|July 2005 · Vol. 17, No. 7
The evidence-based way to prevent wound infections
Are some CDC recommendations more equal than others?
Consider canceling if there is elective surgery an untreated remote infection
Preop warming of the entire body or local site for 30 minutes can reduce infection risk
Short-duration antimicrobial prophylaxis works best, but should continue for only a few hours after closing the incision
Complete operations within the 75th percentile of standardized operative times
State University of New York Upstate Medical University Syracuse
Of 72 different ways to prevent surgical site infections, 49 are backed by enough confirmatory science to merit the CDC’s strongest recommendation for use in all hospitals. (The 23 other measures in the CDC advisory have not been or cannot be as thoroughly studied.)
How can we apply all possible precautions to every patient wheeled into the OR? The CDC’s Guideline for Prevention of Surgical Site Infections (formerly termed wound infections) advocates “a systematic but realistic approach” based on the evidence, coupled with awareness that risk of surgical site infection is influenced by characteristics of the patient, operation, personnel, and hospital.