Study on the utility of a statewide counselling programme for improving mortality outcomes of patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia in Thuringia (SUPPORT): a study protocol of a cluster-randomised crossover trial.
Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) is a frequent infection with high mortality rates. It requires specific diagnostic and therapeutic management such as prolonged intravenous administration of antibiotics and aggressive search for and control of infectious sources. Underestimation of disease severity frequently results in delayed or inappropriate management of patients with SAB leading to increased mortality rates. According to observational studies, patient counselling by infectious disease consultants (IDC) improves survival and reduces the length of hospital stay as well as complication rates. In many countries, IDC are available only in some tertiary hospitals. In this trial, we aim to demonstrate that the outcome of patients with SAB in small and medium size hospitals that do not employ IDC can be improved by unsolicited ID phone counselling. The SUPPORT trial will be the first cluster-randomised controlled multicentre trial addressing this question.