Implantable antibiotic sponges reduce sternal infections

12 June 2015

New research, published in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, has found that implantable antibiotic-laced sponges can help to reduce infections in cardiac surgery.

Often during heart surgery, the sternum in the chest has to be cracked open so that internal structures can be more easily accessed. However, this can sometimes result in a sternal wound infection (SWI), which can lead to some serious complications.

The new study found that implanting antibiotic-laden sponges between the sternal halves before closure can help to prevent these infections.

Examining the new meta-analysis, Dr Harold L. Lazar, a cardiac surgeon at the Boston Medical Center and the Boston University School of Medicine, said the results reinforce the idea that implanting antibiotics during cardiac surgery can significantly reduce the incidence of sternal wound infections.

He said: "Strong consideration should be given to using some form of topical antibiotics in all cardiac surgical patients undergoing median sternotomy."

The team looked at 642 potentially relevant reports, 14 of which met the selection criteria, which included 22,135 patients. Including both randomized and observational studies, the analysis found that the sponges were associated with a significant 38 per cent reduced risk of sternal wound infections. 

Posted by Edward Bartel

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

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