Frequently Asked Questions About Infections

//Frequently Asked Questions About Infections
Frequently Asked Questions About Infections 2017-01-29T07:47:28+00:00
This is the current terminology for an infection that is related to a surgical procedure. This refers to an infection that may occur after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place. It is a localized or systemic condition resulting from an adverse reaction to the presence of an infectious agent or its toxins (bacteria or virus.) In order for the infection to meet this definition, there must be no evidence that the infection was present or incubating at the time of admission to the hospital. Most patients who have surgery do not develop an infection. However, infection is always a risk which is why your surgeon will discuss this possibility with you prior to your surgery. Statistically speaking, infections develop in about 1 to 3 out of every 100 patients who have surgery. Those statistics vary depending on the health of the patient and the type of surgery performed.

Some of the common symptoms of a surgical site infection are: Redness, swelling, warmth, and pain around the area where you had surgery. Drainage of cloudy fluid from your surgical wound and fever may also be signs of infections.

If you think you might be developing an infection, call your physician immediately!

A Healthcare Associated Infection may be caused by infectious agents from on or within or outside the body. Examples of sources inside on or within the body are sites such as the skin, nose, mouth, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, or vagina that are normally inhabited by microorganisms. Sources outside the body are those external to the patient, such as transmission by hospital staff, visitors, patient care equipment, medical devices, or the health care environment. Other outside sources that may contribute to an infection are things in your home environment such as pets, hot tubs, soiled dressings, or poor hand hygiene by yourself or family members. Many times professionals in Infection Prevention and the surgeon do not know exactly how or why you got an infection at your surgical site. Yampa Valley Medical Center has a team of professionals on staff that will give you all the information possible to help you prevent infections and to determine the cause in the unlikely event that an infection occurs. This information includes what you need to know before your surgery, what Yampa Valley Medical Center will do during your surgery, during your hospital stay and what you can do after your surgery in order to minimize your chance of getting an HAI. While your symptoms may suggest a surgical site infection, in order for this to meet the national standardized definition of a Healthcare Associated Infection, it must meet the following criteria:

  • If implants were used for your surgery, this infection must occur within 1 year after surgery
  • If implants were not used for your surgery, the infection must occur within 30 days after your surgery
  • No other infections recognized or present on admission
  • At least one of the symptoms listed in #1 above must be present
  • A diagnosis of a health care associated Infection must be made by the surgeon or attending physician.
Yampa Valley Medical Center’s infection rate is very low especially when compared to national averages. The national averages for infections are generally calculated on a “type of surgery” basis. As an example, at the time of this printing in October 2010, our infection rate for Joint Replacement surgeries since January 2009 is .01% with national averages ranging from .8% to 1.5% for this same type of surgery. When evaluated through our Colorado infection reporting system, our rates are favorable both statewide and nationally. For the same time period, the overall rate for all types of surgeries, our rate of infections is just .16%. We also monitor our compliance with infection prevention efforts and are above the 95th percentile for providing our patients with the correct antibiotics and compliance with other standardized measures for preventing surgical site infections. State infection information is available on the YVMC website.Yampa Valley Medical Center’s infection rate is very low especially when compared to national averages. The national averages for infections are generally calculated on a “type of surgery” basis. As an example, at the time of this printing in October 2010, our infection rate for Joint Replacement surgeries since January 2009 is .01% with national averages ranging from .8% to 1.5% for this same type of surgery. When evaluated through our Colorado infection reporting system, our rates are favorable both statewide and nationally. For the same time period, the overall rate for all types of surgeries, our rate of infections is just 0.16%. We also monitor our compliance with infection prevention efforts and are above the 95th percentile for providing our patients with the correct antibiotics and compliance with other standardized measures for preventing surgical site infections. State infection information is available on the YVMC website.
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