Surgical Site Infections are infections occurring up to 30 days after surgery (or up to one year after surgery in patients receiving implants) and affecting either the incision or deep tissue at the operation site.
Despite advances in prevention, surgical site infections remain a significant, clinical problem. They are associated with substantial mortality and morbidity and impose severe demands on healthcare resources. Their incidence is up to 20%, depending on the surgery, the surveillance criteria used, and the quality of data collection.
Occasionally, the responsible pathogens originate from the endogenous flora of the patient. The causative pathogens depend on the type of surgery; the most commonly isolated organisms are Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-negative staphylococci, Escherichia coli, and Enterococcus spp.
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Numerous patient-related and procedure-associated factors influence the risk of the infections; prevention requires a bundle approach, with systematic attention to multiple risk factors, to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination and improve the patient’s defences.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for the prevention of surgical site infections emphasize the importance of proper patient preparation, aseptic practice, and attention to surgical technique; antimicrobial prophylaxis is paramount in specific circumstances.
The Journal of Hospital Infection has provided more information on this topic.