Postoperative Infections

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It is estimated that 500,000 postoperative infections occur, among an estimated 27 million surgical procedures annually. Infections result in longer hospitalization and higher costs. Dr. Edward Hill discusses postoperative infections in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Infections after surgical procedures can cause pain, poor wound healing, need for further treatment including antibiotics, longer hospital stays, and increased health care costs.

Postoperative infections may cause severe problems, including failure of the surgical procedure, other surgical complications, sepsis, organ failure and even death.

Some persons are at higher risk of developing postoperative infections than others. Ways to try to prevent these types of infections include:

giving antibiotics before a procedure, when appropriate

making sure the patient is in the best condition possible before elective surgery

using an antiseptic solution to prep the area around a surgical incision

maintaining sterility of the surgical area and operating tools

and having operating room staff wear clean scrub clothes, hats and masks.

A national effort to reduce postoperative infections, the Surgical Care Improvement Program was launched in July 2006. Several steps were recommended, and some extra steps were added later, to help prevent surgically related infections.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.