Complicated skin and soft tissue infections (cSSTI) are common and frequently require treatment in hospital. Comprehensive current data on management practices in patients hospitalized with cSSTI are limited. REACH was a retrospective, observational cohort study designed to provide data on current clinical management of moderate to severe cSSTI in European hospitals. Data were collected via an electronic case report form from 129 sites in ten European countries. The study population comprised patients ≥18 years, hospitalized between March 2010 and February 2011 with cSSTI who received intravenous antibiotic treatment. Presented here is an analysis of the disease characteristics, treatment patterns during hospitalization and clinical outcomes identified by the study. The total population included 1995 patients (mean age 60.6 years; 57.7% male). Initial antibiotic treatment modification was reported in 39.6% (n = 791) of patients; it was more common in patients with co-morbidities (42.6%), those requiring surgical intervention (43.4%), those with more severe infections such as bacteraemia (51.6%) or with fascia affected (49.0%), those admitted to the intensive care unit (56.2%) and those with lesions > 50 cm2 (44.3%). A switch to narrower-spectrum antibiotic treatment (streamlining) occurred in 5.6% of patients. Mean length of hospital stay was 18.5 days (±19.9; median 12.0) and the total mortality rate was 3.4%. The data collected in REACH give a comprehensive and current view of real-life clinical management of cSSTI in European hospitals and provide evidence of a high rate of initial antibiotic treatment modification.