East and Central African Journal of Surgery

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A comparison of exposed with closed method of management of clean abdominal surgical wounds

A Asnake


One hundred and twenty consecutive patients undergoing abdominal surgery were randomly distributed to five groups. One group had their wounds exposed, two  groups had occlusive dressings for 24 and 48 hours respectively. The remaining two groups respectively had non-occlusive dressings for 24 and 48 hours. The wounds were inspected for evidence of inspection on the 3rd, 7'h and 15Ih post-operative days. All discharging wounds were considered infected. The infection rate ranged between 8% and 11%. The corrected infection rate after excluding those cases with obvious contributing factors ranged from 4% to 7.4%. Exposed wounds had the lowest infection rate but the differences were not significant. The study confirmed that clean surgical wounds may be managed safely without dressing.

Key words: Abdominal, surgical, postoperative, exposed, open, occlusive, dressing

AJOL African Journals Online