Antibiotic sponge 'ineffective' in cardiac surgery

Inserting a sponge containing gentamicin antibiotic at the time of surgical closure following cardiac surgery does not reduce the rate of sternal wound infections after three months, according to US researchers.

The findings contradict evidence from previous studies.

Use of the sponges is currently approved in 54 countries. The trial included 1,502 cardiac surgical patients at high risk for sternal wound infection due to diabetes and obesity.

Patients were randomised to either insertion of two gentamicin-collagen sponges between the sternal halves at surgical closure or no intervention.

The authors found no significant difference in infection rates between the two groups.



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