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Report

Prevention of postoperative infections

A rapid summary of the evidence supporting interventions to prevent surgical site infections.

A rapid summary of the evidence supporting interventions to prevent surgical site infections.


Key message

Background

A national patient safety campaign, planned to start in 2011, is being prepared. To support decisions regarding interventions, we have performed a rapid summary of the evidence supporting interventions to prevent surgical site infections, in particularly for surgical procedures monitored by The Norwegian Surveillance System for Healthcare-Associated Infections (NOIS).

Commission

The summary was performed on commission of The Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services, The secretary of the patient safety campaign 2011. 

 Main conclusions

  • The use of prophylactic antibiotics in caesarean section, open hip arthroplasty, open appendectomy, open cholecystectomy and open hearth surgery may reduce the number of surgical site infections (medium to high quality).
  • The use of prophylactic antibiotics in laparoscopic cholecystectomy probably does not influence the number of surgical site infections (low quality).  
  • Regarding the above mentioned types of surgery, there is insufficient evidence to evaluate the effect of prophylactic antibiotics on reducing mortality.
  • Its uncertain whether the removal of hair before surgery may influence the number of surgical site infections (very low quality). 
  • Hair removal using scissors may results in a reduced number of surgical site infections compared to hair removal by shaving (low quality). 
  • It is uncertain whether strict glucose control may influence the number of surgical site infections (very low quality).  
  • It is uncertain whether interventions to assure normal body temperature may influence the number of surgical site infections (very low quality). 

The conclusions were based on evidence summarised in four Cochrane reviews, two systematic reviews and three evidence based guidelines.

Downloadable pdf.

    About this publication

  • Year: 2010
  • Authors Lauvrak V, Norderhaug IN, Juvet LK.
  • ISBN (digital): 978-82-8121-385-2