News | September 18, 2007

Hospital Infection Rates More Than Halved in New Study

September 18, 2007 – A recent study showed more than a 50 percent reduction in surgical site infection rates and significantly shorter hospital stays with the use of the ON-Q PainBuster with ON-Q SilverSoaker antimicrobial catheter from the I-Flow Corporation.
The results of the study were presented Sept. 18 in Chicago during the 47th Annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC). I-Flow says the results could save hospitals billions of dollars if used for post-surgical pain. The company says ON-Q is the only pain relief pump to include an antimicrobial catheter and the first to document an infection reduction capability.
The multi-center infection surveillance study comparing two types of post-surgical pain relief — the use of ON-Q PainBuster with ON-Q SilverSoaker and local anesthetic versus systemic narcotics — following colorectal surgeries was conducted at 14 U.S. surgical sites. It measured the surgical site infection rates 30 days after surgery and length of stay for 289 patients, including any hospital re-admissions or other necessary infection treatment after they were released from the hospital. Colorectal surgery was chosen for the study because it is the most infection-prone. Patients were randomized to receive either continuous infusion of local anesthetic using ON-Q or traditional narcotic pain management. Results showed that the ON-Q patients were 55 percent less likely to develop a surgical site infection when compared to the control group (6.6 percent versus 14.6 percent; p-value of 0.033). The patient’s average length of stay dropped to 6.1 days for ON-Q patients from 8.4 days for the control group, a 27 percent reduction (p-value of 0.0003). The co-lead investigators of the study were Dr. Jay Singh of Piedmont Colorectal Associates, director of surgical residency, Piedmont and Associate professor of surgery at Emory University, and Dr. Alan Thorson, clinical associate professor of surgery and program director of colon and rectal surgery at Creighton University.
“I have used ON-Q for post-surgical pain relief for hundreds of my patients and have seen them experience significantly less pain, a quicker recovery and fewer infections when recuperating from surgery,” Dr. Singh said. “I plan to continue to use ON-Q as my standard of care post-surgically to provide superior pain relief and to lower the risk of infection for my patients.”
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that for discharges occurring on or after Oct. 1, 2008, hospitals will not receive additional payment for patients in which certain conditions were not present on admission, such as hospital-acquired infections. CMS reserved the right to add to the list of hospital-acquired infections, which may result in higher costs to hospitals if infection rates are not reduced. Based on this study, ON-Q shows potential to help hospitals control costs related to surgical site infections.
The infection prevention capability of the system is enhanced by the ON-Q SilverSoaker catheter, which is treated with an antimicrobial silver agent in nanotechnology form and has been shown in in-vitro testing to be 99.9 percent effective in decreasing bacteria and fungus associated with hospital-acquired infections. Silver has long been known as an antimicrobial agent and is now used in many modern medical devices. Patients who are treated with ON-Q often do not experience the immune-suppressive response of narcotics, which can weaken patients and make it more difficult for their bodies to fight an infection.

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