Surgical Site Infection

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by the WoundSource Editors

Antimicrobial: Describing the property pertaining to any of several categories of agents that are intended to be toxic to pathogenic organisms, including antibacterials, antiprotozoals, antifungals, and antiparasitics.

Chronic wound: A wound that has failed to re-epithelialize after three months, usually because of failure to progress past the inflammatory phase of wound healing.

Intraoperative phase: The time period beginning when the patient is brought to the operating suite and ending when the patient’s procedure is complete, typically when skin is closed and dressed and the patient is transferred to the post-anesthesia or recovery unit.

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Surgical Wound Healing

By the WoundSource Editors

The number of surgical procedures performed in the United States has been increasing annually by as much as 300% over a 10-year period. Although technological advances in surgical procedures have allowed some procedures to be performed using minimally invasive techniques, many operations still require incisions, which require special care to prevent dehiscence and surgical site infections (SSIs). SSIs occur in 2% to 4% of all patients undergoing surgical procedures, and they are among the most expensive inpatient harms, adding approximately $30,000 to the total hospital cost per infection.

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Preventing Surgical Site Infections

By the WoundSource Editors

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define a surgical site infection (SSI) as "an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place." The CDC go on to say the infection can be superficial involving just the skin or more serious infections can occur that involve deeper structures, such as tissue under the skin, organs, or implanted devices or materials. The CDC offer tools and guidelines to prevent SSIs and provide education to the public. Public education includes tips and advice on how to prevent patient surgical sites from becoming infected. Although such steps may not always prevent a surgical wound from becoming infected, it is always important to involve the patient in postoperative care.

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Surgical Wound Infection Assessment

By the WoundSource Editors

With an associated cost of $3.5 billion to $10 billion spent annually on surgical site infections (SSIs) and complications in the United States, it is important to know how to assess for surgical wound complications. There is a difference between the normal cascade response and a brewing infection. Symptoms of infection are often the first clue that there is more occurring in the wound than meets the eye.

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SSI

by the WoundSource Editors

Surgical site infections (SSIs) account for 20% of total documented infections each year and cost approximately $34,000 per episode. SSIs are responsible for increased readmission rates, length of stay, reoperation, morbidity, and mortality, as well as increased overall health care costs.1,2

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Evaluating Patient Risk Factors

by the WoundSource Editors

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are the most prevalent surgical wound complications, comprising approximately 15% of all health care–associated infections, with more than 500,000 reported yearly.1 Preventing SSIs is perhaps the best way to prevent further surgical wound complications.

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Incision Management

by the WoundSource Editors

Appropriate surgical wound and incision management in the post-operative time period is imperative to prevent complications, including surgical site infection and wound dehiscence. The tenets of modern wound management are applicable to primarily closed incisions, as well as to subacute and chronic wounds.

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Surgical Wound

by the WoundSource Editors

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate approximately 30 million surgical procedures are performed annually in the United States.1 Advances in technology have afforded patients options such as minimally invasive surgery, commonly known as laparoscopic or arthroscopic surgery, which tend to result in much smaller (1cm–2cm) incisions.

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Surgical Site Infections

by the WoundSource Editors

Of the millions of surgical procedures performed annually, most surgical site wounds heal without complications. Surgical site infections (SSIs) are common complications that may occur after surgery, and that may delay healing, therefore increasing the cost of care.1