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, 15 (4), 427-32

Prevention of Postsurgical Infections: Some Like It Hot


Prevention of Postsurgical Infections: Some Like It Hot

Jan Kluytmans et al. Curr Opin Infect Dis.


Purpose of the review: The present review covers the literature on prevention of surgical site infections published during 2001. Only papers that offer new insights or question current recommendations are included.

Recent findings: The most interesting advances have been made in the preoperative preparation of the patient. In particular, the effects of preoperative warming of the patient, either generally or locally at the incision site, on the rate of surgical site infections are impressive and warrant further investigation. Also, the effects of strict control of perioperative blood glucose levels and of preoperative eradication of nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus should be studied in greater detail.

Summary: The protective effect of local and systemic warming before surgical procedures has been described in two well designed studies. Although a final judgement regarding effectiveness can only be made after more extensive investigations have been conducted, there appear to be few arguments against application of this cheap and safe measure. Thus, implementation of preoperative warming can be justified in settings associated with high rates of surgical site infections.

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