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J Hosp Infect. 2001 Dec;49(4):245-9.

An economic analysis of surgical wound infection.

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Lanarkshire Acute Hospital NHS Trust, UK.


Audit of surgical wound infection is not only an outcome indicator, but also an important aspect of infection control. The literature suggests an expensive 'gold standard' involving a full-time audit nurse collecting prospective data, including a 30-day follow-up into the community.Our study indicates that the cost of surgical wound infection is three-fold: cost to the hospital, the community services and the patient. Although the greatest costs were due to prolonged stay or re-admission to hospital (just under pound90 000), costs to the community and patient cannot be ignored. Hospital expenditure varied according to the type of operation. The study clearly demonstrated the potential cost savings to be highlighted by this type of audit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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