quality of life among patients in these countries, means they will be able to gather data about the knock-on effects of SSIs for families, communities and patients themselves.
Michael Bahrami-Hessari is leading the project and said:
“So far, all the data that we’ve collected from patients has been clinical as our trials have never collected quality of life data and patient reported outcomes. With SPECIES we want to find out how SSIs impact people’s mental health, their ability to work and what social and financial effects these infections have.”
Watch the session
This talk was part of our regular researcher coffee mornings, where members of the public can hear about local research projects and give researchers feedback on their work. Coffee mornings are informal and designed to give researchers and public contributors a chance to interact. Public contributors are encouraged to ask questions, learn about, and get involved in projects in their area.
Coffee mornings will usually take place on Thursdays between 10-11am.