Silver in medical uses is a remarkable pathogen killer; what are the pros & cons?

senior1938voice commentary

At this critical moment there is a growing discussion about medical uses of silver. We need the best health tools known, and we need truthful information.

Searching Wikipedia, even there, you will find more favorable statements for the medical uses of silver, most being topical. For those of us who never thought of silver as a healing agent, it does open our understanding the value of silver.

Reading the entire Wikipedia article more than once, I decided to extract favorable and disparaging comments to get a clear idea of the pros & cons. The superscript numbers at the beginning of each sentence represents the order in which I found the statement in the article while reading.

So we start by reading the opening paragraphs at Wikipedia:

Medical uses of silver – Wikipedia

include its use in wound dressings, creams, and as an antibiotic coating on medical devices.[1][2][3] Wound dressings containing silver sulfadiazine or silver nanomaterials may be used on external infections.[4][5][6] The limited evidence available shows that silver coatings on endotracheal breathing tubes may reduce the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia.[7] There is tentative evidence that using silver-alloy indwelling catheters for short-term catheterizing will reduce the risk of catheter acquired urinary tract infections

Silver generally has low toxicity, and minimal risk is expected when silver is used in approved medical applications.[11] Alternative medicine products such as colloidal silver are not safe or effective.[12][13][14][15][16]

Disparaging statements

3Alternative medicine products such as colloidal silver are not safe or effective.

7However systemic reviews in 2014, 2017 and 2018 concluded that modern treatments, both with and without silver, show better results for wound healing and infection-prevention than silver sulfadiazine, and therefore SSD is no longer generally recommended.

11Another 2012 study agreed that there is evidence that endotracheal tubes coated with silver may reduce the incidence of ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) and delay its onset, but concluded that no benefit was seen in the duration of intubation, the duration of stay in intensive care or the mortality rate. (Endotracheal tubes)

15Silver acetate has been used as a potential aid to help stop smoking; a review of the literature in 2012, however, found no effect of silver acetate on smoking cessation at a six-month endpoint and if there is an effect it would be small. (Other uses)

Adverse use

16One of the more publicized incidents of argyria came in 2008, when a man named Paul Karason, whose skin turned blue from using colloidal silver for over 10 years to treat dermatitis, appeared on NBC’s “Today” show. Karason died in 2013 at the age of 62 after a heart attack.[67] (Adverse effects)

Complimentary statements

1The limited evidence available shows that silver coatings on endotracheal breathing tubes may reduce the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia. (1st paragraph)

2Silver generally has low toxicity, and minimal risk is expected when silver is used in approved medical applications. (2nd paragraph)

4The antibacterial action of silver has long been known to be enhanced by the presence of an electric field. (Mechanism of action)

5.Silver, used as a topical antiseptic, is incorporated by bacteria it kills. (Mechanism of action)

6It (silver sulfadiazine) was discovered in the 1960s and was the standard topical antimicrobial for burn wounds for decades. (Antibacterial cream)

8It is on the World Health Organization List Of Essential Medicines, the safest and most needed in a health system – (Antibacterial cream)

9It also found that patients who had been treated with silver dressings had faster wound closure compared with patients who had been treated with non-silver dressings. (Dressings)

10A 2015 systemic review concluded that the limited evidence available indicates that using silver-coated endotracheal breathing tubes reduces the risk of contracting ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), especially during the initial days of utilization. (Endotracheal tubes)

12Two systemic reviews in 2004 found that using silver-alloy catheters reduced asymptomatic and symptomatic bacteriuria more than standard catheters, for patients who were catheterized for a short time. (Catheters)

13In vitro tests demonstrated more potent amoebicidal effects for the drugs when conjugated with silver nanoparticles as compared to the same drugs when used alone. (Conjugations with existing drugs)

14Silver x-ray film remains popular for its accuracy, and cost effectiveness, particularly in developing countries, where digital x-ray technology is usually not available. (X-ray film)

senior1938voice comments

The overall reading of the entire (mostly external) Medical uses of silver is a mix bag, perhaps more complimentary, yet significantly disparaging, leaving room to generate a mixed decision on the part of this or any layman reader. The last sentence, in the 2nd paragraph, attempts to drive a nail in the coffin of none pharmaceutical Medical uses of silver – Alternative medicine products such as colloidal silver are not safe or effective.

Alternative medicine; there is no noted discussion of alternative medicine in the total article that I’ve been able to determine. It must be understood early in this discussion, this article is about colloidal silver as it was known in the health care system until nano silver was researched an entered into the healthcare world.

Over ten years of improper use is a long time. Colloidal silver when the particles are of a huge size for ingesting dose have toxic effects. Argyria is extremely rare amongst colloidal silver users. As WHO & CDC would say, the advantages out way the risk.

With the discovery of NSS10ppm which does not build up in the body, colloidal silver is no longer a prime choice.

Remember, nano silver is not in this discussion, it will be at a later date.

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