Surveillance of surgical site infection after cesarean section and time of notification

Am J Infect Control. 2016 Mar 1;44(3):273-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2015.10.022. Epub 2015 Dec 11.


Background: Cesarean section is a surgical procedure the main complication of which is surgical site infection (SSI), which is related to maternal morbidity and mortality.

Objective: To evaluate active monitoring by telephone to identify infection and time of SSI report in postpartum women and associated risk factors.

Methods: We conducted a prospective observational study from 2013-2014, at a referral service for high-risk pregnancies. Surveillance was conducted via telephone at least 30 days after cesarean delivery. Incidence ratio and time of infection occurrence (days) was analyzed. Survival analysis was conducted to assess the temporal distribution of the development of infection.

Results: Of a total of 353 patients, 14 (4%) cases of SSI were reported, and 10 (7.4%) of the reported cases occurred within 15 days after cesarean and average time of infection was12.21 days. American Society of Anesthesiologists score was the only risk factor associated with SSI after cesarean section.

Conclusions: The prevalence of SSI after cesarean section via telephone is similar to several services with different methods of surveillance, considering it could be used by services with limited resources. Superficial incisional SSI was the most common type of infection, time of infection report was mainly before the 15th day postprocedure, and American Society of Anesthesiologists score of 2 or less was protective against SSI. Telephone calls can be a viable method to identify women with infection briefly after discharge, particularly at-risk patients.

Keywords: Cross-infection; Epidemiologic surveillance; Infection Control.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cesarean Section / adverse effects*
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors