A Preliminary Exploration of the Efficacy of Gentamicin Sponges in the Prevention and Treatment of Wound Infections

Gentamicin sponges, implantable topical antibiotic agents, are approved for surgical implantation in 54 countries. Since 1985, more than one million patients have been treated with these sponges.1–3 However, despite having been studied for over 30 years, their effectiveness is still disputed … Han et al have found that applying gentamicin-impregnated sponges during spinal operations significantly decreases surgical-site infection (SSI).4 Chang et al have conducted a meta-analysis encompassing 15 randomized control trials and also concluded that gentamicin sponges decrease the rate of SSI.5 Schimmer et al have used a controlled, prospective, randomized double-blind study to investigate the efficacy of gentamicin sponges in sternal wound complications after heart surgery. They enrolled 720 patients and found that gentamicin sponges effectively reduce infection complications … However, several other studies have demonstrated that gentamicin-impregnated sponges cannot reduce SSI, and some researchers have even proposed that the sponges increase the risk of infection. Wouthuyzen-Bakker et al have discussed the efficacy of applying gentamicin-impregnated sponges locally during debridement in early acute periprosthetic joint infections. They found that their application does not reduce the incidence … read more