Major article| Volume 41, ISSUE 12, P1258-1263, December 2013

Surgical site infection after cesarean section: Implementing 3 changes to improve the quality of patient care

Published:August 12, 2013DOI:


      Surgical site infection (SSI) is an important complication of cesarean section (CS) delivery and a key quality indicator of patient care.


      A baseline assessment was undertaken to determine SSI rates, and subsequently a quality improvement program was introduced, followed by repeat surveillance. Data were collected during in-hospital stays and for up to 30 days after CS during both periods. Interventions in the quality improvement program included the use of nonabsorbable sutures for skin closure, use of clippers instead of razors, and use of 2% ChloraPrep for skin disinfection before incision.


      A total of 710 patients were surveyed before the interventions, and 824 patients were surveyed after the interventions. Of these, 114 (16%) had an SSI before the interventions, and 40 (4.9%) had an SSI after the interventions (P < .001; odds ratio, 0.27), with 90% and 83%, respectively, detected after hospital discharge. In multivariate analysis, obesity (P = .002) and the use of absorbable suture materials for skin closure (P = .008) were significantly associated with a higher SSI rate before the interventions; however, only obesity was associated with a higher SSI rate after the quality program.


      Surveillance of SSI rates after CS followed by 3 interventions contributed to a significant reduction in SSI rate and improved patient care.

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