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:

Bullies and their victims more likely to want plastic surgery
11.5 percent of bullying victims have extreme desire to have cosmetic surgery, as well as 3.4 percent of bullies and 8.8 percent of teenagers who both bully and are bullied -- compared with less than 1 percent of those who are unaffected by bullying.
Methadone may reduce need for opioids after surgery
Patients undergoing spinal fusion surgery who are treated with methadone during the procedure require significantly less intravenous and oral opioids to manage postoperative pain, reports a new study published in the May issue of Anesthesiology, the peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).
New, persistent opioid use common after surgery
Among about 36,000 patients, approximately 6 percent continued to use opioids more than three months after their surgery, with rates not differing between major and minor surgical procedures, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery.
Refusing access to surgery recovery area at a UK hospital unless WHO Safe Surgery Checklist is fully complete
New research showing that refusal to allow surgery teams to take the patient to the recovery room after surgery unless the full WHO Safe Surgery Checklist has been complete is a highly effective way to improve use of the checklist.
Robotic surgery just got more autonomous
Putting surgery one step closer into the realm of self-driving cars and intelligent machines, researchers show for the first time that a supervised autonomous robot can successfully perform soft tissue surgery.
Ultrasonic surgery reduces pain and swelling after chin surgery
For patients undergoing plastic surgery of the chin (genioplasty), the use of ultrasonic 'piezosurgery' equipment reduces trauma, pain, and swelling, compared to traditional surgical drills, reports a study in the The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery.
Annual plastic surgery statistics reflect the changing face of plastic surgery
The annual plastic surgery procedural statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), show that in 2015 there were 15.9 million surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures performed in the United States -- up 2 percent from 2014.
Orthopedic surgery simulation
A unique training simulator for orthopedic open surgery (knee reconstruction with total joint replacement) has been developed by OSSim Technologies Inc. in partnership with three University of Montreal orthopedic surgeons.
Forum on how surgery can improve healthcare in SA
A national forum on surgery and anaesthesia and how it is an indispensable part of achieving universal health coverage will take place on Dec.
Meniscus injury: Real surgery or sham surgery -- which is better for patients?
Should the non-surgical approach be preferred over surgical treatment or are there still advantages offered by surgery.

Related Surgery Reading:

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

Setbacks
Failure can feel lonely and final. But can we learn from failure, even reframe it, to feel more like a temporary setback? This hour, TED speakers on changing a crushing defeat into a stepping stone. Guests include entrepreneur Leticia Gasca, psychology professor Alison Ledgerwood, astronomer Phil Plait, former professional athlete Charly Haversat, and UPS training manager Jon Bowers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".