Infections are a serious complication of external ventricular drainage. Infections cannot be avoided even with the best surgical technique and aseptic handling measures.
Catheters impregnated with antibiotics (Rifampicin and Minocyclin or Rifampicin and Clyndamycin) reduce the frequency of positive CSF cultures.
Prophylactic use of antibiotics carries the risk of infection with antibiotic resistant organisms including opportunistic infections e.g. Candida.
The antimicrobial properties of silver have been known for centuries and have been used in central venous catheters for some time.
Spiegelberg’s range of Silverline catheters are made of polyurethane and are impregnated with 2% nanoparticles of silver and an insoluble silver salt. Because of nanometer size of the particles, the specific surface area is large which results in the release of ions in antiseptic concentration on the surface of the catheter.
Silver inactivates the enzyme systems with SH-groups of the cell wall that are active in transmembraneous energy metabolism. Silver ions block the breathing chain of bacteria, and consequently kill bacteria.