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Meeting the Need for Surgical Site Infection Prevention in the Asia Pacific

Leading specialists discuss SSI prevention and recent guidelines regarding the use of triclosan-coated sutures in all types of surgery.

Surgical Site Infections (SSI) can be a serious complication of surgery and are becoming the most common healthcare-associated infection (HAI), contributing to rising morbidity and mortality rates among affected patients. To provide a platform for international experts in the medical field to share latest practices in SSI prevention in Asia Pacific, Ethicon, part of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, organized the first-ever Care+ Masters Symposium. The two-day symposium gave delegates an invaluable opportunity to learn and exchange ideas on how they can implement and improve SSI prevention guidelines and surveillance methods across Asia Pacific.

Speaking at the event, Dr Liau Kiu Hin, Medical Director & Senior Consultant Surgeon, Mt Elizabeth Novena Hospital & Specialist Centre, commented: “Surgical site infections are preventable and avoidable. Achieving zero SSI rates for every clean operation should be the goal for all surgeons. Appropriate postoperative wound management is important to mitigate and eliminate the risk of infections.”

He further commented, “I strongly advocate our healthcare institutions and communities to adopt evidence-based practices, such as appropriate and timely use of prophylactic anti-microbial, and capitalise on the use of innovative technologies, including advanced wound management devices and antimicrobial-coated sutures. Surgeons and healthcare workers must be aware that we are in the best position to prevent and reduce any opportunities for life-threatening infections to set in for clean operations. We can make a difference in our patients’ outcomes.”

SSI is a globally recognized by health authorities as a healthcare issue. In Asia Pacific, the consequences are significant, with the SSI mortality rate reaching up to 46% in some countries. SSI-associated costs can also accumulate to millions of dollars for health care systems across the region and increase a patient’s hospital stay by 20 or more days. In 2016, the World Health Organization issued global guidelines on SSI prevention, in which they suggest the use of triclosan-coated sutures in all types of surgery to reduce the incidence of SSIs. These recommendations have received further support from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ethicon is the maker of Plus Antibacterial Sutures, the only triclosan-coated sutures available globally that inhibit the colonization of bacteria commonly associated with SSIs on the suture. Most recently, countries including China, Japan, India, Australia and the Philippines have recommended Plus Antibacterial Sutures in their national infection control guidelines.

“We can live in a world where surgical site infections are no longer burdening patients with unnecessary pain, and healthcare systems with unnecessary costs,” said Iain Hamilton, Vice President, Ethicon, Asia Pacific. “This Symposium represents our commitment towards advancing SSI prevention – particularly in Asia Pacific where the prevalence is high. I am confident that, together with the healthcare community, we can reduce the burden of SSIs and improve outcomes for patients in this region and across the world.” [APBN]