Effectiveness of occlusive dressings versus non-occlusive dressings for reducing infections in surgical wounds

Burrows E
Record ID 32003000666
Authors' objectives:

This aim of this report was to assess the effectiveness of occlusive dressings versus non-occlusive dressings for reducing infections in surgical wounds.

Authors' recomendations: - Three randomised controlled trials met inclusion and exclusion criteria. - No significant reduction in wound infections with the use of occlusive compared to non-occlusive surgical dressings was observed in any of the three trials. In general there was a low incidence of infection, so large trials would be required to detect a significant difference. - The three trials involved patients who had undergone elective plastic surgery, 'clean' abdominal surgery, or heart surgery. In the largest trial Wikblad & Anderson (1995) compared the effectiveness of three types of wound dressings in patients undergoing elective coronary bypass or valve replacement surgery. Seventy-seven of the patients were randomised to an occlusive hydrocolloid dressing (DuoDerm), 92 patients to a conventional absorbent dressing and 81 patients to a semi-occlusive dressing. The incidence of wound infections requiring antibiotics among the 216 patients reported on was 5% (n=11) and were not significantly less likely in the group of patients with occlusive dressings. - Two of the three trials did not use intention-to-treat analysis of outcome data for patients randomised and then withdrawn from the study. However, this fact is unlikely to alter the negative results for the benefits of occlusive dressings in reducing wound infections.
Authors' methods: Review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2000
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Australia
MeSH Terms
  • Bandages
  • Occlusive Dressings
  • Wound Healing
  • Wounds and Injuries
Organisation Name: Centre for Clinical Effectiveness
Contact Address: Monash Institute of Health Services Research, Block E, Monash Medical Centre, Locked Bag 29, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia. Tel: +61 3 9594 7505; Fax: +61 3 9594 7552.
Contact Name: cce@med.monash.edu.au.
Contact Email: cce@med.monash.edu.au.
Copyright: Centre for Clinical Effectiveness (CCE)
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.