Post-caesarean section surgical site infection: rate and risk factors

Marcus Ghuman, Deirdre Rohlandt, Grace Joshy, Ross Lawrenson
New Zealand Medical Journal 2011 July 29, 124 (1339): 32-6

AIM: To identify the incidence of surgical site infection (SSI) post-caesarean section, and important contributory risk factors.

METHOD: A retrospective analysis was conducted to identify cases with SSI, using as a population all the caesarean sections for the 6-month period from 16 March 2009-15 September 2009 performed at Waikato Hospital (n=526). Cases (n=25) were compared with randomly selected controls (n=50) to identify important risk factors.

RESULTS: In total, 25 of the 526 patients (5%) had a SSI post-caesarean section. Of these, 15 were revealed during the initial admission (3%), and the other 10 required hospital care post-discharge for treatment of infection (2%). The key risk factors for surgical site infection post-caesarean section identified were elevated BMI, longer duration of labour, and having an emergency procedure.

CONCLUSION: This study has identified significant risk factors for surgical site infection post-caesarean section. Identification of these risk factors reminds obstetric staff that appropriate targeting of infection reducing strategies to women at high risk is needed.

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