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Surveillance of Surgical Wound Infections Following Open Heart Surgery

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 June 2016

John A. Sellick Jr.
Affiliation:
Division of Infectious Diseases, State University of New York, at Buffalo and Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo, New York
Marie Stelmach
Affiliation:
Division of Infectious Diseases, State University of New York, at Buffalo and Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo, New York
Joseph M. Mylotte
Affiliation:
Division of Infectious Diseases, State University of New York, at Buffalo and Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo, New York

Abstract

Objective:

To define accurate wound infection rates for the cardiac surgery service based on site of infection and characterization as “deep” or “incisional” and to determine whether a correctable cause for an apparent increase in deep wound infection rates existed.

Design:

Observational.

Setting:

Tertiary-care teaching hospital.

Participants:

All adults undergoing open heart surgery in 1988 and 1989.

Interventions:

Changed from razor to clipper preoperative hair removal in January 1989.

Results:

Deep sternotomy wound infections decreased significantly from 1.2% in 1988 to 0.2% in 1989 (p=.010) and deep venectomy (vein donor site) wound infections declined from 1.6% to 0.4% (p=.014) during the same time period. Incisional wound infection rates did not change. Patients with deep infections more likely required readmission or operation to treat their infection than those with incisional wound infections. The percentage of gram-negative organisms causing wound infections decreased from 56.3% in 1988 to 34.7% in 1989 (p= ,017).

Conclusions:

Preoperative hair removal using a clipper appears to have decreased the risk of deep wound infection compared with razor preparation. The dichotomous wound classification of “deep” and “incisional” distinguished between patients who required additional interventions for treatment of wound infections.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 1991

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