New Study Indicates Medical Device Can Cut Infection Rates, Shorten Patient Stays

CHICAGO -- An innovative medical device is responsible for reducing surgical site infection rates by more than 50 percent and for significantly shortening hospital stays when compared with traditional narcotic pain care, according to a study presented at the 47th annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy (ICAAC). These results indicate that ON-Q® PainBuster with ON-Q SilverSoaker Antimicrobial Catheter from I-Flow Corporation may have the potential to save healthcare facilities billions of dollars if used for post-surgical pain relief across multiple surgeries.

The multi-center infection surveillance study comparing two types of post-surgical pain relief the use of ON-Q PainBuster with ON-Q SilverSoaker and local anesthetic vs. systemic narcotics following colorectal surgeries was conducted at 14 U.S. surgical sites. It measured the surgical site infection rates 30 days after surgery and length of stay for 289 patients, including any hospital re-admissions or other necessary infection treatment after they were released from the hospital. Colorectal surgery was chosen for the study as it is the most infection-prone surgery in most hospitals. Patients were randomized to receive either continuous infusion of local anesthetic using ON-Q or traditional narcotic pain management. 

Results showed that the ON-Q patients were 55 percent less likely to develop a surgical site infection when compared to the control group (6.6 percent vs. 14.6 percent; p-value of 0.033).  The patients average length of stay dropped to 6.1 days for ON-Q patients from 8.4 days for the control group, a 27 percent reduction (p-value of 0.0003).

The co-lead investigators of the study were Dr. Jay Singh, of Piedmont Colorectal Associates, director of surgical residency at Piedmont and associate professor of surgery at Emory University in Atlanta; and Dr. Alan Thorson, clinical associate professor of surgery and program director of colon and rectal surgery at Creighton University.

I have used ON-Q for post-surgical pain relief for hundreds of my patients and have seen them experience significantly less pain, a quicker recovery and fewer infections when recuperating from surgery, said Singh. I plan to continue to use ON-Q as my standard of care post-surgically to provide superior pain relief and to lower the risk of infection for my patients.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that for discharges occurring on or after Oct. 1, 2008, hospitals will not receive additional payment for patients in which certain conditions were not present on admission, such as hospital-acquired infections. CMS reserved the right to add to the list of hospital-acquired infections, which may result in higher costs to hospitals if infection rates are not reduced.  Based on this study, ON-Q shows potential to help hospitals control costs related to surgical site infections. Using data from the ON-Q Colorectal Infection Study and a systematic audit published in the American Journal of Infection Control, it appears that ON-Q may save thousands of dollars for an average surgical recovery by decreasing the risk of infection, length of hospital stay and post-discharge complications. If the data is projected across all post-surgical situations where the system would be appropriate, potential savings to the healthcare system could be billions of dollars.  

The unique infection prevention capability of the system is enhanced by the ON-Q SilverSoaker catheter that is treated with an antimicrobial silver agent in nanotechnology form and has been shown in in-vitro testing to be 99.9 percent effective in decreasing bacteria and fungus commonly associated with hospital-acquired infections. Silver has long been known as an antimicrobial agent and is now used in many modern medical devices.  In addition, when patients are treated with ON-Q, they often do not experience the immune-suppressive response of narcotics, which can essentially weaken patients and make it more difficult for their bodies to fight an infection.  

Source: I-Flow Corporation