Research Article

Sterile microenvironment in prevention of wound infection.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 284 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.284.6329.1594 (Published 29 May 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;284:1594
  1. J M Scott,
  2. J McLauchlan,
  3. H G Smylie

    Abstract

    A prospective controlled trial was carried out to assess the effect of using a wound isolator on reducing postoperative infection. A total of 291 patients undergoing hip pinning for fractures of the neck of femur entered the trial and were allocated at random to have their wound contained in a wound isolator (study group) or dressed with a standard gamma-irradiated adhesive dressing (control group). The bacteriological flora of the patient was monitored before, during, and after operation and that of the ward before and after. No significant difference was found in the flora of the wards in which the patients were nursed. On several occasions the source of the infective organism was traced to the ward but never to the theatre. The isolator prevented direct contamination and airborne cross-infection of the wound and appreciably reduced the rate of infection.