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Surgical Site Infections in Gynecology

Black, Jonathan D. MD, MPH*; de Haydu, Christopher MD; Fan, Linda MD; Sheth, Sangini S. MD, MPH

Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey: August 2014 - Volume 69 - Issue 8 - p 501–510
doi: 10.1097/OGX.0000000000000102

Importance Surgical site infections (SSIs) are preventable, yet nearly 2% of all surgical cases are complicated by an SSI. Each SSI increases the cost of a postoperative hospital stay by more than $10,000. Thus, SSI prevention has become the focus of health care systems and hospitals because it is a reducible health care cost.

Objective The objective of this review was to better understand the guidelines and recommendations related to the prevention, diagnosis, and management of SSIs.

Evidence Acquisition This study is a thorough review of the most up-to-date peer-reviewed articles and review articles as well as guidelines and recommendations of various professional organizations including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Results A review of the literature has identified several evidence-based recommendations that physicians should adhere to in an effort to decrease the incidence of SSIs.

Conclusions and Relevance By adhering to clinical recommendations and evidence, we can correctly prevent, diagnose, and treat SSIs. In turn, this will improve health outcomes and decrease health care–related costs, thus increasing the value of health care that we provide to patients. Furthermore, we can gain improvements in the quality measures used by hospitals and insurers.

Target Audience Obstetricians and gynecologists, family physicians

Learning Objectives After completing this CME activity, physicians should be better able to apply evidenced-based guidelines in the prevention of SSIs, including the appropriate use of preoperative prophylactic antibiotics; evaluate a patient’s risks for SSIs based on known risk factors.

*Clinical Fellow, Section of Gynecologic Oncology, †Resident, and ‡Assistant Professor, Section of Gynecology, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

All authors and staff in a position to control the content of this CME activity and their spouses/life partners (if any) have disclosed that they have no financial relationships with, or financial interests in, any commercial organizations pertaining to this educational activity.

Correspondence requests to: Jonathan D. Black, MD, MPH, Yale School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, 310 Cedar St., New Haven, CT 06520. E-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.