Surgical site infections: epidemiology and microbiological aspects in trauma and orthopaedic surgery

Int Wound J. 2013 Dec;10 Suppl 1:3-8. doi: 10.1111/iwj.12179.


Causative agents of wound infections and the routes by which they access surgical incision sites have been recognised for more than a century. Despite knowledge of the factors that influence the risks of surgical site infections (SSIs) and the means to prevent and/or control them, surgical patients still get infections. Traditional systems of classifying and diagnosing SSIs and the diversity of microbial flora reported in contemporary SSIs will be described. Strategies available to prevent and control SSIs will be critically reviewed and the need to develop alternative approaches will be discussed.

Keywords: Control of SSIs; Prevention of SSIs; SSI; Surgical site infection; Wound infection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis
  • Decontamination
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Equipment Contamination
  • Equipment and Supplies, Hospital
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Orthopedic Procedures
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Surgical Wound Infection / diagnosis
  • Surgical Wound Infection / economics
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / microbiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications