A surgical site infection (SSI) is an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place. Most patients who have surgery do not develop an infection. However, infections develop in about 1 to 3 out of every 100 patients who have surgery. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidelines and tools to the healthcare community to help end surgical site infections and resources to help the public understand these infections and take measures to safeguard their own health when possible.
Some of the common symptoms of a surgical site infection are:
– Redness and pain around the area where you had surgery
– Drainage of cloudy fluid from your surgical wound
To prevent SSIs, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers:
– Clean their hands and arms up to their elbows with an antiseptic agent just before the surgery.
– Clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub before and after caring for each patient.
– May remove some of your hair immediately before your surgery using electric clippers if the hair is in the same area where the procedure will occur. They should not shave you with a razor.
– Wear special hair covers, masks, gowns, and gloves during surgery to keep the surgery area clean.
– Give you antibiotics before your surgery starts. In most cases, you should get antibiotics within 60 minutes before the surgery starts and the antibiotics should be stopped within 24 hours after surgery.
– Clean the skin at the site of your surgery with a special soap that kills germs.