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Postoperative wounds

Prevention and treatment of surgical site infections

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are a huge health problem worldwide. SSI is a common postoperative complication in vascular, obstetric, gynecologic, gastric, thoracic, and cardiovascular surgery. It prolongs hospitalization and contributes to significant morbidity and mortality.1,2

Healthcare staff in a hospital environment performing a surgery

Don't forget the last step

Several actions are being taken to prevent surgical site infections, both preoperative, during and after the operation, e.g. pre-op disinfectants, two pairs of gloves and effective ventilation. However, one important factor that is often missed in the overall strategy is to reduce microbes at the incision site and the preventive and treatment role of using a suitable dressing. This is mentioned in the recent international guidelines (below).

 

INTERNATIONAL GUIDELINES
Preventing and managing SSI across health care sectors

In this guideline Sorbact® is recommended across health care sectors. It can be used for infection prevention as well as for treating infected surgical wounds.

See table 9 – Wound dressings for the management of surgical wounds (page 33).

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illustration showing a wound, Sorbact Superabsorbent and a microscopic image with microbes on a Sorbact surface

Sorbact® reduces the risk of infection in wounds

Sorbact® microbe binding dressings prevent and treat wound infections by lowering the bioburden. Microbes bind to the dressing surface and are removed when the dressing is changed. Sorbact® facilitates the wound-healing process by reducing wound bioburden without releasing any active agents into the wound.

Since there are no active agents released into the wound, Sorbact® dressings can be used right from the start, in all patients, to prevent infection.

Hands holding a tablet showing Sorbact value calculator

Calculate potential savings with Sorbact®

Based on a randomized controlled study we have set up a calculator for you to estimate the value of preventing SSI in caesarean section. Read more about this study

Disclaimer: This value calculator is for illustrative purposes only. Any savings will vary depending on the hospital’s practices, internal routines and procedures, type of patients and the quality of efforts made locally.

Start calculator

Estimate potential savings with Sorbact®

Number of caesarean sections per period

Current incidence of SSI

Using Sorbact®

2.5%

Average cost of an SSI

The cost of dressings (to protect and prevent infection) is not included in the calculation. It is often a minor part of the total.

Standard dressing
Sorbact®

total number of SSIs

less SSIs

A relative SSI risk reduction of 65 % is expected when using Sorbact®

Standard dressing
Sorbact®

total cost

cost savings for SSIs

A relative SSI risk reduction of 65 % is expected when using Sorbact®

Number of caesarean sections per period

Number of caesarean sections. A period is often a year for a hospital, region or country.

Current incidence of SSI

The incidence rate (the % of new SSIs within a time period) following a caesarean section vary between 3%-15%.1


1.Saeed KBM, Greene RA, et al. 2017. Incidence of surgical site infection following caesarean section: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. BMJ Open. 7:e013037. link

Average cost of an SSI

Average cost for treating an SSI is approximately 4400€ at 2017 prices.1,2 The main cost driver is extra length of stay in hospital. Approximate additional costs attributable to SSI vary between 900€-7300€ depending on the type of surgery and the severity of the infection.3

Total cost of SSIs = number of SSIs x average cost of an SSI


1.Jenks PJ, Laurent M, et al. 2014. Clinical and economic burden of surgical site infection (SSI) and predicted financial consequences of elimination of SSI from an English hospital. J Hosp Infect. 86(1):24-33.link

2.Stanirowski PJ, Davies H, et al. 2019. Cost-effectiveness of a bacterial-binding dressing to prevent surgical site infection following caesarean section. J Wound Care. 28(4):222-228.link

3.Leaper DJ, Van Goor H, et al. 2004. Surgical site infection – a European perspective of incidence and economic burden. Int Wound J. 1(4):247-273.link

What’s the impact of SSI after a caesarean section?
Voices from a quality improvement program in caesarean section3

It just made me really worried and stressed. I struggled to breastfeed anyway and gave up while recovering from infection.

Woman F

I had a two-year-old and a newborn to look after so relied heavily on family to help me, due to pain and appointments. I was put on two types of antibiotics following my C-section, but had developed an infection anyway.

Woman A

As a result, my husband had to take extra unpaid leave from work which affected us financially.

Woman E

Hand holding a smartphone showing Sorbact value calculator

Calculate the potential value of preventing SSI

SSI has become a huge public health problem because it contributes to significant morbidity, mortality and financial consequences. An SSI is estimated to add approximately 3–21 days to a patient’s hospital stay. This results in additional treatment costing between 900€–7300€4, depending on the type of surgery and severity of the infection.2, 4

Start calculator

Estimate the cost of SSIs

Number of procedures per period

Current incidence of SSI

Potential incidence of SSI

Please select a lower value than Current incidence

Average cost of an SSI

The cost of dressings (to protect and prevent infection) is not included in the calculation. It is often a minor part of the total.

Current
Potential

total number of SSIs

less SSIs

Current
Potential

total cost

cost savings for SSI

Add no of procedures per period

A period is often a year for hospital, region or country.

Current incidence of SSI

The incidence rate (the % of new SSIs within a time period) following a caesarean section varies between 3%-15%1, it’s 10-15% following vascular surgery, rising to 30% in trials specifically monitoring SSI as an outcome.2,3


1.Saeed KBM, Greene RA, et al. 2017. Incidence of surgical site infection following caesarean section: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. BMJ Open. 7:e013037. link

2.Matatov T, Reddy KN, et al. 2013. Experience with a new negative pressure incision management system in prevention of groin wound infection in vascular surgery patients. J Vasc Surg. 57(3):791-795. link

3.Turtiainen J, Saimanen EIT, et al. 2012. Effect of triclosan-coated sutures on the incidence of surgical wound infection after lower limb revascularization surgery: a randomized controlled trial. World J Surg. 36(10):2528-2534. link

Potential incidence of SSI

The potential incidence is the expected incidence after a change has been introduced that affects the current incidence.

Average cost of an SSI

Average cost for treating an SSI is approximately 4400€ at 2017 prices.1,2 The main cost driver is extra length of stay in hospital. Approximate additional costs attributable to SSI vary between 900€-7300€ depending on the type of surgery and the severity of the infection.3

Total cost of SSIs = number of SSIs x average cost of an SSI


1.Jenks PJ, Laurent M, et al. 2014. Clinical and economic burden of surgical site infection (SSI) and predicted financial consequences of elimination of SSI from an English hospital. J Hosp Infect. 86(1):24-33.link

2.Stanirowski PJ, Davies H, et al. 2019. Cost-effectiveness of a bacterial-binding dressing to prevent surgical site infection following caesarean section. J Wound Care. 28(4):222-228.link

3.Leaper DJ, Van Goor H, et al. 2004. Surgical site infection – a European perspective of incidence and economic burden. Int Wound J. 1(4):247-273.link

Proven to prevent and treat wound infection

Proven in more than 40 clinical studies and in publications including over 7,000 patients, Sorbact® has more than 30 years of successful use in clinical practice. Today Sorbact® is helping patients in over 65 countries around the world and we are continuing this important work by collecting clinical data.

Published study

Sorbact® prevents wound infections

A randomized controlled study among 543 patients undergoing elective or emergency caesarean section, comparing Sorbact® Surgical Dressing to standard surgical dressing (1.8 % vs. 5.2 %) p=0.04.

Stanirowski PJ, Bizoń M, et al. 2016. Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating Dialkylcarbamoyl Chloride Impregnated Dressings for the Prevention of Surgical Site Infections in Adult Women Undergoing Cesarean Section. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 17(4):427-435. doi.org/10.1089/sur.2015.223

Read summary of study
Pilot study

Sorbact® reduces the need for antibiotics

A randomized controlled pilot study on 142 women undergoing caesarean sections. Requirement of systemic antibiotic: 7 % (Control) vs. 0 % (Sorbact®) p=0.03. Rate of SSI: 9.8 % (Control) vs. 2.8 % (Sorbact®) p=0.08.

Stanirowski PJ, Kociszewska A, et al. 2016. Dialkylcarbamoyl chloride-impregnated dressing for the prevention of surgical site infection in women undergoing cesarean section: a pilot study. Arch Med Sci. 12(5):1036–1042. doi.org/10.5114/aoms.2015.47654

Read summary of study

Additional evidence on Sorbact® in postoperative wounds

A pilot RCT in prevention of SSI in primarily closed incisional wounds.

Totty JP, Hitchman LH, et al. 2019. A pilot feasibility randomised clinical trial comparing dialkylcarbamoylchloride-coated dressings versus standard care for the primary prevention of surgical site infection. Int Wound J. 16(4):1-8.

Read full study

A comparative study to assess the impact of Sorbact® on the incidence of SSI in vascular surgery.

Bua N, Smith GE, et al. 2017. Dialkylcarbamoyl Chloride Dressings in the Prevention of Surgical Site Infections after Nonimplant Vascular Surgery. Ann Vasc Surg. 44:387-392.

Read full study

References

1.WHO. 2011. Report on the burden of endemic health care-associated infection worldwide. Geneva: World Health Organization.link
2.European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. 2013. Point prevalence survey of healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial use in European acute care hospitals. Stockholm: ECDC.link
3.Taylor L, Mills E, et al. 2020. Reducing SSI rates for women birthing by caesarean section. J Community Nurs. 34(3):50-53.link
4.Leaper DJ, Van Goor H, et al. 2004. Surgical site infection – a European perspective of incidence and economic burden. Int Wound J. 1(4):247-273. link

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