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Introduction: Surgical site infections (SSI's) are amongst the most common hospital acquired infections within surgical patients. It increases morbidity and healthcare costs. The aim of this project was to look at risk factors for surgical site infections.
Methods: Univariate analysis was done on the infected and non infected groups comparing variables that potentially contribute to surgical site infections. Multivariate analysis was then performed on each of the significant findings to ascertain if the results were still significant after adjusting for age, operative time and ASA scores. A p value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: Forty-eight out of the 620 patients that underwent colorectal surgery during 2013 and 2014 had wound infections (7.7%). A statistically significant SSI association is seen for open surgery (OR 6.13, P= 0.003), emergency operations (OR 2.15, P=0.01), peritoneal contamination (OR 3, P=0.001), stoma formation (2.18, p= 0.01), closure with staples (OR 2.82, p=0.009) and closure with absorbable sutures (OR 0.18, p=0.001). Even though both staples and absorbable sutures were significantly associated with SSI's, the odds ratio was greater with staples. On multivariate analysis all of the above variables were independently associated with wound infection after adjusting for age, operative time and ASA.
Conclusion: The study shows that commonly accepted factors such as open surgery, contaminated abdominal cavities, emergency operation and stoma formation increase the likelihood of SSI’s. Using staples may also increase the likelihood of SSI’s compared to sutures.
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