About Surgical Care Improvement Project Information
Infections near or around a surgical incision occur in 2-5% of abdominal area surgeries and up to 20% of intra-abdominal surgeries. A patient who develops a surgical site infection is more likely to be transferred to the ICU, and more likely to be readmitted to the hospital. Studies have shown that providing a patient with antibiotics at least 1 hour before a surgical incision can prevent infection.
Read on for more information, or click on a topic in the list:
What is a surgical site infection?
A surgical site infection is an infection of the tissue in or around a surgical site. The infection must occur within 30 days after surgery and have at least one of the symptoms listed below.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of a surgical site infection include:
- A delay in healing of the surgical site
- The tissue around the surgical site may be discolored
- A foul odor coming from the incision site
- Pain or sever tenderness in the area of the incision
- Severe swelling of the incision
- Incision is hot to the touch
Call your doctor at the earliest sign of symptoms. Early detection and treatment is important to improving your outcome and even your survival.
What are the causes?
A surgical site infections is caused when a bacteria is present within a wound. The bacteria may be transferred by contact from a surgeons or nurses hands, the bacterial could be airborne during surgery, and or the patient may come in contact with a bacteria after surgery. The most common forms of bacteria that cause surgical site infections include streptococcus pyogenes, and staphyloccus aureus.
How is it diagnosed?
A doctor will diagnose a surgical site infection by taking a small sample of the tissue around the wound, the tissue will then be sent to a lab to determine if there is an infection, and if an infection exists what type of bacteria is causing the infection.
What are the effects of a surgical site infection?
Surgical site infections can cause mortality.
What treatments should you expect for a surgical site infection? See Quality Care for Surgical Site Infections to learn more.