AffiliationDepartment of Clinical Microbiology, RCSI Education and Research Centre, Smurfit Building, Beaumont Hospital, PO Box 9063, Dublin 9, Ireland. email@example.com
Surgical Wound Infection
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CitationPreventing surgical site infection. Where now? 2009, 73 (4):316-22 J. Hosp. Infect.
JournalThe Journal of hospital infection
AbstractSurgical site infection (SSI) is increasingly recognised as a measure of the quality of patient care by surgeons, infection control practitioners, health planners and the public. There is increasing pressure to compare SSI rates between surgeons, institutions and countries. For this to be meaningful, data must be standardised and must include post-discharge surveillance (PDS) as many superficial SSIs do not present to the original institution. Further work is required to determine the best method of conducting PDS. In 2008 two important documents on SSI were published from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America/The Infectious Disease Society of America and the National Institute for Health and Clincal Excellence, UK. Both emphasise key aspects during the preoperative, operative and postoperative phases of patient care. In addition to effective interventions known to be important for some time, e.g. not shaving the surgical site until the day of the procedure, there is increasing emphasis on physiological parameters, e.g. blood glucose concentrations, oxygen tensions and body temperature. Laparoscopic procedures are increasingly associated with reduced SSI rates, and the screening and decontamination of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus carriers is effective for certain surgical procedures but has to be balanced by cost and the risk of mupirocin resistance. Finally, there is a need to convert theory into practice by the rigorous application of SSI healthcare bundles. Recent studies suggest that, with a multidisciplinary approach, simple measures can be effective in reducing SSI rates.
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