Post-operative surgical site infections are frequent and serious
Post-operative infections in wounds are the second most common care-related infection after urinary infections. In 1.5-20% of operations, infections appear in the wound area, depending on type of operation and wound.
For patients who get post-operative surgical site infections the risks are:
• a 60% higher likelihood that they are going to need intensive care
• a five times greater risk that they are going to be readmitted to hospital
• a doubling of the fatality risk compared to patients without an infection
10,000 skin particles/minute
It is generally accepted that exogenous, airborne bacteria is the main reason for surgical site infections and that the bacteria come from the staff. Each person shreds 10,000 skin particles/minute when moving and 10% of these particles are carrying bacteria.1 The number of bacteria-carrying particles in the air is determined by the number of people in the operating theatre, their activity, dress and the efficiency of the ventilation. The airborne bacteria-carrying particles contaminate the operating area either directly or indirectly via contamination of instruments and other sterile equipment. For each operation and for each patient, there are several preventative measures aimed at hindering post-operative wound infections. One important measure to prevent exogenous air-borne bacteria in the operating area, including both direct and indirect contamination, is to secure ventilation which can offer ultra-clean air.