Blocking Infections, Protecting New Moms
Reported December 30, 2009
MANHATTAN, N.Y. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — One in three expectant moms will deliver by C-section. The last thing a new mom needs is to worry about is surgical site infections. Now, there’s something new to keep moms infection-free.
Swapna Reddy and her husband are less than an hour away from one of the biggest events of their lives.
“I’m very ready!” Reddy said. “I’m extremely ready!”
She’s 39 weeks pregnant with her second child.
“I’m extremely tired of being pregnant,” Reddy said. “I’m tired of being this big.”
Reddy’s baby is one of three gynecologist Jacques Moritz plans to deliver today — one traditionally, two by C-section.
“I deliver about 200 babies a year,” Dr. Moritz, director of gynecology at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan, N.Y., told Ivanhoe.
A major risk for new moms having a C-section — infections.
“A C-section is usually done at the worst possible time,” Dr. Moritz explained. “The woman has been in labor, and the vaginal bacteria have kind of gone up inside where we need to operate.”
During surgery, bacteria can be transferred into the body from fluids, gloves, instruments, sponges or implants. Now, doctors are using a new microbial sealant. It locks down bacteria on the skin.
“This sealant is basically crazy glue,” Dr. Moritz said. “Basically, it acts as a glue, and it seals the bacteria into the skin.”
Before surgeons make the incision, they put the sealant on the skin. Doctors say it stops MRSA and E. coli.
“We seal in the bacteria on the skin so they don’t move, so basically they don’t crawl over to where we made the surgical incision,” Dr. Moritz said.
Each year, 500,000 people get a surgical site infection, or SSI. Patients with an SSI remain in the hospital seven days longer and have a 60 percent increased risk of ending up in intensive care, and they’re twice as likely to die.
Reddy is one of the first to use the sealant. There’s no sign of infection for mom so she can concentrate on keeping her family happy and healthy.
The sealant is approved for C-sections and naturally wears off within a couple of days. Doctors say the sealant shouldn’t be used for surgeries that involve mucous membranes or the eyes.