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Surgical Site Infections

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a surgical site infection (SSI) represents a significant proportion of healthcare-associated infections, patient morbidity and mortality, and health care costs. A SSI is defined as an infection that develops within 30 days after an operation or within one year if an implant was placed and the infection appears to be related to the surgery. The infection can be classified as:

  • Superficial Incisional (limited to skin or subcutaneous tissue)
  • Deep Incisional (limited to fascia and/or muscular layers)
  • Organ/space

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth recognizes that infections after surgery can be serious because they may prolong the hospital stay, make it necessary to re-admit patients who were discharged after surgery, require additional surgical procedures, and even cause death in severe cases. We are dedicated to preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAI) in our surgical patients through the use of proven medical practices that are based on documented research. We follow Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines for Surgical Site Infection Prevention and use a variety of specific processes when preparing our patients and surgical equipment to minimize the chance of infection in all areas where surgical procedures are performed. We also have a robust infection surveillance program that allows us to quickly identify and treat infections, identify the cause, and implement changes to processes to prevent future infections.

Updated 3 April 2023
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