Breakthrough protects new moms from infection

December 16, 2009 9:44:59 AM PST
According to the Centers for Disease Control, almost 500,000 surgical site infections happen in the U.S. every year, making SSIs the second most common health care-associated infection. Compared with uninfected patients, those with SSIs remain hospitalized seven days longer, have a 60 percent increased probability of admittance to intensive care unites, are five times more likely to return to the hospital for continued care within 30 days of discharge and have double the mortality rate.

STOPPING SSI'S: The last thing a new mother needs to worry about after delivering a baby via cesarean section is a surgical site infection. Now some doctors are using a new sealant that acts as a microbial barrier to reduce the risk of surgical site contamination.

The sealant works by forming protective barrier that seals and immobilizes areas where bacteria can grow. The barrier prevents bacteria from creeping into the incision and works like crazy glue. It's a fast-drying liquid that bonds to the skin and locks down bacteria that are deep within the skin and those that survived preoperative prepping. In clinical trials, the sealant has been shown to seal and immobilize harmful pathogens including MRSA, S. epidermis and E. coli. The sealant is applied to the skin after surgery prep and before the incision is made. The sealant is non-irritating and does not need to be removed in order to close the incision. After surgery, the sealant wears off naturally within a few days.

Doctors say the sealant should not be used in surgical procedures involving mucous membranes or the eyes, on patients with hypersensitivity or on skin with active signs of infections.

"There is no such thing as true sterilization of the skin," Jacques Moritz, M.D., Director of Gynecology at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan told Ivanhoe. However, he says the sealant gives new moms an added layer of protection.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Elizabeth Dowling
Public Relations
St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital
EDowling@chpnet.org


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