Dressings for the prevention of surgical site infection

Dumville, J.C et al. (2016) Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews . Issue 12. Art. No.: CD00309

Image source: Cochrane

Background: Surgical wounds (incisions) heal by primary intention when the wound edges are brought together and secured, often with sutures, staples, or clips. Wound dressings applied after wound closure may provide physical support, protection and absorb exudate. There are many different types of wound dressings available and wounds can also be left uncovered (exposed). Surgical site infection (SSI) is a common complication of wounds and this may be associated with using (or not using) dressings, or different types of dressing.

Authors’ conclusions: It is uncertain whether covering surgical wounds healing by primary intention with wound dressings reduces the risk of SSI, or whether any particular wound dressing is more effective than others in reducing the risk of SSI, improving scarring, reducing pain, improving acceptability to patients, or is easier to remove. Most studies in this review were small and at a high or unclear risk of bias. Based on the current evidence, decision makers may wish to base decisions about how to dress a wound following surgery on dressing costs as well as patient preference.

Read the full review here

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