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Surgical Site Infections - Essay Example

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Surgical Site Infections (Name) (University) (Course) (Tutor) (Date) Surgical type infection refers to a kind of healthcare- associated infection in which a wound infection occurs after a surgical procedure. The infections vary from a limited wound discharge to a life threatening postoperative complication for instance a sternal infection after an open heart surgery…
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Surgical Site Infections

Download file to see previous pages... According to Center for Disease Control, millions of people acquire an infection each year while receiving care, treatment and services (The Joint Commission, 2010.) One of those services is surgery. The joint commission is in a process of implementing evidence practices that will help in preventing surgical site infections (The Joint Commission, 2010.) With this information it is necessary to establish ways in which patients can be safe from infections resulting from surgical procedures. There are various causes of surgical site infections. They are both as a result of human error and the systems in place that promote the prevalence of these infections. The human factors include variations that exist in healthcare provider training and experience (WHO, 2001). There are standard procedures used for surgical operations but there are those that vary between institutions. These coupled with the differing experience pause a great risk to patients. The second human factor is depression and burnout which are as a result of the shifts that exist in theatres. Most surgeons feel exhausted by the end of the day especially in large hospitals. Despite this there are emergency cases that arise that need their attention. This makes them not to handle the operations in the required manner thus exposing patients to infections during and after the operation (WHO, 2001). Other human factors that contribute to this problem include time pressures and failure by the surgeons to realize the seriousness of some of the infections. There are a variety of system factors that also cause surgical site infections. Poor communication has been cited as one of the most prevalent cause of surgical site infections. This is because without proper communication and clear lines of authority between physicians and nurses, problems will arise in the administration of drugs and in the use of equipment. These are then passed down to patients as they receive wrong antibiotics and use equipment that is not properly sterilized. Another problem is overreliance on automated systems to detect faults, most of which fail exposing patients to surgical site infections. Other causes include use of equipment not meant for a given surgical operation especially in undeveloped countries. These may not be used well or may make huge incisions that put the patients at risk of surgical infections (WHO, 2001). The last factor is post-operative care where some hospitals may retain patients for a long time thus exposing them to drug resistant microorganisms in the hospitals that cause further infections. There are number of approaches that are being used in organizations to minimize infections from surgical procedures. These approaches range from the simple methods of disinfecting surfaces to system wide approaches of improving communication channels with the health care facilities. Hospitals such as The Shands Hospital at the University of Florida have made sure that there exist standard procedures to be used before an operation and these help to ensure safety of the patients. Before the operation the patient is assessed of any risk factors that may result in infections. These risk factors include patient characteristics such as diabetes, steroid or nicotine use (Fauerbach, 2008). The patient is then cleaned before the operation ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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