Nav: Home

Do dressings prevent infection?

May 24, 2016

There is insufficient evidence to know whether dressings reduce the risk of wound infection after surgery and, in some cases, leaving a wound exposed may be better, say researchers in The BMJ today.

A recent Cochrane review of trials on the use of dressings to prevent surgical site infection found insufficient evidence to conclude which type of dressing reduced infection or whether dressings were needed at all.

The review concluded that, because of the lack of evidence, current decision making about dressings may need to be led by practical issues, such as wound symptom management and costs, rather than surgical site infection.

So what are the practical issues and costs of wound dressings versus no dressing?

Dressings absorb exudates and provide a barrier to being directly knocked or caught on something, they explain. They may reduce patient anxiety by covering the incision.

Leaving a wound exposed without a dressing, however, may aid prompt assessment of an impending problem and allay fears of what might be underneath the dressing.

Not covering a closed wound after surgery may be especially important in children because it avoids the need for painful removal of dressings.

In terms of cost, these vary greatly, from inexpensive basic wound contact dressings (a few pence each) to expensive advanced dressings (such as antimicrobial dressings) which may cost between £10 and £20 each.

In light of this uncertainty, the authors recommend the use of basic, low-absorbency dressings at a cost of a few pence per dressing.

However, in specialties where it is common practice to not use dressings -- and in paediatric surgery, if the removal of dressings causes undue distress to children -- they suggest continuing with this practice until further evidence emerges.
-end-


BMJ

Related Surgery Articles:

Video assisted lung surgery reduces complications and hospital stays compared to open surgery
Video-assisted thoracic surgery is associated with lower in-hospital complications and shorter length of stay compared with open surgery among British patients who were diagnosed at an early stage of lung cancer, according to research presented today the IASLC 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer, hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.
Most deaths related to noncardiac surgery occur after surgery and after discharge from hospital
It's not the operating room that is risky for patients undergoing noncardiac surgery; it's the recovery period.
Study looks at opioid use after knee surgery
A small study looked at whether reducing the number of opioid tablets prescribed after knee surgery would reduce postoperative use and if preoperative opioid-use education would reduce it even more.
Surgery patients are getting older every year
A new BJS (British Journal of Surgery) analysis reveals that people undergoing surgery in England are getting older at a faster rate than the general population.
Children requiring thyroid surgery have better outcomes at high-volume surgery centers
New research recently published in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery found that post-operative success rates of pediatric thyroid patients, particularly children who require a thyroidectomy, correlate with the institution's patient volume.
More Surgery News and Surgery Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...