New Survey Says Current Hospital Infection Control Methods Merit Updates

SOMERVILLE, N.J. -- A nationwide survey of hospital

infection control practitioners released today reveals that almost three

quarters (74 percent) believe that current infection control techniques and

technologies need to be updated. However, the survey also revealed that

infection control remains a top priority in U.S. hospitals and 1-in-4

report going beyond current or published guidelines to help ensure patient

health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that surgical

site infections (SSI) or other serious complications may be directly linked to

various patient risk factors and characteristics(1) (e.g., age, presence of

metabolic disease, nutritional status, weight), the surgical procedure,

medical personnel and the hospital facility. These complications include

failure of the wound to close properly, recurrent pain and disfiguring and/or

disabling scars.(2) Surgical site infections often result in prolonged

hospital stays and increased patient morbidity, both of which have contributed

significantly to driving up direct healthcare costs.(3)

"This study reminds us that infection control is really about improving

patient outcomes and providing a safe environment for patient care. This is

definitely an area where we can make substantial improvements," stated Charles

E. Edmiston, PhD, CIC, associate professor of surgery and hospital

Epidemiologist at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. "We need to

continually update and revise our hospital's protocols to stay abreast of new

advances in the infection control arena."

According to the survey, hospital infection control practitioners

recognize that protecting the surgical site is critical to patient care.

The survey also revealed that 83 percent of respondents believe that advances in the

science of infection control, such as products that actively defend against

microbes, should be used in their institution to combat SSIs.

"Surgical site infections account for a significant number of hospital-

acquired infections and the associated morbidity and mortality is a concern

for both patients and health care professionals," added Edmiston. "The

availability of new innovative technologies or procedures that can potentially

reduce the risk of infection would fall in line with our overall efforts to

decrease the rate surgical site infections, especially in high-risk patient

populations."

Coated VICRYL* Plus Antimicrobial Suture is the first and only

antibacterial suture known to inhibit colonization of the suture by bacteria

that are known to cause the majority of surgical site infections.(4,5) It

creates an "active zone" around the suture, inhibiting staphylococcus aureus,

staphylococcus epidermidis and methicillin resistant strains of staphylococcus

(MRSA and MRSE),(6,7) the leading surgical site bacteria, from colonizing on

the suture for a minimum of 48 hours.(8)

Fifty-three percent of hospital infection control practitioners believe

that regardless of whether their institutions currently use the device or not,

VICRYL Plus suture should be used in the surgical procedures performed at

their institutions, and 54 percent believe it to be logical that a suture that can

inhibit colonization of bacteria may be effective in addressing the problem of

surgical site infection.

The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive. Telephone interviews were

conducted among 301 infection control practitioners Aug. 21-25, 2003. Respondents were selected using a listed sample of infection control

practitioners from the American Hospital Association. In order to participate

in the study, respondents needed to work in an acute-care facility and have

primary responsibility for decisions in the institution related to infection-

control protocols, techniques and technologies. Sampling error for this study

is plus or minus 5.6 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

The survey was commissioned by ETHICON Products. ETHICON Products, a

division of ETHICON, INC., a Johnson & Johnson company, continues Johnson &

Johnson's 100-year commitment to wound care today with inventive products for

wound closure. ETHICON is the worldwide leader in suture products and suture

technology, and is one of the most recognizable and well-respected names in

the hospital environment. The division has a long history of innovation in

providing products -- including sutures, topical adhesives, surgical meshes

and wound drains -- that enhance patient care. For more information about

ETHICON Products, or other ETHICON divisions, visit http://www.ethicon.com.

Coated VICRYL Plus is an absorbable suture that should not be used where

extended approximation of tissue under stress is required and in patients with

known allergic reactions to triclosan. Side effects of absorbable sutures can

include wound dehiscence, insufficient wound support when wound healing is

delayed, infection, minimal tissue reaction, suture extrusion, delayed

absorption, and calculi formation.

Complete survey results are available by calling (212) 845-4204.

References:

(1) Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology: Guideline for Prevention

of Surgical Site Infection, 1999

(2) Infection Control Manual: The Medical Center at the University of

California, San Francisco, Revised 3/10

(3) Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology: Guideline for Prevention

of Surgical Site Infection, 1999

(4) Rothenburger S., Spangler D., Bhende S., Burkley D. In vitro

Antimicrobial Evaluation of Coated VICRYL* Plus Antimicrobial Suture

Using Zone of Inhibition Assays; Surgical Infection Society (SIS)

journal(suppl) Dec 02-In Press.

(5) Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology: Guideline for

Prevention of Surgical Site Infection, 1999

(6) Rothenburger S., Spangler D., Bhende S., Burkley D. In vitro

Antimicrobial Evaluation of Coated VICRYL* Plus Antimicrobial Suture

Using Zone of Inhibition Assays; Surgical Infection Society (SIS)

journal(suppl) Dec 02-In Press.

(7) Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology: Guideline for

Prevention of Surgical Site Infection, 1999

(8) Rothenburger S., Spangler D., Bhende S., Burkley D. In vitro

Antimicrobial Evaluation of Coated VICRYL* Plus Antimicrobial Suture

Using Zone of Inhibition Assays; Surgical Infection Society (SIS)

journal(suppl) Dec 02-In Press.

Source: ETHICON

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