Triclosan-Containing Sutures Reduced Surgical Infections in Children Interview with:
Dr Marjo Renko MD
PEDEGO Research Unit
University of Oulu
Oulu, Finland What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: For over a decade there has been suture materials containing antiseptic agent in the market. Trials in adults have shown some possible benefits from these sutures as in some studies they have reduced occurrence of surgical site infections. Only one small study had so far been published in children and thus we decided to carry out a large trial comparing sutures containing triclosan with ordinary ones.

Our trial included over 1500 children who came to Oulu University Hospital for surgery. Surgical site infections were carefully monitored. Surgical site infections occurred in 2.6 % of the children who received absorbing sutures containing triclosan while that occurred in 5,4 % of the children who received ordinary sutures. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Fortunately surgical site infections are rare in children, but when they occur, they can result in delayed wound healing and even ruin the results of the surgery. Sutures containing small amount of triclosan are an easy way to reduce this problem. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Studies concentrating in specific indications of surgery may be needed. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: There has been concerns on safety of triclosan when it has been used daily in large amounts in household products (for example toothpastes, soaps etc). In medical use there has been no side effects. To maintain its effects in towards bacteria its use should be limited to medical indications with adequate evidence. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Lancet Infect Dis. 2016 Sep 19. pii: S1473-3099(16)30373-5. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(16)30373-5. [Epub ahead of print]
Triclosan-containing sutures versus ordinary sutures for reducing surgical site infections in children: a double-blind, randomised controlled trial.
Renko M1, Paalanne N2, Tapiainen T2, Hinkkainen M3, Pokka T4, Kinnula S2, Sinikumpu JJ2, Uhari M2, Serlo W2.

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Last Updated on September 30, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD