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CDC estimates 290,000 patients will have a SSI, Surgical Site Infection. Approximately 8,200 patients will die. Patients who acquire SSIs spend an additional 6.5 days in the hospital and are five times more likely to be re-admitted after discharge. Surgical patients with infections are 60% more likely to be admitted to the ICU, intensive care unit. SSIs are believed to account for up to ten billion dollars annually in health care costs including hospital malpractice costs..
What is a Surgical Site Infection? Common symptoms of a SSI are redness and pain around surgery area. A fever or drainage of cloudy fluid from your surgical wound are some of visible symptoms.
What are health care facilities doing to prevent the surgical mistake of SSIs? Have doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers clean their hands and arms up to their elbows with an antiseptic solution just before surgery. If you need to have hair removed for surgery have it done with electric clippers. Antibiotics should be given approximately 60 minutes before surgery and stop antibiotics within 24 hours after surgery is completed. Healthcare workers must clean the surgery site skin with germ killing soap
One the commonly missed items in SSI prevention is operating room environment. Not only due you need a sterile area but an air temperature of 68 to 73 degrees F. The relative humidity should be 30% to 60%. Air changes need to be greater than 15 times per hour and more than 3 outdoor air changes per hour.