Wound infection can complicate all kinds of cutaneous surgery. We report the results of two prospective, non-randomised, single-centre audits on wound infection rates following cutaneous skin cancer surgery performed as day cases. The intention of the first audit was to determine the wound infection rates and compare these with the published literature. The second audit was completed after changes were introduced to some of the extrinsic factors that may influence the risk of developing wound infection. The results of the two audits were compared to complete the audit loop. A total of 54 patients (30 male, 24 female, range 39–95 years) were included in this study, with 27 patients for each of the two audits. Wounds were termed ‘infected’ if there was purulent discharge, or erythema with seros-anguinous discharge (with a positive bacteriological culture) or spreading cellulitis. The wound infection rate from the first audit was 33.3%. This prompted a change in practice, which resulted in reducing the wound infection rate to 3.7%. Although the risk of developing postoperative wound infection is multifactorial, this study shows that concentrating on extrinsic risk factors for wound infection alone can affect the overall wound infection rate.
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 2005
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