17 April 2018

Study concludes that a burn wound management strategy including nanocrystalline silver dressings may reduce costs and optimise treatment of infections

Smith & Nephew plc (LSE:SN, NYSE:SNN), the global medical technology business, welcomes the conclusions of an independent study that increased use of antiseptics and  nanocrystalline silver dressings in a burn management strategy may reduce costs, optimise treatment of infections and reduce antibiotic use.1   

“A 2000 patient retrospective assessment of a new strategy for burn wound management in view of infection prevention and treatment” further concludes that such a strategy can help to reduce the incidence of sepsis; including sepsis caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and can be cost effective when treating in hospitalised burn patients. The study utilised Smith & Nephew’s ACTICOAT and ACTICOAT Flex 3 antimicrobial silver dressings as part of the overall strategy.

The centre included in the study saw a total cost reduction of 23% from 2014 to 2016.  The reported increase in expenditure for antiseptic solutions and dressings (34,554 USD) was more than offset by the USD 106,055 decrease in expenditure for antibiotics and antimycotics, resulting in a total reduction in cost of USD 71,501.

“We know how healthcare professionals are under pressure to reduce antibiotic usage and infection rates,” said Dr Andy Weymann, Chief Medical Officer, Smith & Nephew. “This evidence highlights how a burn wound management strategy can be made more cost effective and help to optimise the treatment of infections. It is encouraging to see that such a strategy can decrease the use of antibiotics.”

The new burn wound management strategy included a reduction in use of systemic antibiotics and an increase the use of topical antimicrobial products, such as silver-containing dressings and antiseptics. The methodology examined the infection prevention and treatment in hospitalised burn patients before and after the strategy introduction  

The new strategy was implemented in response to a substantial increase in antibiotic resistance. 2,000 patients with an 18.4% mean body surface area affected by burn who were treated between 2014 and 2016 at a single centre in Poland were analysed.

A reduction of 19.8%in total costs of antibiotics and antimycotics was reported; antibiotic expenditure decreased whereas expenditure for antimicrobial dressings and antiseptics increased. The new strategy also helped to reduce the development of drug resistance in P. aeruginosa. In addition to the antiseptic solutions, ACTICOAT and ACTICOAT Flex 3, local burn wound management strategies in the study may have included other interventions, such as debridement and enteral/parenteral nutrition.

“We welcome this study that adds to the evidence around nanocrystalline silver dressings and their role in preventing and managing infection,” said Paolo Di Vincenzo, Smith & Nephew’s SVP of Advanced Wound Management. “A previous study has also shown that ACTICOAT decreases need for antibiotics from 57% to 5.2%2** helping to reduce the human economic cost of wounds.”

*  With other interventions
**  Baseline :Patients showers in 4 % CHG soap then treatment with Silvazine (SSD and CHG cream)
New protocol: Patients showers in 4 % CHG soap then treatment then treatment with ACTICOAT



Dave Snyder
+1 (978) 749-1440
Smith & Nephew plc

About Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business dedicated to supporting healthcare professionals in their daily efforts to improve the lives of their patients. With leadership positions in Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Advanced Wound Management, Sports Medicine and Trauma & Extremities, Smith & Nephew has more than 15,000 employees and a presence in more than 100 countries. Annual sales in 2017 were almost $4.8 billion. Smith & Nephew is a member of the FTSE100 (LSE: SN, NYSE: SNN).

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1. Glik, J, et al. A 2000 patient retrospective assessment of a new strategy for burn wound management in view of infection prevention and treatment. Int Wound J. 2017 Dec 15. [Epub ahead of print]

2. Fong J, Wood F, Fowler B. A silver coated dressing reduces the incidence of early burn wound cellulitis and associated costs of inpatient treatment: comparative patient care audits. Burns. 2005;31:562-567.