Risk factors for wound infection after minor surgery in general practice

Med J Aust. 2006 Sep 4;185(5):255-8. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2006.tb00555.x.


Objective: To determine the incidence of and risk factors for surgical site infections in general practice.

Design: Prospective, observational study of patients presenting for minor excisions.

Setting: Primary care in a regional centre, Queensland, October 2004 to May 2005.

Participants: 857 patients were assessed for infection.

Results: The overall incidence of infection was 8.6% (95% CI, 3.5%-13.8%). Excisions from lower legs and feet (P = 0.009) or thighs (P = 0.005), excisions of basal cell carcinoma (P = 0.006) or squamous cell carcinoma (P = 0.002), and diabetes (P < 0.001) were independent risk factors for wound infection.

Conclusion: Our results indicate the high-risk groups for surgery in a general practice setting, such as people with diabetes and those undergoing excision of a non-melanocytic skin cancer or excision from a lower limb. Recognition of these groups could encourage more judicial use of prophylactic antibiotics and use of other interventions aimed at reducing infection rates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Family Practice / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Neoplasms / surgery
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology*