P0322 - Antimicrobial properties of a nipple care hydrogel pad: A useful tool in preventing infection?
Introduction: Hydrogel pads are used extensively in wound care, and are also used on sore nipples of breastfeeding women. They are valued for their low toxicity and ability to cool, soothe and relieve pain, while facilitating moist wound healing. Hydrogels may also have intrinsic antimicrobial properties. The antimicrobial efficacy of a glycerine hydrogel breast pad (Soothies, Lansinoh Laboratories) against clinically significant organisms S. aureus (SA), S. epidermidis (SE) and P. aeruginosa (PA) was evaluated in vitro.
Methods: Antimicrobial efficacy was evaluated in triplicate by log10 reduction assay which exposes small samples of dressing to bacterial culture. Viable bacteria were recovered from the samples at intervals over 72 hours and total viable counts (TVC) determined.
Results: The hydrogel pad demonstrated substantial bactericidal activity against microorganisms. A 2.5 log10 unit reduction in SA was observed within 6 hours, increasing to >5 log10 reduction to detection limits within 24 hours. When challenged with SE, populations reduced to below detection limits (>5 log10 unit reduction) within 4 hours. Reductions were maintained for the 72 hour test period.
Conclusions: The clinical bacteria (SA, SE) are opportunistic pathogens, associated with nipple infections and mastitis in breastfeeding women. The hydrogel pad showed substantial antimicrobial efficacy, reducing the test bacteria to below detection limits (<10 CFU) within 24 hours. These results suggest that glycerine hydrogels may be useful in managing bioburden in wounded nipples in addition to their characterised pain management and wound healing properties.