Jul 20, 2015

13 Things to Know About Surgical Site Infections

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1. Surgical site infections increase healthcare costs
2. The risk of surgical site infections can be reduced during the preoperative period
3. The source for most surgical site infections is the endogenous flora of the patient’s skin, mucous membranes or hollow viscera (i.e. gastrointestinal tract)1
4. Reducing the patient’s bacterial load before surgery helps reduce the risk of surgical site infections
5. There are significantly higher numbers of bacteria in moist areas of the body: axilla, skin folds, webs of the feet, perineal area and the peri-anal area
6. Preoperative bathing is a CDC recommended practice1
7. Shaving with a razor during the pre-operative hair removal process can cause nicks, cuts and microscopic epidermal injuries, which can lead to surgical site infections2
8. If pre-operative hair removal is necessary, it should be done with a surgical clipper as close to the surgery time as possible3
9. Infection rates are lowest when clipping is done as close to the surgery time as possible3
10. S. aureus is the leading cause of surgical site infections4
11. Approximately 30% of the population is colonized with S. aureus in the nares5
12. 80% of the S. aureus infections are caused by the patient’s own (clonal) nasal flora6-8
13. Reducing S. aureus in the nares may help reduce the risk of surgical site infections

Learn more about surgical site infections, take a perioperative on-demand CE learning webinar.

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