Surgical site infections are a frequent cause of morbidity following surgical procedures. Surgical site infections have also been shown to increase mortality, re-admission rates, length of stay, and costs for patients who incur them. While nationally the rate of surgical site infection averages between 2 and 3% for clean cases (class I/clean as defined by CDC), an estimated 40 to 60% of these infections are preventable.
A review of the medical literature shows that the following care components reduce the incidence of surgical site infection: appropriate use of prophylactic antibiotics; appropriate hair removal, controlled postoperative serum glucose for cardiac surgery patients, and immediate postoperative normothermia for colorectal surgery patients. These components, if implemented reliably, can drastically reduce the incidence of surgical site infection, resulting in the nearly complete elimination of preventable surgical site infection in many cases.
(2012). "How-to Guide: Prevent Surgical Site Infections." Institute for Healthcare Improvement; Cambridge, MA (Available at ).