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 study.
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.
Press release: Silver is the key to reducing pneumonia associated with breathing tubes…
Abstract in JAMA: Silver-Coated Endotracheal Tubes and Incidence of Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia
Product page: Agento® I.C. Endotracheal Tube…