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Paraffin ointment or mupirocin ointment did not differ from no ointment under moist occlusive dressings on non-contaminated surgical wounds for wound infections

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Q Does use of ointment or ointment containing an antibiotic under occlusive dressings reduce wound infections and complications more than no ointment in non-contaminated surgical wounds?


Embedded ImageDesign:

randomised controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:

unclear concealment.

Embedded ImageBlinding:

surgeon assessing outcome.

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

at removal of sutures and 6–9 months.

Embedded ImageSetting:

a skin cancer clinic in Belmont, Victoria, Australia.

Embedded ImagePatients:

778 newly referred patients ⩾18 years of age (mean age 59 y, 54% men) who had skin lesions that required incisional or excisional surgery and would result in wounds closed with interrupted polyamide sutures. A total of 1801 wounds were included (median 1 wound/patient, range 1–15 wounds). Exclusion criteria were skin contamination or infection before surgery, surgical site not amenable to moist occlusive dressings (eg, eyelid), known allergy to occlusive dressings or ointment preparations, or partial thickness skin graft donor sites.

Embedded ImageIntervention:

269 …

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  • For correspondence: Dr A J Dixon, Skincanceronly, Belmont, Victoria, Australia. anthony{at}

  • Source of funding: no external funding.