Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
Patients having surgery are at high risk of complications, some of which can be life threatening. Identifying complications early makes them easier to treat and improves the outcome for the patient. One of the ways patients are monitored for complications is by charting their vital signs: blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate and temperature. The nurse looking after the patient will usually check these signs every four hours in the days after surgery. They are used to form the National Early Warning Score (NEWS), which can alert if the patient becomes unwell. One of the problems with NEWS is that patients can deteriorate in the interval between monitoring, which can delay vital treatment. This study is looking at a monitoring system that measures heart rate, breathing rate and temperature continuously. It is a wearable, wireless patch that is applied to the patient's chest and alerts the nurse if the patient's vital signs become abnormal. This could help detect unwell patients earlier than NEWS monitoring. The aim of this study is to find out whether this monitoring system is a feasible and effective way of monitoring surgical patients and if using it can improve patient outcomes.
Who can participate?
Adult patients admitted to participating surgical wards.
What does the study involve?
Participants are randomly allocated to one of two groups. Those in the first group receive the continuous monitoring alongside standard NEWS monitoring. Those in the second group receive standard NEWS monitoring alone. Patients are followed up during their hospital stay to see if any complications occur and how quickly they are detected until they are discharged from hospital.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
The potential benefit of receiving a monitoring patch is closer monitoring during the patient's hospital stay. Any risks are likely to be small, but will be monitored throughout the study.
Where is the study run from?
St James's University Hospital (UK)
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
September 2015 to July 2017
Who is funding the study?
Health Foundation (UK)
Who is the main contact?
Miss Candice Downey
An evaluation of remote, near-continuous vital signs monitoring in patients admitted to surgical wards
The aim of this study is to evaluate whether continuous remote vital signs monitoring is a feasible and effective way of monitoring surgical patients and if its use improves patient outcomes.
Yorkshire & The Humber - Bradford Leeds Research Ethics Committee, 30/11/2016, ref: 16/YH/0426
Randomised; Interventional; Design type: Diagnosis, Prevention, Device, Management of Care, Surgery, Active Monitoring
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Randomised controlled trial
Patient information sheet
See additional files
Specialty: Surgery, Primary sub-specialty: Other; UKCRC code/ Disease: Other/ General symptoms and signs
Patients will be pseudo-randomised to either study arm according to which bay they are admitted into on the participating wards.
Patch bays: Patients will receive SensiumVitals monitoring and usual National Early Warning Score (NEWS) monitoring.
Non-patch bays: Patients will receive NEWS monitoring alone.
Patients will be approached when they are admitted to the participating wards. They will remain in the study arm to which they are allocated for the duration of their stay on the participating wards. On discharge from hospital, their participation in the trial will be over.
Primary outcome measure
Time to antibiotics in patients who are diagnosed as suffering from sepsis is measured by review of the observations chart, the SensiumVitals data, the electronic medications record and the medical notes of the patient during their hospital admission.
Secondary outcome measures
1. In-hospital mortality is measured by review of the patient's medical notes at the point of discharge
2. Length of hospital stay is measured by review of the patient's medical notes at the point of discharge
3. Number of admissions to Level II/III care is measured by review of the patient's medical notes at the point of discharge
4. Length of stay at Level II/III is measured by review of the patient's medical notes at the point of discharge
5. Patient satisfaction is assessed by questionnaire and/or structured interview on discharge
6. Staff satisfaction is assessed by questionnaire and/or structured interview at a time convenient for the participant and at least 2 months after the commencement of recruitment
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
1. All patients admitted to one of the participating wards
2. Aged 18 years or over
3. Able to provide informed consent to participate
Target number of participants
Planned Sample Size: 500; UK Sample Size: 500
Participant exclusion criteria
1. Those who do not consent
2. Allergy to adhesives on electrodes
3. Cardiac pacemaker in situ
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
St James's University Hospital
University of Leeds
+44 (0)113 34 37587
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
This research has already been presented at the Extreme Medicine Conference (London, October 2015) and as a piece on the BBC’s One Show.
Other dissemination plans, at the end of the project, include:
1. Presentation to the Trust Clinical Governance Board.
2. Presentations at local and national clinical meetings to disseminate the findings.
3. Publication of the study in a peer-reviewed journal e.g. British Journal of Surgery, likely December 2017
4. Dissemination through the NIHR HTC in Colorectal Therapies network with reach to healthcare workers throughout the NHS
5. Engagement with NIHR Local Clinical Research Networks
6. Engagement with professional bodies (Association of Coloproctology of GB&I, Association of Surgeons of GB&I, British Association of Nursing etc.) to inform relevant healthcare workers
7. Use of existing patient and public forums (e.g. Bowel Cancer UK, Crohn’s and Colitis Association) to inform the wider public
8. Engagement of media outlets, including the Trust Press Office, and local and national news agencies
IPD sharing statement:
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are/will be available upon request from Miss Candice Downey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Available on request
Basic results (scientific)
2018 results in: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30538086
- ISRCTN60999823_PIS_26Oct16_V3.docx Uploaded 19/12/2016