CAMELOT - Continuous rectus sheath Analgesia in eMErgency LaparOTomy

In the UK around 30,000 patients a year undergo an operation called an emergency laparotomy to treat life-threatening conditions. A large vertical cut is made in the abdomen when patients are asleep under general anaesthesia. Good pain relief after surgery will help patients feel better and recover quicker. Rectus sheath catheters (RSCs) are a new way of providing pain relief, where two thin tubes (catheters) are inserted on either side of the wound during the operation. Local anaesthetic is injected slowly into the catheters to numb the nerves and reduce pain for about three days. CAMELOT study will find out whether adding RSCs to standard morphine patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) provides better pain relief, fewer side effects and complications, and greater satisfaction for patients undergoing emergency laparotomy. It will also determine whether they are safe and cost-effective. We will assess the effectiveness of pain using the Overall Benefit of Analgesia Score (OBAS) which will include pain scores, side effects and patient satisfaction. We will also compare the speed of patients’ recovery from surgery and look for relevant complications such as breathing problems. We will check for long-term pain six months after surgery, measure NHS costs and impact on patients’ return to activities.

CAMELOT is funded by NIHR-HTA.

  • Chief Investigators: Dr Mark Edwards, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust & Dr Ronelle Mouton, North Bristol NHS Trust
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