Use of plastic adhesive drapes during surgery for preventing surgical site infection

Webster, Joan and Alghamdi, Abdullah (2015) Use of plastic adhesive drapes during surgery for preventing surgical site infection. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, 4 Art No: CD006353: . doi:10.1002/14651858.CD006353.pub4

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Author Webster, Joan
Alghamdi, Abdullah
Title Use of plastic adhesive drapes during surgery for preventing surgical site infection
Journal name Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1469-493X
Publication date 2015-04-22
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/14651858.CD006353.pub4
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 4
Issue Art No: CD006353
Total pages 16
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract

Surgical site infection has been estimated to occur in about 15% of clean surgery and 30% of contaminated surgery cases. Using plastic adhesive drapes to protect the wound from organisms that may be present on the surrounding skin during surgery is one strategy used to prevent surgical site infection. Results from non-randomised studies have produced conflicting results about the efficacy of this approach. A systematic review was required to guide clinical practice.


To assess the effect of adhesive drapes used during surgery on surgical site infection, cost, mortality and morbidity.

Search methods

For this fourth update we searched the Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register (searched 4th March 2015); the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2015, Issue 2); Ovid MEDLINE (2012 to 3rd March 2015); Ovid MEDLINE (In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, 2012 to 3rd March 2015); Ovid EMBASE (2012 to 3rd March 2015); and EBSCO CINAHL (2012 to 4th March 2015).

Selection criteria

Randomised controlled trials comparing any plastic adhesive drape with no plastic adhesive drape, used alone or in combination with woven (material) drapes or disposable (paper) drapes, in patients undergoing any type of surgery. Ring drapes were excluded.

Data collection and analysis

Two review authors independently selected and assessed studies for trial quality and both independently extracted data. We contacted study authors for additional information.

Main results

We identified no new studies for this fourth update. The review includes five studies involving 3082 participants comparing plastic adhesive drapes with no drapes and two studies involving 1113 participants comparing iodine-impregnated adhesive drapes with no drapes. A significantly higher proportion of patients in the adhesive drape group developed a surgical site infection when compared with no drapes (risk ratio (RR) 1.23, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02 to 1.48, P = 0.03). Iodine-impregnated adhesive drapes had no effect on the surgical site infection rate (RR 1.03, 95% CI 0.06 to 1.66, P = 0.89). Length of hospital stay was similar in the adhesive drape and non-adhesive drape groups.

Authors' conclusions

There was no evidence from the seven trials that plastic adhesive drapes reduce surgical site infection rates, and some evidence that they increase infection rates. Further trials may be justified, using blinded outcome assessment to examine the effect of adhesive drapes on surgical site infection, based on different wound classifications.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Created: Thu, 08 Oct 2015, 11:55:42 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work