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Br J Surg. 1981 May;68(5):310-3.

The effect of topical povidone iodine on wound infection following abdominal surgery.


The effect of povidone iodine on wound sepsis following gastrointestinal surgery was studied in a trial involving 153 patients of whom 72 had their wounds sprayed with povidone iodine dry powder (Disadine DP) and 81 acted as a control group. The infection rate of 9.9 per cent in the patients treated with povidone iodine was significantly lower than that of 24.4 per cent in the control group (P less than 0.05). Bacterial contamination of the wound at the time of operation was shown to be of importance, being associated with a 52 per cent infection rate in the control group. However, spraying of contaminated wounds with povidone iodine reduced the infection rate to the significantly lower level of 11 per cent (P less than 0.05). We conclude that povidone iodine is a safe and effective means of reducing wound sepsis following gastrointestinal surgery.

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