The purpose of this assessment was to consider the medical context for the use of this product and to analyze published scientific studies on its effectiveness with respect to pain relief, reduction of infection, and healing.
The report concludes that Acticoat™ can reduce pain, especially during dressing removal, when compared to dressings with 1% silver sulphadiazine or 0.5% silver nitrate. This benefit can be made even more important by the possibility of less frequent dressing changes offered by the product. According to consulted clinicians, this feature could also contribute to a decrease in workload for nursing staff.
Furthermore, Acticoat™ is effective in reducing colonilization and preventing contamination by micro-organisms. However, the available clinical studies do not establish that Acticoat™’s ability to control infection and improve healing is superior, in statistically significant terms, to that of other topical silver agents. Nevertherless, the observed effects are promising.
Lastly, current published literature does not demonstrate Acticoat™’s potential for reducing hospital costs, but quicker discharge from hospital appears to be possible for children treated with Acticoat™ for medium-sized burns.
Given these results and the lack of studies comparing Acticoat™ with similar silver-based dressings, AETMIS concludes that Acticoat™ is a therapeutic option for the treatment of severe burns. The rationale for its use is nonetheless based more on empirical results observed in the clinical setting than on published scientific evidence.