Initially the orthopedic surgeons using the innovative S-MART™/XL for knee surgery on the obese, found that it presented a solution to the too frequent problem of performing bloodless surgery on these patients. Now they understand that more importantly, the S-MART™ may assist in infection control.
An article published in the Orthopedics Magazine marks the realization that tourniquet contamination may prove to be a risk factor for the development of surgical site infection in orthopedic surgery(1). According to another article by C.K. Hebert et al, between 0.5-7.5% cases of deep infection are reported annually in the USA (2).
The risk of surgical site infection proves not only to be a serious health risk, but also increases health costs by a vast amount due to prolonged hospitalization as well as increasing the amount of surgical revisions. Orthopedics surgical site infection has proven to prolog hospital stays by an average of 14 days and to double re-hospitalization rates(3). The cost of corrective surgery in the case of total knee arthoplasty has been estimated at $50,000. An extra cost of approximately $300,000,000 is spent in the USA annually due to infection during joint arthroplasties alone(2).
Contrary to the non sterile multiple use pneumatic tourniquet, the S-MART™ surgical exsanguination tourniquet is a single use, sterile devise. By being sterile, the S-MART™ assists in preventing contamination thus enabling surgeons to perform better medicine and decrease costs substantially.
1. Walsh EF, Ben-David D, Ritter M, Mechrefe AP, Mermel LA, DiGiovanni CW. Microbial colonization of tourniquets used in orthopedic surgery. Orthopedics 2006; 29: 709.
2. Hebert CK, Williams RE, Levy RS, Barrack RL. Cost of treating an infected total knee replacement. Clinical orthopedics and related research October 1996; 331: 140-145
3. Whitehouse JD, Friedman D, Kirkland KB, Richardson WJ, Sexton DJ. The impact of surgical-site infection following orthopedic surgery at a community hospital and a university hospital: Adverse quality of life, excess length of stay, and extra cost. Infection control and hospital epidemiology April 2002; Vol. 23 No. 2: 183-189