Surgical Site Infections and Prevention

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a surgical site infection is an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place. Surgical site infections can be less serious involving only the skin, or more severe encompassing tissues under the skin, organs, or implanted material. These infections develop in about 1 to 3 out of every 100 patients who have surgery.

Although the more common surgical site infection is mediastinitis, or inflammation of the chest cavity following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), surgical site infections are outside cardiovascular surgeries as well. In addition to mediastinitis, in fiscal years 2013, 2014 and 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported the following hospital-acquired conditions:

  • Surgical site infection following certain orthopedic procedures
  • Surgical site infection following bariatric surgery for obesity
  • Surgical site infection following cardiac implantable electronic device

Surgical patients with diabetes have an increased risk of major complications including poor wound healing, increased infection rates, cardiac compromise, and death. When patients with high blood sugar levels undergo surgery, they are faced with additional challenges because they are unable to maintain a balance between insulin and its counterregulatory hormones.

Because high blood sugar is directly correlated with higher risks of surgical site infections, in order to prevent them, hyperglycemia must be avoided. Avoidance is easy when you have an advanced glucose management software. A clinical decision support solution for glucose management provides caregivers the foundation and information needed to provide safe, individualized treatment.