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Use of an impervious wound edge protector decreased postoperative wound infection

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 QUESTION: In patients having abdominal surgery, does the use of an impervious wound edge protector reduce postoperative wound infections?


Randomised {allocation concealed*}, blinded (outcome assessor),* controlled trial with 30 day follow up.


Cork, Ireland.


352 patients (56% women) who were having transabdominal surgery for gastrointestinal disease. Follow up was complete.


All patients received systemic antibiotic prophylaxis and povidone iodine skin preparation and were allocated either to an impervious wound edge protector (n=170) or to no wound edge protector (n=182). The protector was an impermeable plastic drape attached to the abdomen with adhesive patches. A hole in the middle of the protector ringed by semirigid plastic protected the abdominal wound edge from …

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  • Source of funding: in part, 3M Healthcare.

  • For correspondence: Dr H P Redmond, Department of Surgery, Beaumont Hospital, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, and Cork University Hospital, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. Fax +353 21 344230.

  • * See glossary.

  • Information supplied by author.

  • p Values calculated from data in article.