Topical Skin Adhesives (TSAs) continue to gain acceptance as effective alternatives to conventional suture and staple closures in a wide variety of medical applications.2
Cyanoacrylate topical skin adhesives (TSA) have been cleared for use in the U.S. for over a decade and are indicated for topical applications only, to hold closed easily approximated skin edges of wounds from surgical incisions, including punctures from minimally invasive surgery and simple, thoroughly cleansed, trauma induced lacerations.1 TSAs may be used in conjunction with, but not in place of, deep dermal stitches. Used throughout the world for their effective wound closure properties, TSAs continue to gain acceptance as effective alternatives to conventional suture and staple closures in a wide variety of medical applications.2 The products have a variety of benefits over conventional closure techniques—both for the clinician and the patient.
TSAs provide atraumatic wound closure, faster closure times and similar to better cosmetic outcomes3 compared to traditional wound closure techniques such as sutures and staples. In addition to their proven use as wound closure devices, TSAs are also increasingly used as surgical site microbial barriers to protect the closed wound from microbial contamination after primary closure. They have been proven to provide effective contaminant barriers as long as the adhesive film remains intact. There is clinical evidence that demonstrates reduced wound infection from their use.4-8
Microbial contamination of the surgical site is a necessary precursor of surgical site infection (SSI). A recent prevalence study found that SSIs were the most common healthcare-associated infection, accounting for 31 percent of all healthcare-associated infection among hospitalized patients.9 It is also estimated that over 2 percent of all patients admitted for a surgical procedure will develop a surgical site infection.10 The Center for Disease Control (CDC) healthcare-associated infection prevalence survey found that there were an estimated 157,500 surgical site infections associated with inpatient surgeries in 2011.11 Data from the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) included 16,147 SSIs following 849,659 operative procedures in all groups reported, for an overall SSI rate of 1.9 percent between 2006–2008.12
As a result of these infections, patient hospitalization time is extended and the overall cost of care increases by up to 2.9 times.13 While advances have been made in infection control practices, SSIs
remain a substantial cause of morbidity, prolonged hospitalization, and death. SSI is associated with a mortality rate of 3 percent14, and 75 percent of SSI associated deaths are directly attributable to SSI.15
CDC Guidelines for the prevention of surgical site infection recommend that a wound is kept covered with a sterile product for 24–48 hours post primary closure to reduce the risk of infection.16 After this time, the CDC is unclear whether an incision needs to be covered as the body’s natural healing mechanisms commence and begin to provide its own protection from microorganisms.
Devices or practices that may provide a barrier to microorganism entry into the surgical site can be utilized to help improve patient recovery outcomes4,7,17,20,21 and to help reduce the financial burden placed upon care facilities.9,11,13 Preventive strategies, such as providing an effective barrier to infection, may help alleviate this considerable strain to healthcare resources.
TSAs, therefore, may help provide not only primary closure but also an effective microbial barrier throughout this critical time period. Reduced infection rates have been reported when cyanoacrylate topical skin adhesives are used on top of wounds primarily closed with sutures. For instance, Souza et al. reported a reduction from 4.9 percent down to 2.1 percent in infection rates for cardiovascular surgery patients. When comparing the median postoperative hospital stay of patients, those patients whose wounds were closed via conventional sutures plus TSA cited a lower length of hospital stay versus patients whose wounds were closed using conventional sutures only.17
To prove microbial barrier effectiveness of TSAs, manufacturers utilize industry standard testing methodology and submit to the FDA during the product review process. The testing includes subjecting the adhesive layer to contact with various organisms known to cause surgical site infections.
To demonstrate the microbial barrier properties of Cardinal Health™ LiquiBand® OCTYL Topical Skin Adhesive, an in vitro evaluation was conducted using methodology established as industry standard. The product was applied to a pre-defined area on agar test plates (n=100), followed by the application of a highly concentrated titer of selected microorganism. A change in color of the agar would indicate a breach of the adhesive layer. Plates were examined for any change at day three and day seven. The chart below displays the percent maintenance of the microbial barrier per test organism at day three and day seven after inoculation. Over all species, the product maintained a barrier in 899 out of 900 total plates tested at day three, and 881 out of 900 plates tested at day seven.18 These results indicate that Cardinal Health™ LiquiBand® OCTYL Topical Skin Adhesive provides an effective barrier to microbial penetration.