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Vascular Access in Complicated Paediatric Appendicitis (VACPA)

PROJECT LEAD: George Bethell



Over a third of children with acute appendicitis have complicated disease where prolonged post-operative vascular access is essential for fluids, analgesia, antibiotics and in some, parenteral nutrition. Alternatives to peripheral cannulation include midlines, peripherally inserted central venous catheters (PICC) and central venous catheters (CVC) which can be tunnelled or non-tunnelled.

It is unclear currently how often these devices are used in complicated paediatric appendicitis, when they are inserted and whether they improve outcome. The NHS Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) report specifies auditable criteria against use of various vascular access devices in complicated paediatric appendicitis.

The VACPA study aims to audit current practice against these criteria, describe use of different vascular access devices in paediatric appendicitis and identify children at high risk for requiring central access at appendicectomy.


Prospective, audit over 2 months, in specialist and non-specialist centres treating paediatric appendicitis with targeted recruitment of 280 children.

Start date

Mid 2023

Expression of interest in local data collection -


For more information contact George Bethell


- The study has launched and is collecting data at multiple paediatric and adult centres.

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