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Surgical Site Infection Prevention

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A surgical site infection is an infection that happens at or close to the part of the body where surgery was performed. It usually occurs within the first few weeks after surgery but in some cases can happen later.

At PinnacleHealth the following measures are taken to prevent infections:

  • Our hand hygiene program requires all staff to wash their hands when providing patient care
  • The area of your body where surgery will be performed will be cleaned with an appropriate skin antiseptic agent
  • Your body temperature will be monitored and maintained at the optimal level
  • Your blood sugar level will be monitored and maintained within the acceptable range
  • You may receive a preoperative antibiotic to prevent infection. The antibiotic will be continued for the recommended timeframe after surgery
  • The hospital, including the operating rooms, is inspected on a regular basis to be sure it is as clean as possible
  • Staff is educated regularly on the importance of hand hygiene and infection prevention

What you can do to prevent a surgical site infection:

  • Do not shave near the body area where the surgery will be performed. Shaving can cause skin irritation which can lead to an infection.
  • Eat nutritious foods.
  • Control your blood sugar level.
  • Stop tobacco use.
  • Tell your surgeon if you have any type of infection or rash
  • Have good personal hygiene. Make sure you shower with an antiseptic soap. You may be asked to use a special soap to shower before you come for your surgery.
Symptoms of a surgical site infection include redness, pain or swelling at the incision, fluid draining from the incision, fever or you feel poorly or your incision opens. Call your doctor if you think you might have an infection. It might not be an infection, but it is important for you to let him/her know so that they can give you the proper follow-up care.