FALCON is the first international surgical randomised controlled trial launched by the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery.
Long standing supports of GlobalSurg will remember the GlobalSurg 2 study published in 2018 in Lancet Infectious Diseases. This study, which collected data on patients undergoing abdominal surgery all around the world, demonstrated that patients in LMIC were more likely to suffer from a surgical site infection following an operation. These results informed the designed of the FALCON trial which is now testing whether different types of skin preparation before an operation, or different types of stitching material to close the surgical wound, can reduce surgical site infections in patients specifically in LMIC.
Since GlobalSurg 2 was published, the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery has been establishing surgical research hubs in partner LMIC. These research hubs will recruit patients into surgical randomised controlled trials testing interventions to improve outcomes for patients. After an intense period of set up, research hubs are now established in Mexico, South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda, Nigeria, and India and hospitals in these countries are recruiting patients into the FALCON trial.
This week the team in India (pictured below) recruited their first patients (at 2am!) into the trial, helping FALCON reach 100 patients randomised.
FALCON is now actively recruiting patients across 3 continents (South America, Africa and Asia) and is the first surgical trial to do so – congratulations to the team at Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit and all those in our partner hubs for this amazing achievement!
Over the coming months our hubs will begin to open recruitment at other hospitals within their countries. These ‘spoke’ hospitals, often in more remote rural areas of LMIC, represent a population not often given the opportunity to take part in research and will help FALCON reach the recruitment target of 5480 patients.
Full details of the FALCON trial can be read here and more information about the work of the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery can be found here.