The authors aimed to assess existing evidence in the clinical effectiveness of wound edge protection devices (WEPD’s) in reducing surgical site infections (SSI) in patients undergoing open abdominal surgery. A prespecified review protocol was used to assess studies obtaining primary data on the use of WEPD reducing SSI compared with standard care. Twelve studies reported primary data from 1933 patients. The quality assessment found all to be at considerable risk of bias. The pool risk ratio under random effects model was 0.60 (95% confidence interval, 0.41–0.86) indicating a potentially significant benefit from the use of WEPD’s. No indications of significant between study heterogenicity or publication bias respectively were identified.

Annals of Surgery 2012;255(6):1017–1029

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