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Recommendations Updated for Preventing Surgical Site Infections

Essential practices include administration of prophylaxis, which should be discontinued at time of surgical closure

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 16, 2023 (HealthDay News) — In an article published online May 4 in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, reclassified and updated recommendations are presented for the prevention of surgical site infections (SSIs) in acute-care hospitals.

Michael S. Calderwood, M.D., M.P.H., from Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and colleagues synthesized evidence, theoretical rationale, current practices, practical considerations, writing-group consensus, and considerations of potential harm to highlight practical recommendations designed to assist acute-care hospitals in implementing and prioritizing SSI prevention efforts.

The authors summarized recommendations, which they then categorized as essential practices that should be adopted by all acute-care hospitals and additional approaches that should be considered for use when SSIs are not controlled after implementation of essential practices. The essential practices include administration of prophylaxis according to evidence-based standards and guidelines to emphasize that antimicrobial prophylaxis should be discontinued at the time of surgical closure. The recommendation for use of parenteral and oral antibiotics prior to elective colorectal surgery should be considered an essential practice. For cardiothoracic and orthopedic procedures, decolonization of surgical patients with an anti-staphylococcal agent has been reclassified as an essential practice. An additional essential practice is use of vaginal preparation with an antiseptic solution prior to cesarean delivery and hysterectomy. Regardless of known diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, control of blood glucose levels during the immediate postoperative period has been modified to emphasize its importance.

“Many surgical site infections are preventable,” Calderwood said in a statement. “Ensuring that health care personnel know, utilize, and educate others on evidence-based prevention practices is essential to keeping patients safe during and after their surgeries.”

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