What is the global prevalence of surgical site infections (SSIs)?

Updated: Nov 26, 2019
  • Author: Hemant Singhal, MD, MBBS, MBA, FRCS, FRCS(Edin), FRCSC; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Internationally, the frequency of SSI is difficult to monitor because criteria for diagnosis might not be standardized. A survey sponsored by the World Health Organization demonstrated a prevalence of nosocomial infections in the range of 3-21%, with wound infections accounting for 5-34% of the total. [12]

The 2002 survey report by the Nosocomial Infection National Surveillance Service (NINSS), [13] which covers the period between October 1997 and September 2001, indicates that the incidence of hospital acquired infection related to surgical wounds in the United Kingdom is as high as 10% and costs the country's National Health Service approximately 1 billion pounds annually.

Collated data on the incidence of wound infections probably underestimate the true incidence because most wound infections occur when the patient is discharged, and these infections may be treated in the community without hospital notification.

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