Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Silver Is Key To Reducing Pneumonia Associated With Breathing Tubes

Date:
August 20, 2008
Source:
Washington University School of Medicine
Summary:
People have long prized silver as a precious metal. Now, silver-coated endotracheal tubes are giving critically ill patients another reason to value the lustrous metal. Researchers now report that the silver-coated tubes led to a 36 percent reduction of ventilator-associated pneumonia.

People have long prized silver as a precious metal. Now, silver-coated endotracheal tubes are giving critically ill patients another reason to value the lustrous metal. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the NASCENT Investigation Group, report that the silver-coated tubes led to a 36 percent reduction of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).

VAP can strike up to 15 percent of people who are intubated to aid breathing and can cause death in an estimated 20 percent to 40 percent of those stricken.

"VAP is a relatively common infection and increasingly one caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria," says the study's lead author, Marin H. Kollef, M.D., a Washington University pulmonary specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. "There have been many attempts to prevent VAP, most of which have revolved around modifying hospital practices. The silver-coated endotracheal tube has an advantage in that it doesn't require any additional effort by nurses, therapists and doctors, who may already be over burdened."

Past efforts to prevent VAP included elevating the head of a patient's bed, repeatedly checking ventilator tubing and emptying condensates, monitoring feeding to prevent reflux into the lungs, frequent handwashing and isolation of infected patients. The silver-coated endotracheal tube is structurally identical to a typical tube, so its adoption would not require any change in standard hospital procedures.

Studying 1,509 patients in 54 centers who were intubated for 24 hours or more, the research group found that 7.5 percent of those with uncoated tubes developed VAP. In comparison, 4.8 percent of those with silver-coated tubes developed VAP, a 36 percent reduction.

Kollef indicates that about 80 percent of patients are intubated for less than 10 days. Looking at just the first 10 days of intubation, the silver-coated tubes were associated with a 48 percent reduction in VAP, and when VAP occurred in patients with silver-coated tubes, it occurred later on average than in those with uncoated tubes.

Silver kills bacteria and yeast by sticking to the organisms' enzymes, genetic material and other molecular components, preventing basic functions and interfering with reproduction. These organisms very rarely develop resistance to silver, and the metal has no known side effects in humans.

The new endotracheal tubes are coated with a silver-containing polymer, created by C.R. Bard Inc., that releases silver ions to the surface of the tubes. There, silver exerts a broad-spectrum antimicrobial effect, reduces adhesion of bacteria to the tube and blocks the formation of biofilms, communities of microorganisms that build up special protective structures on surfaces.

The number of antibiotic-resistant organisms is on the rise, making it ever more vital to prevent VAP and related infections, says Kollef, professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Even when an infection can be treated with antibiotics, it takes a physical toll on a patient, he notes.

Kollef, also medical director of the medical intensive care unit and of respiratory care services at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, says the silver-coated tubes are likely to be more expensive than uncoated tubes, but that the cost is easily recovered if the silver-coated tubes can reduce the number of VAP cases.

"I think this is just the beginning for this kind of technology," Kollef says. "The silver-polymer coating will most likely be applied also to tracheostomy tubes and also become available for use in pediatric medicine. In the future, we could see other types of coatings with other functions placed on devices that come into contact with the body."

Funding from C.R. Bard Inc. supported this research. None of the study authors is associated with C.R. Bard Inc. Marin Kollef received speaker fees from the company.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kollef MH, Afessa B, Anzueto A, Veremakis C, Kerr KM, Margolis BD, Craven DE, Roberts PR, Arroliga AC, Hubmayr RD, Restrepo MI, Auger WR, Schinner R. Incidence of Microbiologically-Confirmed Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in the North American Silver-Coated Endotracheal Tube (NASCENT) Study and Reduction With a Silver-Coated Endotracheal Tube. Journal of the American Medical Association, Aug. 20, 2008

Cite This Page:

Washington University School of Medicine. "Silver Is Key To Reducing Pneumonia Associated With Breathing Tubes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080819170435.htm>.
Washington University School of Medicine. (2008, August 20). Silver Is Key To Reducing Pneumonia Associated With Breathing Tubes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080819170435.htm
Washington University School of Medicine. "Silver Is Key To Reducing Pneumonia Associated With Breathing Tubes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080819170435.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins