Surgical Site Infections (SSI) | Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System

Surgical Site Infections (SSI)

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A surgical site infection is an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place. Surgical site infections can sometimes be superficial infections involving the skin only. Other surgical site infections are more serious and can involve tissues under the skin, organs, or implanted material. CDC provides guidelines and tools to the healthcare community to help end surgical site infections and resources to help the public understand these infections and take measures to safeguard their own health when possible.

Hutchinson Regional Medical Center's SSIs by service line per 100 surgeries - 2nd quarter 2019

  • Abdominal Hysterectomy Infections - 0/100
  • Caesarean Section Infections - 0/100
  • Cath Lab Infections - 0/100
  • Colon Surgery Infections - 12.5/100
  • Post-Operative Wound Infections - 0.12/100
  • Spine Surgery Infections - 0/100
  • Sternal Incision Infections - 0/100
  • Total Hip Surgery Infections - 2.56/100
  • Total Knee Surgery Infections - 1.82/100

What are we doing to reduce surgical site infections?

  • Cleaning hands and arms up to elbows with an antiseptic agent just before surgery.
  • Cleaning hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub before and after caring for each patient.
  • If indicated, we remove some of hair immediately before surgery using electric clippers if the hair is in the same area where the procedure will occur.
  • Wear special hair covers, masks, gowns, and gloves during surgery to keep the surgery area clean.
  • When indicated, give antibiotics before surgery starts.
  • Clean the skin at the surgery site with a special soap that kills germs.

What can patients do to help prevent SSIs?

Before surgery:

  • Tell your doctor about other medical problems you may have. Health problems such as allergies, diabetes, and obesity could affect your surgery and your treatment.
  • Quit smoking. Patients who smoke get more infections. Talk to your doctor about how you can quit before your surgery.
  • Do not shave near where you will have surgery. Shaving with a razor can irritate your skin and make it easier to develop an infection.
  • At the time of surgery:
  • Speak up if someone tries to shave you with a razor before surgery. Ask why you need to be shaved and talk with your surgeon if you have any concerns.

After surgery:

  • If you do not see your providers clean their hands, please ask them to do so.
  • Family and friends who visit you should not touch the surgical wound or dressings.
  • Family and friends should clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub before and after visiting you. If you do not see them clean their hands, ask them to clean their hands.
  • Make sure you understand how to care for your wound before you leave the hospital.
  • Always clean your hands before and after caring for your wound.
  • Make sure you know who to contact if you have questions or problems after you get home.
  • If you have any symptoms of an infection, such as redness and pain at the surgery site, drainage, or fever, call your doctor immediately.

Resources: https://www.cdc.gov/hai/ssi/ssi.html