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Surgical Dressings

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 22 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of maggot debridement therapy in limiting the spread of (a) MRSA and (b) other hospital acquired infections; and if she will make a statement. (127744)

The effectiveness of maggot debridement therapy has not been assessed specifically for meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus MRSA) or other healthcare associated infections.

However, as the use of this therapy is reasonably well established for the treatment of chronic ulcers there is no reason why it would not be considered for MRSA infected or colonised ulcers.

This therapy cannot be used for all wounds but when it is it must form part of a team response involving the infection control team (including the clinical microbiologist), the tissue viability nurse, possibly input from plastic surgeons and other clinicians with wound healing expertise. Additional treatment, including relevant systemic antibiotics, may also be necessary.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published Guidance on the use of debriding agents and specialist wound care clinics for difficult-to-heal surgical wounds in 2001. NICE has advised the national health service that the choice of debriding agent, which includes the use of maggots for difficult to heal surgical wounds should be based on comfort; odour control; other aspects relevant to patient acceptability; the type and location of wound, and total costs.