Table 8

Author, date and countryPatient groupStudy type (level of evidence)OutcomesKey resultsStudy weaknesses
Ritchie AJ and Rocke LG, 1989, Northern Ireland200 patients attending A&E over a 6 month period, with scalp lacerationsProspective randomised studySpeed of repairAverage 49 sec to close stapled wound and 6 min 20 sec to close sutured wound39% of patients missed the second wound review at 3 weeks
Patient discomfortWound repair with staples was less painful than with suturesCost only takes into account price of material equipment
Cost£4.25 per stapled wound, £2 per sutured wound
Wound complicationsNo difference in wound complications
Brickman KR and Lambert RW, 1989, USA76 emergency patients with scalp, trunk, and extremity lacerationsObservational study looking at stapled woundsTime efficiencyMost wounds were closed within 30 sec67% of wounds were scalp lacerations
CosmesisOne scalp wound and one leg wound dehisced17 patients lost at 7 day follow up
Wound complicationsTwo stapled wounds dehisced37% also contacted 6 months later
Cost efficiencyMost wound closures with staples cost $5.11 compared with $9–$11 for suture closurePaper does not use physicians time to calculate cost, nor does it include the cost of suture kits for stapling
Patient satisfactionNone were dissatisfied
Physician satisfactionAs a new technique they found it easy and rapid
MacGregor FB et al, 1989, Scotland100 consecutive patients presenting to A&E with superficial lacerationsProspective randomised studySpeed of repairMean time per staple 18.6 sec, mean time per suture 124 secNot all lacerations involved the scalp
Cost5 staples £4.14, 5 sutures £2.36Times included skin preparation
Ease of removalNo differencePhysicians time not used to calculate costs
Wound complications at time of removalNo difference
Patient acceptabilityMore patients found staples acceptable. No local anaesthetic applied for stapling
Orlinsky M et al, 1995, USAPatients presenting to the emergency department with linear lacerations of the scalp, extremities and trunkProspective randomised studyTime efficiencyAverage speed of stapling 8.3 seconds per cm, and for suturing 63.2 seconds per cmUnable to report wound healing outcomes as follow up poor
Cost of repairAverage cost of wound repair by staple, $7.08 if no suture kit used, and $17.69 if kit used. Average cost suture repair was $21.58