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Eur J Med Res. 1999 Mar 26;4(3):126-30.

Effects of topical honey on post-operative wound infections due to gram positive and gram negative bacteria following caesarean sections and hysterectomies.

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General Private Hospital, Sanaa, Yemen.


The possible therapeutic effect of topical crude undiluted honey in the treatment of severe acute postoperative wound infections was studied. Fifty patients having postoperative wound infections following caesarean sections or total abdominal hysterectomies with gram positive or gram negative bacterial infections were allocated in two groups. Twenty-six patients (group A) were treated with 12 hourly application of crude honey and 24 patients (group B) were treated with local antiseptics: spirit (70% Ethanol) and povidone-iodine. Both groups received systemic antibiotics according to culture and sensitivity. Results showed that eradication of bacterial infections was obtained after 6 +/- 1.9 days (mean +/- SD) in group A and after 14.8 +/- 4.2 days in group B (p <0.05). Period for antibiotics use was 6.88 +/- 1.7 days in-group A and 15.45 +/- 4. 37 in-group B (p <0.05). Complete wound healing was evident after 10. 73 +/- 2.5 days in group A and after 22.04 +/- 7.33 in group B (p <0. 05). Size of postoperative scar was 3.62 +/- 1.4 mm after using topical honey and was 8.62 +/- 3.8 mm after local antiseptics (p <0. 05). The mean hospital stay was 9.36 +/- 1.8 days in group A and 19. 91 +/- 7.35 days in group B (p <0.05). After using honey, 22/26 patients (84.4%) showed complete wound healing without wound disruption or need for re-suturing and only 4 patients showed mild dehiscence. In group B, 12/24 patients (50%) showed complete wound healing and 12 patients showed wound dehiscence, six of them needed re-suturing under general anesthesia. We concluded that topical application of crude undiluted honey could (1) faster eradication of bacterial infections, (2) reduce period of antibiotic use and hospital stay, (3) accelerate wound healing, (4) prevent wound dehiscence and need for re-suturing and (5) result in minimal scar formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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