SURGICAL SITE INFECTIONS
The most common microorganisms involved in post-surgical infections are the bacteria Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and Pseudomonas. Infection can take place in a variety of different ways, including airborne transmission, contamination from other parts of the patient's own body, and lapses in sterile technique on the part of healthcare providers.
TYPES OF SURGICAL SITE INFECTIONS
The signs of a surgical site infection are identical to the symptoms associated with any type of wound infection and include redness, induration, localized tenderness and pain, and fever. If the infection is caused by bacteria, the wound may also produce pus, which is an exudate composed of dead white blood cells and bacteria. Pus from a wound site can be cultured to determine the causative microorganism. Three types of surgical site infections are recognized:
Superficial infections occur along the line of the surgical incision.
With deep surgical infections, the infection occurs in the connective tissues and muscles that underlie the incision. If pus forms, the surgeon may need to lance the wound in order to drain it.
An abscess is a collection of pus that may be caused by bacteria introduced into your body during a surgical procedure but that can occur anywhere in your body, particularly in body organs or the body cavities around organs. The surgeon may need to place a drain to rid your body of this pus.
SURGICAL SITE INFECTION RISK FACTORS
Conditions and behaviors that undermine your body's immune system may increase the likelihood that you will develop a surgical infection. People with diabetes, cancer, HIV, and chronic rheumatoid disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis have a greater risk of infection than do smokers and alcoholics. Additionally, any surgery that lasts longer than two hours has an increased possibility of causing infection.
PREVENTING SURGICAL SITE INFECTIONS
Apex Physician's take surgical infections seriously. Our ID Specialists and health care staff wash their hands thoroughly before delivering any type of patient care. Our surgical staff wear masks, gowns, gloves, and hair coverings and clean their hands and arms up to the elbow with antiseptic soaps before beginning any kind of surgical procedure. Patients may be dosed with antibiotics both before and after a surgical procedure to decrease the risk of spreading any systemic infection they might be harboring without knowing it.