Surgical site infection (SSI) is the most common healthcare-associated infection among surgical patients, with 77% of patient deaths reported to be related to infection (Cataife et al., 2014).
The Centers for Disease Control reports that while advances have been made in infection control practices, including improved operating room ventilation, sterilization methods, barriers, surgical technique, and availability of antimicrobial prophylaxis, SSI remains a substantial cause of morbidity, prolonged hospitalization, and death. It is associated with a mortality rate of 3%, and 75% of SSI-associated deaths are directly attributable to SSI (Awad, 2012).
We can reduce SSIs with these four components of care:
- Perioperative antimicrobial coverage
- Appropriate hair removal
- Maintenance of perioperative glucose control
- Perioperative normothermia
Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria, video
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, video