Applying vacuum to accomplish reduced wound infections in laparoscopic pediatric surgery.

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION

The prevention of surgical site infections has received little attention in pediatric surgery. Negative pressure wound therapy is used to treat complex wounds. We hypothesized that this principle could reduce wound infection rates following laparoscopic surgery. We tested this in a randomized controlled trial.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

We randomized pediatric patients with an umbilical port site to a standard dressing or a vacuum dressing. The dressings were removed 48h after surgery. A nurse blinded for the treatment inspected the umbilical wound between post-operative days 7-10 for infection. Data comparison was performed using a Fisher exact test with p<0.05 defined as significant.

RESULTS

We recruited 90 patients over 2 years and randomized 44 to the vacuum dressing arm and 42 to the control arm. We observed a 2.8% (n=1/35) infection rate in the vacuum dressing group and 3.3% (n=1/30) in the control group (p=1.0).

DISCUSSION

We ended our study early when an interim analysis showed an impractical number of patients would be required to achieve sufficient power. We did not find a significant difference between the control and vacuum dressings in reducing post-operative wound infections.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE

3.

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