A continuous record of postoperative surgical infections was carried out by electronic data processing of 9,181 orthopaedic and general operations. The overall infection rate was 5.7%, ranging from 2.0% (clean wounds) to 22.1% (dirty wounds). The corresponding deep infection rates were 1.7%, 0.4% and 5.4%, respectively. Employing a multiple logistic regression analysis, ten risk factors were evaluated. Factors found to be significant for both departments were: wound contamination, duration of operation and age. In addition, in the department of orthopaedic surgery: date of operation and surgeon, and in the department of general surgery: planning of operation, length of preoperative stay and anatomic groups. Sex had no influence on postoperative infection. Significant factors altered during the four years. Postoperative stay was, on an average, 13.9 days longer in infected patients.
A continuous record of postoperative surgical infections was carried out by electronic data processing (EDP) of 4340 orthopaedic and general operations. The overall infection rate was 6.3%, ranging from 2.3% (clean wounds) to 27.1% (dirty wounds). The corresponding deep infection rates were 1.6%, 0.4% and 4.6%. Employing a multiple logistic regression analysis, 10 risk factors were evaluated. Factors found to be significant were: wound contamination, department, duration of operation, date of operation and age, and in addition for the department of general surgery: surgeon, planning of operation, length of preoperative stay and anatomic groups. A statistical model for identification of risk patients is described. Postoperative stay was on average 20.5 days longer in infected patients. We find that EDP-recording may result in an annual cost reduction of at least 175,000 pounds for our hospital.
To improve the frequency of primary registration and reduce the time spent on continuous registration of postoperative wound infections by electronic data processing (EDP), we analysed the failures made during a two year period, where and by whom they were made. 16.9% of the operations and 0.4% of the infections had not been registered primarily, and all involved groups had made mistakes, but the surgeons were responsible for 69.2% of the missing registrations. This study shows that reliable registration of infections requires frequent instruction of all groups, especially the surgeons, frequent reports of infections in the ward and for each surgeon, and that the registrations are continuously controlled and at the end of year.
A cohort of 4515 surgical patients in ten selected intervention groups was followed. Three hundred and seventeen developed postoperative wound infections, and 291 of these cases were matched 1:1 to controls by operation, sex and age. In comparison to the controls the cases stayed longer in hospital after the intervention and had more contact after discharge with the social security system. Using data from a national sentinel reference database of the incidence of postoperative wound infections, and using national activity data, we established an empirical cost model based on the estimated marginal costs of hospital resources and social sick pay. It showed that the hospital resources spent on the ten groups, which represent half of the postoperative wound infections in Denmark, amounted to approximately 0.5% of the annual national hospital budget. This stratified model creates a better basis for selecting groups of operations which need priority in terms of preventive measures.
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Cites: Surg Clin North Am. 1980 Feb;60(1):27-407361226
In a retrospective study during the last ten years of postoperative wound infections, six cases of late infections were found with a maximum latency of 30 years. A combination of non-absorbable suture materials together with underlying disease seems to have initiated the late formation of wound abscesses. The use of non-absorbable suture seems to involve a life long risk of infection.
The surgical team is potentially at risk of acquiring human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from the patient. Assuming that the probability of an accidental injury during surgery is 0.01 (P2), the prevalence of HIV is 0.01 (P3) and the seroconversion rate is 0.01 (P1), we have estimated the risk (actuarial model) for a surgeon as 0.2% per year, and 5.82% for 30 years of surgery. In view of this we have made changes in surgical technique to reduce the risk to the surgical team from splash or injury. The surgeon must handle tissue with instruments only and minimize the use of fingers. Whenever possible, sharp instruments should be replaced by a blunt type. The surgical nurse loads needles to the needle carrier using forceps. Sharp instruments are placed in a neutral zone on the nurse's stand so that the surgeon and the nurse never touch the same sharp instrument at the same time. Movements should be controlled, and instrument handling accompanied by eye contact. We consider that these changes will reduce the risk of accidental injuries and thereby the transmission of HIV during operations to a greater degree than knowledge of the patient's HIV status.
A cohort of 4515 surgical patients was selected from ten different surgical intervention groups, and 291 of 317 with a postoperative wound infection were matched 1:1 with controls with regard to intervention, sex and age. The mortality rate was investigated from the time of operation, with a follow-up period from 4 years 4 months to 8 years 4 months. Eighty-seven patients with a deep infection had a significantly increased mortality rate, with a risk ratio of 1.7. Without a distinction between superficial and deep infection the former might mask the higher mortality rate associated with the latter.