Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Silver Coating Fights Ventilator Related Pneumonia

Clinicians at the Washington University in St. Louis conducted a
study on the benefits of coating endotracheal tubes with silver to
prevent the spread of infection, which often leads to pneumonia in
already seriously ill patients. We are guessing that it was C.R. Bard's
Agento® I.C. silver-coated endotracheal tubes that were used in the

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.

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