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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


We are looking for an interested trainee from a small number of centres who have not yet signed up. These are: Cardiff, Hull, Newcastle, and Sheffield. If you are at one of these centres and would be available to help with data collection please let George Bethell know by emailing

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! 


- There are currently over 150 children included in the VACPA study! If everyone involved could please ensure data with follow-up is uploaded onto the REDCap data set we would be very grateful! 

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