As 2016 comes to an end, it seems a good time to reflect on STARSurg’s achievements over the last year.

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2016 started where the OAKS study had left off- primary data collection on more than 5000 patients by more than 1000 collaborators across the country had been completed before the New Year. After this it was a process of tying up loose ends, validating the data to ensure its accuracy, identifying patient identifier storage for the next years follow up project and importantly, feeding back the data collected at each hospital back to the local departments.

Thus far there have been nearly 80 presentations of the OAKS data across the country at hospitals as well as national conferences, reaching over 6000 people in audience. This is an outstanding achievement and will raise awareness about AKI and improve its management at a grassroots level.

In the mean, the full results of the OAKS dataset are being analysed by professional statisticians at the Clinical Effectiveness Unit, Royal College of Surgeons, England, with a publication from this due soon. In addition, they hope to develop a perioperative risk score from the dataset to better identify those at risk of AKI. The future of the OAKS project was discussed in July in Birmingham at our annual local leads meeting attended by local leads from across the country, but also eminent doctors and academics in nephrology and perioperative medicine. At this meeting ideas for interventions to improve recognition and management of AKI were discussed and an overall plan for OAKS over the next 2 years was generated.

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In May we held our inaugural GeneRAtiNg sUrgicaL rEcruiters for randomised trials (GRANULE) course for students which aimed to teach students how to recruit patients to randomised trials. Students obtained Good Clinical Practice certification and were given plenary sessions on clinical trials and practical workshops with simulated patients to try and recruit them. This was a great success and we will be announcing details of our next GRANULE course in 2017 soon.

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It is important not to forget about our previous projects. The DISCOVER project was published in the British Journal of Surgery: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27321766 and a further analysis on NSAID safety from the DISCOVER dataset was published soon after in the World Journal of Surgery: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00268-016-3727-3

All collaborators were citable co-authors on both papers and this shows the outstanding success of the DISCOVER project.

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Towards the end of the year, we kicked off the OAKS 2 project, which is ongoing into the New Year. OAKS 2 is a one year follow up study of the patients included in OAKS1 and has already got many hundreds of collaborators on board, so this is shaping up to be yet another successful project for STARSurg!
All of this success would not be possible without the dedication of our collaborators who have worked hard throughout the years. We as a committee would like to thank everyone who has contributed to making STARSurg what it is today and wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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