NICE Medical Technologies Guidance recommends Ethicon Plus Sutures

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued new medical technologies guidance (MTG) recommending the use of Ethicon’s Plus Sutures in surgeries within the National Health Service (NHS). The guidance acknowledged that Plus Sutures should be adopted “as part of a bundle of care for preventing surgical site infection in the NHS for people who need wound closure after a surgical procedure when absorbable sutures are an appropriate option.”

According to the company, Ethicon Plus Sutures are the only sutures with triclosan available worldwide with antibacterial protection offered by IRGACARE† MP (triclosan) and have been shown in vitro to inhibit bacterial colonisation of the suture for seven days or more. Research has revealed that Plus Sutures reduce the risk of surgical site infections (SSIs) by nearly 30%.


“Today’s guidance gives the NHS an opportunity to add a powerful weapon to its arsenal for infection prevention in the hospital setting,” commented Mr Giles Bond-Smith, Consultant HPB and Emergency Surgeon, Clinical Lead for Emergency General Surgery and Governor, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. “We can’t afford to be complacent in the fight against surgical site infections, which double a patient’s chance of dying after surgery and are associated with increased length of stay, additional cost, and hospital readmission.”


SSIs represent a significant economic burden for hospitals and patients with an SSI are twice as likely to spend time in an intensive care unit and are five times more likely to be readmitted after discharge. To prevent large numbers of elective surgeries being disrupted by Covid, recovery plans and strategies need to be implemented. By lowering the risk of SSIs, Plus Sutures may be able to help the NHS at a time of unprecedented pressure.


“It is critical that surgical site infections in hospitals are minimised to help the NHS successfully tackle the formidable elective surgery backlog caused by COVID-19,” said Nisha Johnson, General Manager for Ethicon, Great Britain. “We are delighted that NICE recognises the vital role Plus Sutures can play in hospital infection prevention measures, with their potential to free up beds in NHS hospitals by lowering readmissions and length of stay.”


The use of Plus Sutures compared to standard non-Plus Sutures, would conservatively result in estimated average cost savings of £13.62 per patient if adopted by the NHS, resulting from a reduction in SSIs and therefore a reduction in the healthcare related costs and resources associated with treating SSIs in a hospital setting.


The NICE guidance also recognised that by preventing SSIs, using Plus Sutures results in potential environmental benefits to NHS England, specifically in three areas: greenhouse gas emissions, fresh water use and waste generation.


Ethicon will now apply for an NHS England MedTech Funding Mandate for Plus Sutures.