Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 1997 Jun;18(6):449-56.

The challenge of postoperative infections: does the surgeon make a difference?

Author information

Department of Surgery, W├╝rzburg University, Germany.


Postoperative infections remain a challenge in many surgical procedures despite improved surgical technique and powerful antibiotics. The number of sepsis cases has tripled from 1979 to 1992 due to increased invasive procedures in older and immune-suppressed patients. Increasingly, in recent years, outbreaks of resistant pathogens have been published, provoking the question of how postoperative infections and resistant pathogens should be dealt with. Wound classification and risk stratification were developed to identify patients at risk for postoperative infection. However, other important intrinsic factors of the patient were not included, and further attempts have been made to increase sensitivity and specificity (eg, Study on the Efficacy of Nosocomial Infection Control project, National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance System score); the American Society of Anesthesiologists preoperative assessment score and the operation duration for specific procedures were introduced into the system as risk stratifiers. Advances in immunology have identified new ways in which the surgeon can moderate the immune response (eg, hemorrhage and blood transfusion-induced immune suppression). The increased rate of resistance in enterococci and staphylococci has refocused attention on infection control in surgery. However, there are recent reports from both sides of the Atlantic indicating that guidelines for infection control and antibiotic policy have not become reflected in standard procedures in many hospitals. New antibiotics may be developed, but resistance soon may follow. Sound techniques in surgery, with careful infection control and antibiotic policies, may be the only strategy to prevent further increases in resistance of pathogens in postoperative infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center