Health Problem: Surgical site infections (SSIs) contribute significant morbidity, mortality, and increased costs despite institutions often employing multiple interventions designed to reduce or eliminate SSI incidence.

Technology Description: Triclosan-coated sutures were developed to prevent microbial adherence and colonization and have the same strength, durability, and ease of use as similar sutures without triclosan coating.

Controversy: The use of triclosan in consumer products is not without controversy. The popularity of antibacterial products in the consumer market has been aided by the public perception that these products prevent infection. The widespread use of triclosan in consumer products and its detection in breast milk, urine, and serum have raised concerns regarding its potential association with resistance to antibiotics.

Key Questions:

  • Does use of triclosan-coated sutures reduce the incidence of SSI compared with conventional sutures?
  • Are triclosan-coated sutures safe compared with conventional sutures?
  • Have definitive patient-selection criteria for triclosan-coated sutures been established?

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