Consensus Paper on the Surveillance of Surgical Wound Infections. The Society for Hospital Epidemiology of America; The Association for Practitioners in Infection Control; The Centers for Disease Control; The Surgical Infection Society

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 1992 Oct;13(10):599-605.


A Surgical Wound Infection (SWI) Task Force was convened by The Society for Hospital Epidemiology of America (SHEA) to evaluate how SWI surveillance should be done and to identify where more information is needed. The Task Force reached consensus in the following areas. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) definitions of SWI should be used for routine surveillance because of their current widespread acceptance and reproducibility. The CDC definitions have been clarified in an accompanying article ("Report From the CDC"). Direct observation of wounds and traditional infection control surveillance techniques are acceptable methods of case finding for hospitalized patients. The optimal method for case finding postdischarge or after outpatient surgery is unknown at this time. SWI rates should be stratified by surgical wound class plus a measure of patient susceptibility to infection, such as the American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) class, and duration of surgery. Surgeon-specific SWI rates should be calculated and reported to individual surgeons.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Hospitals / standards*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / standards*
  • Patient Discharge
  • Population Surveillance
  • Risk Factors
  • Surgical Wound Infection / diagnosis
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology