The Effectiveness of Sterile Wound Drapes in the Prevention of Surgical Site Infection in Thoracic Surgery

Biomed Res Int. 2019 Feb 11;2019:1438793. doi: 10.1155/2019/1438793. eCollection 2019.


Background: The rate of surgical site infections (SSIs) has decreased in parallel to advances in sterilization techniques. Such infections increase morbidity and hospitalization costs. The use of iodine-impregnated sterile wound drapes (SWDs) is recommended to prevent or reduce the incidence of these infections. However, there is a paucity of data regarding their use in thoracic surgical procedures. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of sterile wound drapes in the prevention of these infections and the effects on hospitalization costs.

Methods: Perioperative iodine-impregnated SWDs have been used since January 2015 in the Thoracic Surgery Clinic of our hospital. A retrospective evaluation was made of patients who underwent anatomic pulmonary resection via thoracotomy with SWD in the period January 2015-2017, compared with a control group who underwent the same surgery without SWD in the 2-year period before January 2015. Factors that may have increased the risk of surgical site infection were documented and the occurrence of SSI was recorded from postoperative follow-up data. The cost analysis was performed as an important criterion to investigate the benefits of SWD.

Results: Evaluation was made of 654 patients in the study group (n:380) using SWD, the operation time was significantly longer, and perioperative blood transfusion was significantly higher, whereas treatment costs (p=0.0001) and wound culture positivity (p=0.004) were significantly lower and less surgical wound debridement was performed (p=0.002).

Conclusion: The findings suggest that the use of sterile wound draping in thoracic surgery procedures reduces surgical site infections and hospitalization costs.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iodine / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Preoperative Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surgical Drapes*
  • Surgical Equipment / standards
  • Surgical Wound Infection / pathology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*
  • Thoracic Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*


  • Iodine