American Journal of Infectious Diseases

Current Approaches for the Prevention of Surgical Site Infections

Sander Florman and Ronald Lee Nichols

DOI : 10.3844/ajidsp.2007.51.61

American Journal of Infectious Diseases

Volume 3, Issue 1

Pages 51-61


Surgical site infections (SSIs) are the most common type of nosocomial infection among surgical patients and are commonly caused by the patients’ own microbial flora. The prevalence of SSI is a major concern because of the associated increase in the incidence of morbidity and mortality, length of hospitalization and cost of care for postoperative patients. Key factors that determine whether patients are at risk for developing SSI include the inherent potential contamination of the surgical site, the duration of the operation and the individual patient susceptibility. Preventive preoperative measures that can reduce the risk of SSIs include administration of antimicrobial prophylaxis, proper utilization of skin antiseptic agents for both the patient and the surgical team, proper patient preoperative hair removal and the policy of canceling elective procedures when remote skin, urinary or pulmonary infections occur. This paper will review the efficacy and safety of available antiseptic agents, as well as discuss patient-specific prevention strategies.


© 2007 Sander Florman and Ronald Lee Nichols. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.