Sterile Steri-Strip tape is now commonly used to support sutured closure of skin edges in the operating theatre. This tape is more expensive than non-sterile 3M Micropore tape, which had been used without any evidence of increased wound infections. This prospective clinical trial compared bacterial growth on the two tapes after their application to the intact skin of 21 healthy volunteers from the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department at a District General Hospital. Using an aseptic technique and following chlorhexidine skin preparation, two Steri-Strip adhesive tapes and two measured lengths of 3M Micropore tape were applied to the intact skin of the volunteer’s upper arms, then removed after 7 days, and cultured on blood agar plates. The mean numbers of colony forming units grown from Micropore tape was 24.07 ± 4.10 and for Steri-Strips 19.77 ± 3.30. Coagulase negative staphylococci and Micrococcus species were the main organisms isolated from the cultures. The plates were blinded to the microbiologist counting the colony forming units with the tapes removed after incubation. No adverse skin reactions were noted for either tape and only one Micropore tape demonstrated loss of adhesion. On the skin of healthy volunteers, there was no significant difference between the bacterial growth on either tape. A clinical trial should now be completed to confirm the results of this study that non-sterile 3M Micropore tape can safely be used for the closure of surgical wounds.
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2007
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