Full title: A pilot randomised controlled trial to examine the efficacy and optimal dose of Acetic Acid to treat colonised burns wounds.

Lead Researchers: Prof Naiem Moiemen, Dr Beryl Oppenheim, Dr Fenella Halstead

Aim: Examine the efficacy and optimal dose of Acetic Acid to treat colonised burns wounds.

Background:  Acetic acid is more commonly known as vinegar and it has been used as an antibacterial agent for thousands of years, most recently used to treat bacteria found in burn injuries. It is important to look at the different strengths of acetic acid as currently when used at the strength of 2.5% or higher patients can experience a stinging sensation after application. It was previously thought that acetic acid only worked on a specific bacterium but recently we have found that acetic acid can remove a number of different bacteria and potentially at a lower concentration.

How will it be measured: Tolerability will be assessed by measuring a patient’s pain scores with a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS).

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part? There is minimal risk of side effects associated with using acetic acid. Following application of acetic acid some patients have stated that they experience a stinging sensation, this is a common effect of many of the dressings we apply to the burn injury. Participants will be given the pain killers they require for the dressing change to be completed. They will be closely monitored during the study to ensure that these risks are minimised.
What are the possible benefits of taking part? The benefits for the patient as an individual are small; there will be the increased monitoring of their progress throughout their time in the study. The research is designed to help future burns patients depending on the outcome of this study.

Efficacy will be assessed by measuring the bacterial load from microbiology burn wound swabs, these will be taken daily from the beginning of treatment for 5 days.