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J Hosp Infect. 1996 Oct;34(2):107-16.

Bacterial recolonization of the skin under a polyurethane drape in hip surgery.

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  • 1Department of Traumatology, University of Ulm, Germany.


This study investigated the proliferation of skin flora under polyurethane (PU) wound dressings following surgical interventions. In vitro the film proved to be impermeable to staphylococci. However, bacteria migrated under the film, showing a preference for the adhesive rather than the adhesive-free areas. The skin of 43 patients with incisions of the proximal thigh was covered postoperatively with a transparent PU-dressing. This was examined bacteriologically preoperatively and at the third and seventh postoperative days. The use of an antiseptic (povidone iodine) reduced the number of colony forming units in the postoperative skin but at the same time there was a significant reduction of bacteria under the film in comparison with the uncovered skin. The numbers and species of bacteria in different areas under the film did not suggest a spread of organisms from the uncovered skin to the skin under the film, but rather that there was a multifocal microbial regeneration.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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