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Antibiotic Stewardship in Surgical Site Infections and Wounds

Dr. Thomas E. Serena, MD, FACS, FACHM, MAPWCA

In 2020, outpatient wound clinics must have an antibiotic stewardship program in place. Preventing infection in surgical wounds is vital for positive patient outcomes; however, the diagnosis of moderate to heavy bacterial load in surgical wounds is problematic: clinical signs and symptoms and cultures can be inaccurate. This program will describe the recent technological advances that improve the diagnosis of bacterial load in surgical wounds and incorporation of this technology into an antibiotic stewardship program.


Surgical Wound Assessment and Management

As a planned injury occurring in a controlled and sterile environment, a surgical wound often occurs under ideal conditions. Even so, the risk of infection remains high, and surgical site infections (SSIs) are among the most frequent and costly complications of surgery. This guide takes an in-depth look at surgical wound management, starting with the phases of wound healing and including modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for infection, classification of SSIs, post-surgical wound assessment and management, and methods to prevent infection.

Quick Facts – Surgical Site Infections

This two-page fact sheet was created to support staff education on the types of surgical wounds and the methods of healing used specifically in surgical wounds. The print-friendly format is perfect for posting on the bulletin board or distributing to your nursing staff at in-service.

How Much Do You Know About Surgical Wound Management?

Take our 10-question quiz to find out!

Surgical Wounds: Important Terms to Know

Acute wound: A wound that results from a documentable event, with the assumption that it will progress normally through the four phases of wound healing.

Antimicrobial: Describing the property pertaining to any of several categories of agents that are intended to be toxic to pathogenic organisms, including antibacterials, antiprotozoals, antifungals, and antiparasitics.

Chronic wound: A wound that has failed to re-epithelialize after three months, usually because of failure to progress past the inflammatory phase of wound healing.


Assessment of Surgical Wound Infections

With an associated cost of $3.5 billion to $10 billion spent annually on surgical site infections (SSIs) and complications in the United States, it is important to know how…

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Surgical Wounds: Healing at the Cellular Level

The number of surgical procedures performed in the United States has been increasing annually by as much as 300% over a 10-year period. Although…

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Preventing Surgical Site Infections

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define a surgical site infection (SSI) as “an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place.” The CDC go on to…

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Classification and Management of Surgical Wounds

Wounds resulting from surgical procedures have many commonalities with wounds of other etiologies. However, there are a few notable differences in their classification…

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Surgical Wound Management

Surgical site infections are some of the most common and costly of hospital-acquired infections, with an incidence rate of approximately 300,000 patients annually in the United States and an associated cost of $3.5-$10 billion. Prevention of surgical site infections is paramount, and clinicians should take steps to educate themselves on best practice prevention methods. Watch this brief overview video to learn more about surgical site infection prevention and the educational resources made available on surgical site infection management during this month’s Practice Accelerator program.

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