Fewer infections after surgery

Wound infections are complications that can occur following an operation, and delay healing. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Many of them can be avoided with preventive measures. Swissnoso, the National Centre for Infection Control, has developed a suite of practical measures. Since 2018 the SSI Intervention preventive module has been available to all Swiss hospitals.

Every year around six per cent of hospitalised patients suffer from a healthcare-associated infection, a hospital infection that occurs in connection with a stay in a healthcare institution.

Over a quarter of healthcare-associated infections are so-called surgical site infections (SSIs), wound infections that occur after surgery. They can have far-reaching consequences, from a short course of antibiotics to a series of follow-up operations and long-term antibiotic therapy.

Preventing SSIs

Various preventive measures can significantly reduce the risk of infections of this sort. Ever since 2009, Swissnoso, the National Centre for Infection Control, has been working with the ANQ (the Swiss National Association for Quality Development in Hospitals) to record surgical site infections. This monitoring is seen as a key strategic component of efforts to combat SSIs. To prevent infections, Swissnoso has developed SSI Intervention, a tool containing practical guidance for hospitals. Following a pilot phase, since October 2018 this module has been available to all Swiss hospitals.

SSI Intervention: practical guidance

The written guidelines contained in SSI Intervention focus on procedures that play a significant role in the preparation of patients for surgery. Besides optimising hair removal and preoperative skin disinfection, they also cover the correct application of perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis.

Last modification 15.11.2019

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