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J Hosp Infect. 2007 Jun;66(2):148-55. Epub 2007 May 9.

Risk stratification for surgical site infections in Australia: evaluation of the US National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance risk index.

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Division of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4006, Australia.


This study evaluated the US National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance (NNIS) risk index (RI) in Australia for different surgical site infection (SSI) outcomes (overall, in-hospital, post-discharge, deep-incisional and superficial-incisional infection) and investigated local risk factors for SSI. A SSI surveillance dataset containing 43 611 records for 13 common surgical procedures, conducted in 23 hospitals between February 2001 and June 2005, was used for the analysis. The NNIS RI was evaluated against the observed SSI data using diagnostic test evaluation statistics (sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value). Sensitivity was low for all SSI outcomes (ranging from 0.47 to 0.69 and from 0.09 to 0.20 using RI thresholds of 1 and 2 respectively), while specificity varied depending on the RI threshold (0.55 and 0.93 with thresholds of 1 and 2 respectively). Mixed-effects logistic regression models were developed for the five SSI outcomes using a range of available potential risk factors. American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) physical status score >2, duration of surgery, absence of antibiotic prophylaxis and type of surgical procedure were significant risk factors for one or more SSI outcomes, and risk factors varied for different SSI outcomes. The discriminatory ability of the NNIS RI was insufficient for its use as an accurate risk stratification tool for SSI surveillance in Australia and its sensitivity was too low for it to be appropriately used as a prognostic indicator.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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