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Type: Journal article
Title: Dressings for the prevention of surgical site infection
Author: Dumville, J.
Walter, C.
Sharp, C.
Page, T.
Citation: The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2011; 2011(7):003091-1-003091-66
Publisher: Update Software Ltd
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 1469-493X
Statement of
Jo C. Dumville, Catherine J. Walter, Catherine A. Sharp and Tamara Page
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Surgical wounds (incisions) heal by primary intention when the wound edges are brought together and secured - often with sutures, staples, clips or glue. Wound dressings, usually applied after wound closure, provide physical support, protection from bacterial contamination and absorb exudate. Surgical site infection (SSI) is a common complication of surgical wounds that may delay healing. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effects of wound dressings for preventing SSI in people with surgical wounds healing by primary intention. SEARCH METHODS: We searched the CochraneWounds Group Specialised Register (searched 10May 2011); The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2011 Issue 2); OvidMEDLINE (1950 to AprilWeek 4 2011); OvidMEDLINE (In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, May 9, 2011); Ovid EMBASE (1980 to 2011 Week 18); EBSCO CINAHL (1982 to 6 May 2011). There were no restrictions based on language or date of publication. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing alternative wound dressings or wound dressings with leaving wounds exposed for postoperative management of surgical wounds healing by primary intention. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors performed study selection, risk of bias assessment and data extraction independently. MAIN RESULTS: Sixteen RCTs were included (2578 participants). All trials were at unclear or high risk of bias. Nine trials included people with wounds resulting from surgical procedures with a contamination classification of ’clean’, two trials included people with wounds resulting from surgical procedures with a ’clean/contaminated’ contamination classification and the remaining trials evaluated people with wounds resulting from various surgical procedures with different contamination classifications. Two trials compared wound dressings with leaving wounds exposed. The remaining 14 trials compared two alternative dressing types. No evidence was identified to suggest that any dressing significantly reduced the risk of developing an SSI compared with leaving wounds exposed or compared with alternative dressings in people who had surgical wounds healing by secondary intention. AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS: At present, there is no evidence to suggest that covering surgical wounds healing by primary intention with wound dressings reduces the risk of SSI or that any particular wound dressing is more effective than others in reducing the rates of SSI, improving scarring, pain control, patient acceptability or ease of dressing removal. Most trials in this review were small and of poor quality at high or unclear risk of bias. However, based on the current evidence, we conclude that decisions on wound dressing should be based on dressing costs and the symptom management properties offered by each dressing type e.g. exudate management.
Keywords: Humans; Surgical Wound Infection; Bandages; Wound Healing; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Rights: Copyright © 2011 The Cochrane Collaboration
RMID: 0020111137
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003091.pub2
Appears in Collections:Nursing publications

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