Challenges Related to Surgical Site Infection Prevention-Results after Standardized Bundle Implementation

J Clin Med. 2021 Sep 29;10(19):4524. doi: 10.3390/jcm10194524.


Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the implementation of an intraoperative standardized surgical site infection (SSI) prevention bundle.

Methods: The multimodal, evidence-based care bundle included nine intraoperative items (antibiotic type, timing, and re-dosing; disinfection; induction temperature control > 36.5°; glove change; intra-cavity lavage; wound protection; and closure strategy). The bundle was applied to all consecutive patients undergoing colonic resections. The primary outcome, SSI, was independently assessed by the National Infection Surveillance Committee for up to 30 postoperative days. A historical, institutional pre-implementation control group (2012-2017) with an identical methodology was used for comparison.

Findings: In total, 1516 patients were included, of which 1256 (82.8%) were in the control group and 260 (17.2%) were in the post-implementation group. After 2:1 propensity score matching, the groups were similar for all items (p > 0.05). Overall compliance with the care bundle was 77% (IQR 77-88). The lowest compliance rates were observed for temperature control (53% overall), intra-cavity lavage (64% overall), and wound protection and closure (68% and 63% in the SSI group, respectively). Surgical site infections were reported in 58 patients (22.2%) vs. 21.4% in the control group (p = 0.79). Infection rates were comparable throughout the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) categories: superficial, 12 patients (4.5%) vs. 4.2%, p = 0.82; deep incisional, 10 patients (3.7%) vs. 5.1%, p = 0.34; organ space, 36 (14%) vs. 12.4%, p = 0.48. After propensity score matching, rates remained comparable throughout all comparisons (all p > 0.05).

Conclusions: The implementation of an intraoperative standardized care bundle had no impact on SSI rates. This may be explained by insufficient compliance with the individual measures.

Keywords: bundle; colorectal; compliance; surgical site infection.