Prevention of wound infections

'Clean wounds' lend themselves to studies of techniques of control of infection. When the wound sepsis rate of clean wounds is unacceptably high, it suggests that a problem within the unit is allowing the introduction of large numbers of exogenous organisms into the operation field.

The infection rate due to exogenous organisms has reduced dramatically because of aseptic techniques. It is impossible to sterilise the atmosphere in an operating theatre, to sterilise the skin of a patient completely and to avoid the carrying of microorganisms into the operating area by theatre personnel. However, equipment and drapes can be sterilised and much can be done to reduce

Table 8.4 Prevention of wound infection

Environment Theatre personnel Patient preparation Operating technique Prophylactic antibiotics the transport of organisms to the patient's wound. Key elements of universal infection control were discussed in detail in Chapter 7 but factors relating specifically to prevention of wound infection (Table 8.4) are discussed here.

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