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J Vasc Surg. 2014 Dec;60(6):1635-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2014.08.072. Epub 2014 Nov 21.

The effect of Surgical Care Improvement Project measures on national trends on surgical site infections in open vascular procedures.

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Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisc. Electronic address:
Department of Vascular Surgery, Southern Illinois University, Springfield, Ill.
Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisc.



The Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) is a national initiative to reduce surgical complications, including postoperative surgical site infection (SSI), through protocol-driven antibiotic usage. This study aimed to determine the effect SCIP guidelines have had on in-hospital SSIs after open vascular procedures.


The Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) was retrospectively analyzed using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, diagnosis codes to capture SSIs in hospital patients who underwent elective carotid endarterectomy, elective open repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), and peripheral bypass. The pre-SCIP era was defined as 2000 to 2005 and post-SCIP was defined as 2007 to 2010. The year 2006 was excluded because this was the transition year in which the SCIP guidelines were implemented. Analysis of variance and χ(2) testing were used for statistical analysis.


The rate of SSI in the pre-SCIP era was 2.2% compared with 2.3% for carotid endarterectomy (P = .06). For peripheral bypass, both in the pre- and post-SCIP era, infection rates were 0.1% (P = .22). For open, elective AAA, the rate of infection in the post-SCIP era increased significantly to 1.4% from 1.0% in the pre-SCIP era (P < .001). Demographics and in-hospital mortality did not differ significantly between the groups.


Implementation of SCIP guidelines has made no significant effect on the incidence of in-hospital SSIs in open vascular operations; rather, an increase in SSI rates in open AAA repairs was observed. Patient-centered, bundled approaches to care, rather than current SCIP practices, may further decrease SSI rates in vascular patients undergoing open procedures.

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