Surgical Site Infection Rates
A surgical site infection (SSI) is an infection that is acquired during the surgical process. Bacteria can get into the incision area and cause an infection. SSIs can be minor, or occasionally can increase complications that result in a longer length of stay in the hospital or readmission of patients.
Patients can help reduce their chances of infection by following the pre- and post-operative instructions given to you by your surgeon and healthcare team.
Below is the quarterly break down of Surgical Site Infection cases at Woodstock Hospital in 2017 and 2018
|Quarter||Fiscal year 2017||Fiscal year 2018|
Q1 April - June
Q2 July - September
Q3 October - December
Q4 January - March
WHAT ARE SURGICAL SITE INFECTIONS(SSIs)?
Surgical site infections occur when harmful germs enter your body through the surgical site (any cut the surgeon makes in the skin to perform the operation).
Infections happen because germs are everywhere –on your skin, in the air and on things you touch. Most infections are caused by germs found on and in your body.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF SSIs?
Increased soreness, pain, or tenderness at the surgical site.
A red streak, increased redness, or puffiness near the incision.
Greenish-yellow or bad-smelling discharge from the incision.
Fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
A tired feeling that doesn’t go away
Symptoms can appear at any time from hours to weeks after surgery. Implants such as an artificial knee or hip can
become infected a year or more after the operation.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FORSSIs?
The risk of acquiring a surgical site infection is higher if you:
Are an older adult
Have a weakened immune system or other serious health problem such as diabetes
Are malnourished (don’t eat enough healthy foods)
Are very overweight
Have a wound that is left open instead of closed with sutures
WHAT SHOULDHEALTH CARE PROVIDERS BE DOING TO PREVENT SSIs?
Health care providers should betaking the following precautions to prevent SSIs:
Practicing proper hand-washingtechniques. Before the operation, thesurgeon and all operating room staff should scrub their hands and arms with an antiseptic soap.
Cleaning the site where your incision is made with an antiseptic solution.
Wearing medical uniforms (scrub suits), long-sleeved surgical gowns, masks, caps, shoe covers and sterile gloves.
Covering the patient with a sterile drape with a hole where the incision is made.
Closely watching the patient’s blood sugar levels after surgery to make sure it stays within a normal range. High blood sugar delays the wound from healing.
Warming IV fluids, increasingthe temperature in the operating room and providingwarm-air blankets (if necessary) to ensure a normal body temperature. A lower-than-normal body
temperature during or after surgery prevents oxygen from reaching the wound, making it harder for your body to fight infection.
Clipping, not shaving any hair that has to be removed. This prevents tiny nicks and cuts through which germs can enter.
Covering your closed wound (closed with stitches) with sterile dressing for one or two days. If your wound is open, packing it with sterile gauze and cover it with sterile dressing.
PREVENTING SURGICAL SITEINFECTIONS: WHAT PATIENTS CAN DO
Ask lots of questions. Learn what steps the hospital is taking to reduce the danger of infection.
If your doctor instructs, shower or bathe with antiseptic soap the night before and day of your surgery. You may be asked to use a special antibiotic cleanser that you don’t rinse off.
If you smoke, stop or at least cut down. Ask your doctor about ways to quit.
Only take antibiotics when told by a health care provider. Using antibiotics when they’re not needed can create germs that are harder to kill. If prescribed, finish all your antibiotics, even if you feel better.
After your surgery, eat healthy foods.
When you return home, care for your incision as instructed by your health care provider.
HOW IS SSI TREATED?
Most infections are treated with antibiotics -the type of medication will depend on the germ causing the infection.
An infected skin wound may be reopened and cleaned.
If an infection occurs where an implant is placed, the implant may be removed.
If the infection is deep within the body, another operation may be needed to treat it.
more information about the importance of good hand hygiene practices, read about the Clean Hands Protect Livescampaign at www.oha.com.