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February 1987

Reducing Wound InfectionsImproved Gown and Drape Barrier Performance

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Arch Surg. 1987;122(2):152-157. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1987.01400140034003

• A 21-month study involving 2181 clean and clean-contaminated general surgical procedures was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of a commercially available disposable gown and drape system vs a cotton system in reducing wound infection. The series in which the disposable spun-laced fiber system was used had a significantly lower overall infection rate (2.83% vs 6.5%) as well as better rates in clean (1.8% vs 3.8%) and clean-contaminated (4.8% vs 11.4%) procedures. This effect was independent of all other factors. The odds of developing a wound infection was 2½ times higher with a cotton system than with a disposable system. Actual cost analysis from three types of hospitals showed lower costs with utilization of disposable gown and drape systems. Hospital charges were significantly higher for those patients developing wound infections. The results of this study demonstrated not only significant reduction in wound infection rates but also major cost savings when a disposable gown and drape system was used in the operating room.

(Arch Surg 1987;122:152-157)