Risk Factors and Best Practices for the Prevention of Post-Cardiac Surgery Surgical Site Infections in a Tertiary Care Centre

Sarah Logan, Daniel Quinn, Diane Brault, Valerie Vandal, Bobby Pare, Sean Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Post-cardiac surgery surgical site infections (SSIs) pose devastating consequences in terms of morbidity and mortality to patients.

OBJECTIVE: To examine current risk factors and best practice perioperative care for prevention of SSI following cardiac surgery through the lens of the demographic/clinical characteristics of patients who developed post-cardiac surgery SSIs at a major tertiary care institution, and to identify where documentation is lacking and could be improved to better serve clinical practice.

METHODS: A literature review on post-cardiac surgery SSI prevention and risk factors was performed. These risk factors were examined through a retrospective chart review of the population of patients who developed SSIs during the study period.

RESULTS: The study population was characterized by a high prevalence of riskfactors including age, diabetes, obesity, operative time, blood glucose control, surgical re-exploration, blood transfusions, and emergency context, as well as differences from best practice guidelines such as preoperative showering. Compared to other populations in the literature, several ofthese risk factors were more prevalent at the study site than in the other comparable populations.

CONCLUSION: The patient population had a relatively high prevalence of riskfactors, and the care received by these patients varied in some ways from best practices. Using best practice guidelines, known risk factors, and the data specific to the institution can provide insightsfor analysis and practice improvement efforts in the form of identifying at-risk patients, improving adherence to best practice guidelines, targeting areas to focus care efforts, and improving clincal documentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian journal of cardiovascular nursing = Journal canadien en soins infirmiers cardio-vasculaires
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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