Influence of a 5-year serial infection control and antibiotic stewardship intervention on cardiac surgical site infections

Published:April 25, 2016DOI:


      • An infection control and stewardship program decreases SSIs in cardiac surgery.
      • The impact of serial comprehensive interventions is maintained over time.
      • High single dose gentamicin added to infection control could further decrease SSIs.


      Surgical site infections (SSIs) complicate surgery, resulting in higher morbidity and mortality. Infection control bundles and antibiotic stewardship can be effective at reducing SSIs. The influence of long-term serial interventions is unclear.


      The goal of this retrospective quasiexperimental study was to assess the influence of a 5-year serial infection control and antibiotic stewardship intervention on SSIs.


      The multidisciplinary program actively implemented pre-, intra-, and postoperative strategies over a 5-year period from 2009-2014 for all patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), valve replacement, or both at a tertiary care public institution. Outcomes are compared with a 2-year preinterventions period (2007-2009) and 1-year postinterventions period (2014-2015).


      A total of 6,518 procedures were included. After interventions, the overall combined infection rate for CABG, CABG and valve, and valve procedures decreased by 66.3%, from 11.9%-4.0% (odds ratio, 0.34; 95% confidence interval, 0.23-0.49; P < .001). A significant decrease of >50% (P < .001) relative rate was observed in overall, sternum, leg, CABG, and combined CABG and valve infection rates when comparing pre- and postinterventions groups. The antibiotic stewardship intervention increased overall conformity to the internal surgical prophylaxis protocol by 46.8%, from 39.8%-86.6% (95% confidence interval, 41.0-52.4; P < .001).


      Long-term, serial comprehensive infection control and antibiotic stewardship interventions decrease overall SSIs in patients undergoing CABG and valve replacement procedures.

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