Skin infections are common in the Emergency Department. Currently, such infections are treated by admitting the patient to hospital for 24 hours and giving them four injections of an antibiotic called flucloxacillin. However, an alternative way to administer antibiotics is to attach a device to the patient’s arm which infuses the flucloxacillin over a 24 hour period. We anticipate that this device will reduce the time that nurses spend giving injections and also reduce the cost to the hospital associated with giving patients multiple injections.
The overall aim of this study is to trial the antibiotic device to determine whether it saves nursing time and health care costs without reducing the quality of care provided to patients. To achieve this aim, we will conduct a randomized controlled trial where half of the patients who present to our department with skin infections will be given a continuous infusion of antibiotics while the other half will be given the traditional treatment. We will then compare the time taken to administer the antibiotic in the two groups and consider the costs associated with each type of treatment. It is anticipated that the study will change the way that skin infections are treated in the Emergency Department and will result in considerable cost savings for the hospital.