Surgical Drape Uses Technology to Cut Down on Surgical Site Infections

The technology allows the drape to be used without harming fragile or sensitive skin.

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are a costly and avoidable risk for health care workers and patients alike. To minimize the possibility of contamination, which can lead to SSI, Cardinal Health has developed a new and unique technology, the Cardinal Health CHG surgical incise drapes with BeneHold™ CHG adhesive technology. Tina Keller, senior consultant of clinical operations at Cardinal Health, discussed the new technology with Infection Control Today® (ICT®) after debuting it at the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Surgical Conference & Expo, held March 19-23 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

ICT®: Please tell us about this unique technology.

Keller: This is the first surgical incise drape with CHG [chlorhexidine gluconate], which supports clinicians in minimizing the risk of surgical site contamination. Cardinal Health CHG surgical incise drapes, with BeneHold™ CHG adhesive technology (from Avery Dennison), are safe for use on patients with fragile or sensitive skin because the drapes remove easily after the surgery is completeincluding the ability to remove without harm to fragile skin. The drapes also meet ISO and FDA requirements for cytotoxicity, irritation, acute systemic toxicity, skin sensitization, and pyrogenicity.

ICT®: What are the features that makes technology so unique?

Keller: The strong, conformable, and breathable polyurethane incise film provides a sterile surface, and creates a barrier to contamination, isolating the skin from sterile gloves, gowns, instruments, and implants. The adhesive technology, BeneHold™ CHG, resulted in significantly reduced MRSA [methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus] contamination around the incise area when compared to nonantimicrobial incise. Further, the drape’s breathable film encourages good adhesion and avoids moisture build-up underneath the drape.

ICT®: What sparked the creation of the incision drape?

Keller: Surgical site infections remain a significant issue for our customers, and their patients—SSIs occur in at least 2 to 4% of all patients. Plus, SSIs are associated with a mortality rate of 3%, with 75% of SSI-associated deaths directly attributed to the SSI. We wanted to identify a product improvement that would help reduce the risk of surgical site infections. Working with Avery Dennison—and their CHG adhesive technology—created an ideal opportunity for this product innovation.

ICT®: How does this product help infection preventionists specifically?

Keller: Our whitepaper shows that a novel CHG surgical incise drape was effective in significantly reducing MRSA contamination in an incisional wound model. This compilation and review of the published and unpublished data on the Cardinal Health™ Surgical Incise Drape with BeneHold™ CHG adhesive technology demonstrates its ability to reduce the harmful organisms in in-vitro and in-vivo animal studies. Studies of the drapes’ mechanical properties document reduced drape lift and the ability to adhere to the skin without damage on removal, including from fragile skin. Finally, a recent study clearly documented that this novel surgical incise drape impregnated with CHG was effective in significantly reducing MRSA contamination when compared with a nonantimicrobial drape or an iodophor impregnated drape.

ICT®: What has the reaction been to incision drape thus far?

Keller: Feedback from nurses at AORN has been very favorable. Most are excited to see the innovation in a product they use so frequently…it’s a simple, impactful way we can help keep patients safter and improve outcomes.

ICT®: Is there anything else that you’d like to add for our readers?

Keller: We’re really proud of this collaboration with Avery Dennison. I think some users might be curious about the performance of the drape with the CHG adhesive, and the drape really does hold up to the stresses of manipulation, retraction, and irrigation during surgery. Plus, adhesion is critical to ensure that the drape covers the incision throughout surgery without edge lift. Even with the CHG, the adhesion is extremely reliable.