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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2001 Jun;22(6):347-51.

Factors associated with postoperative infection.

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Clinical Pharmacokinetics Laboratory, Millard Fillmore Hospital, Buffalo, New York, USA.



We have developed and analyzed a large surgical prophylaxis database and now report the factors significantly associated with early infection, readmission due to infection, and death within 28 days of surgery. This study is intended to be a stepping-stone for further studies using our clinical database.


A computerized database of 9,016 surgical patients from a 400-bed community hospital was examined. Multivariate logistic regression and tree-based modeling were used to identify factors associated with the outcomes. Factors considered included surgical procedure, prophylactic antibiotic, age, gender, serum creatinine, and albumin.


12.6% had an early infection, 2.5% were readmitted due to infection, and 2.5% died within 28 days. Most combination prophylactic antibiotics were associated with an increased probability of an early infection. Decreased albumin and increased age were associated with an increased probability of an early infection. Tracheostomy and amputations were associated with an increased probability of an early infection, whereas gallbladder and orthopedic procedures involving the arm were associated with a decreased probability. Factors associated with readmission due to infection included dialysis shunt, vascular repair, and an early infection. Factors associated with increased probability of death within 28 days included age, albumin, serum creatinine, and an early infection. Gallbladder procedures and obstetric-gynecologic procedures were associated with a decreased probability of death within 28 days.


Older patients and those with a decreased albumin were most likely to have an early infection. To the extent that an early infection was a significant risk factor for readmission due to infection, the impact of age and albumin on the probability of readmission due to infection is demonstrated by their effects on early infections. Interestingly, albumin and age were significantly associated with death within 28 days, in addition to early infection, showing the predictive association between these factors and early death.

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