Oxford, UK, 04 February 2009 – The journal Medical Hypotheses (http://www.intl.elsevierhealth.com/journals/mehy/), an Elsevier publication, has announced the winner of the 2008 David Horrobin Prize for medical theory. Written by Mikael Persson and Jan van der Linden from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, the article "Intraoperative CO2 insufflation can decrease the risk of surgical site infection" was judged to best embody the spirit of the journal.
The paper explains that wound infection is a serious surgical complication leading to longer stays in hospital and greater risk of death. Problems include bacterial contamination of the wound, drying of body tissues and heat loss.
The authors suggest that a wound could continuously be flooded with carbon dioxide gas (CO2) during surgery. Carbon dioxide could prevent airborne bacteria from reaching the wound and would also suffocate germs. CO2 is already used for this purpose in the food packaging business. Humidified CO2 would also keep the wound warm and moist, which should reduce tissue damage and speed-up healing.
The authors have already tested their idea in the laboratory, and the next step should be a proper clinical trial in humans.
This year's prize judge was Sir David Weatherall, Emeritus Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford. Sir David commented "I chose this because the hypothesis revolves around a very unusual approach to an extremely common and important clinical problem and the authors seem to have gone someway to defining the route to which it could be tested by appropriate clinical trial."
The £1,000 prize, launched in 2004, is awarded annually and named in honour of Dr. David Horrobin, the renowned researcher, biotechnology expert and founder of Medical Hypotheses, who died in 2003.
Notes to Editors: The full article reference is: M Persson, J van der Linden. Intraoperative CO2 insufflation can decrease the risk of surgical site infection. Medical Hypotheses. 2008; 71: 8-13
Professor van der Linden may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website http://ki.se/ki/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=8768&l=en. Please email email@example.com for a courtesy copy of the article.
Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. Working in partnership with the global science and health communities, Elsevier's 7,000 employees in over 70 offices worldwide publish more than 2,000 journals and 1,900 new books per year, in addition to offering a suite of innovative electronic products, such as ScienceDirect (http://www.sciencedirect.com/), MD Consult (http://www.mdconsult.com/), Scopus (http://www.info.scopus.com/), bibliographic databases, and online reference works.
Elsevier (http://www.elsevier.com/) is a global business headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and has offices worldwide. Elsevier is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc (http://www.reedelsevier.com/), a world-leading publisher and information provider. Operating in the science and medical, legal, education and business-to-business sectors, Reed Elsevier provides high-quality and flexible information solutions to users, with increasing emphasis on the Internet as a means of delivery. Reed Elsevier's ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).
AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.