The use of medical grade honey to reduce the incidence of surgical wound infection : a randomised controlled feasibility trial

Robson, V 2012, The use of medical grade honey to reduce the incidence of surgical wound infection : a randomised controlled feasibility trial , DProf thesis, University of Salford.

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Background: Patients having free tissue transfer for oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma are susceptible to MRSA. There are many strategies to reduce wound infection rates such as hand washing policies antibiotics but NICE guidelines suggest that research is necessary to find alternatives, such as the use of medical grade honey. To date, no rigorous study on the use of honey to prevent wound infection has been reported. Aim: To assess the feasibility of conducting a randomised controlled trial using Leptospermum honey to reduce the incidence of wound infection following microvascular free tissue reconstruction for head and neck cancer. Method: 70 consecutive patients having free tissue reconstruction 56 (80%) consented to be randomised and 49 (70%) were actually randomised. Twenty five received honey and 24 received conventional treatment. Data were collected between February 2008 and March 2009. Results: At seven days the honey group had more positive wound swabs compared to the non-honey group 20% (5/25) v 13% (3/24) (p= 0.70) but at 28 days positive swab results in the non-honey group had increased to 50% (12/24 v 8/25 (p = 0.25). No adverse events were reported. Patients in the honey group spent significantly less time in hospital after surgery (p = 0.02) representing a saving between 0.2 days and 11.2 days. Satisfaction surveys showed that honey dressings were acceptable to both patients and nurses. Discussion: The study indicated potential advantages in the application of honey as a topical antimicrobial to wounds healing by primary intention in head and neck surgery leading to improvement in length of stay. The dressings were equal in cost compared to standard dressings in this area of care. The study provided a framework on which a large multicentre trial can be based to provide a rigorous RCT on the use of honey as a prophylaxis to wound infection in head and neck cancer.

Item Type: Thesis (DProf)
Contributors: Brettle, AJ (Supervisor), Yorke, J (Supervisor) and Barrow, S (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2021 12:45
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:57

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