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Prevention of Surgical Site Infection

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Surgical site infection is the state of the operation wound becoming infected with germs and therefore posing great danger to the patient in question. This kind of infection is a major cause of many diseases that sprouts up after a surgical operation. Notably, about 1-3% of all nosocomial infections are attributed to the surgical site infection for a clean surgery. Therefore most healthcare associated infections which are common in surgical wards pose so many problems to both the infected patients and also to the hospital in general.  These may include high mortality rate recordings in the hospital, there is also extended stay in the hospital by the patients which is generally expensive and in some cases, and the patient can even develop a permanent disability. Therefore surgical associated infections are of great concern and strict measures should be taken to ensure that they are minimized. The cases of infection varies with surgeons in concern, hospitals, surgical procedures and more so the patient. The infections on the site may be classified into: organs, incisional- can be deep or superficial (Bland, 2006).

The most important factor to be installed in the aim of preventing postsurgical site infection is the use of reasonable judgment and the use of proper techniques used by the surgeon and their teams.  The only way available to prevent the surgical site infections is by possibly reducing the risk factors that can highly contribute to these infections. The operation room should have high levels of cleanness and it should me maintained at low level of microorganisms if not none. The operation or the surgical team must also maintain high levels of cleanliness during the operation (Schechter-Perkins, 2011).

The state of health of the patient before the operation must also be highly considered. The patients must be screened for any possible presence of other health problems before the operation is performed. Presence of any other infection or diseases before the surgery if not taken into account can result to the surgical site not healing well. For example if an operation is performed on a Diabetes patient and yet the condition is not known and hence it has not been put under control, there is a greater possibility that the wound might not heal which poses a health risk to the patient (Tabolt, 2005). Therefore such conditions must be tested for and if present, they must be put into manageable levels to prevent the adverse from happening (Wascher, 2010 ).

All the surgical equipments to be used must be new or if that is impossible, for equipments that can be sterilized, they should be well treated to ensure no traces of bacteria are present in them before being used. Operation gowns are another point of concern since they must be disinfected before being provided to the operation client so as to minimize the risk of them having micro organisms during the operation.

It is also wise not to remove the hair on the site of operation unless there is a possibility of it messing up with the operation procedures. If the removal of hair must be done then proper care must be taken as it should be removed by being clipped. This is because when the hair in operation site is removed, there is possibilities of exposing it to micro organisms which may latter bring complications after the surgery. For better success, it is advisable the hair be removed immediately when the operation is to commence. It is also advisable for patients to use antimicrobial soaps before the surgery, preferably one night before in order to detach the microorganisms that might be present on the skin (Bennett-Guerrero, 2005 ).

Prolonged hospitalization before an operation is a major risk factor that makes the patients susceptible to surgical related infections. When patients have been hospitalized for a long time waiting for an operation, they are exposed to the hospital flora; these in many situations include some airborne organisms that might even have become multi drug resistant. This risk should be brought under control by making sure that all presurgical tests are completed. The exposure to these micro organisms can be reduced by performing the surgery in ambulatory centers as opposed to the hospitals where acute care is provided to sick patients, this implies separation of surgery unit from the other hospital environment. The time spent during and after the surgery should be minimal time possible, this is because that the prolonged duration of surgery, the more the microorganisms gains chances into the open wound. Also the patients should be discharged immediately after an operation for them to have access to home care.

Anti microbial agent should be carefully administered and should go in line with the published method of usage since different antimicrobial agents are available for different microorganisms and if a weak one is used it might not lessen the risk. It is also worthy to note that the antimicrobial agents can be administered by the form of intravenous way and if this method is adopted it must be administered in a timely manner such that before the incision takes place, that the tissue can not be infected easily. It should be noted that the therapeutic levels must be maintained throughout the operation and even short duration after the operation (Nicolas, 2007).

The proposed incision site must be well propped with strong antiseptic solutions in order to help keeping microorganisms from moving to the open site in the event that the towels used in surgery gets wet. This is a key measure since if the micro organisms are present in the place surrounding the site they may have their access into the wound and as a result, they may cause severe infection to the wound.

Proper surgical techniques must be adopted in order to reduce the risk of infection. When the methods used by the surgery team are of high quality, excessive bleeding is controlled, tissue trauma is minimized, there is definite removal of dead body tissues and the chance of foreign bodies entering the body are minimal. It also ensures that blood circulation is controlled and there is total blood oxygenation of blood. Therefore, during the surgery tissues should be handled with maximum care in order to minimize the chances of tissues dying. The surgeon must make sure to use methods that do not cause death of tissues during the operation. For instance there should be minimal use of electrocautely. Closed suctions should be used in order to prevent the tissue fluid from accumulating in the site. This is particularly important to those surgical patients that are obese. The use of permanent suture should be avoided and instead the one that is absorbable be used due to the fact that, it reduces the number of microorganisms that can generate a post operation infection (Keogh, 2008).

The rate of infection after the surgery can be minimized by the use of antibiotics. Though antibiotics are significant in reducing the risk, their admissibility depends on the patient in question and the toxic and allergic levels of the drug. The patients must be checked for the case allergic reaction with the antibiotic to be administered. It might be vital for the cost and the number of bacteria resistant to the antibiotics when choosing it. Therefore, antibiotics should be administered in the cases that there is suspected to be high rates of infection and also where if any infection occurs, it can be serious and far put the life of the patient to the risk (Abdel-Haleim, 210).

It is therefore wise for the surgery team to be aware that complications can arise and if so they must perform all the preventative measures in order to reduce the infection occurrence. Also the patients must be advised to take care before the operation. They are also supposed to disclose all the health facts concerning their past health experience. All these must be considered if at all rate of infections are to be minimized or brought down to manageable levels.

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