Validation of surgical wound surveillance.

D. M. Cardo, P. S. Falk, C. G. Mayhall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine the sensitivity and specificity of standard infection control surveillance techniques for the identification of surgical wound infections. DESIGN: Surveillance data collected by three infection control practitioners (ICPs) was compared to surveillance data collected simultaneously by a gold standard observer. SETTING: University-affiliated, tertiary care hospital. METHODS: Using standard infection control surveillance techniques (chart review and discussions with patients' nurses and physicians), ICPs collected surveillance data on patients on the General Surgery and Trauma Surgery Services on days 4 and 7 after surgery and then weekly for 30 days or until patients were discharged from the hospital. Simultaneously, a hospital epidemiologist collected surveillance data and examined each patient's wound daily. RESULTS: Nine hundred twenty-five surgical patients including 537 trauma cases and 388 elective general surgery cases were followed postoperatively. The ICPs identified 67 surgical wound infections, and the hospital epidemiologist identified 80 surgical wound infections for a sensitivity of 83.8% with a 95% confidence interval (CI95) of 75.7% to 91.9%. Specificity was 99.8% with a CI95 of 99% to 100%. The sensitivity was the same for trauma surgery and general surgery, but incisional wound infections were more difficult to identify than deep wound infections. During a second validation period, sensitivity was 92.3% with a CI95 of 62% to 100%. CONCLUSIONS: Standard infection control surveillance techniques have the same sensitivity for detection of surgical wound infections as they do for identification of other nosocomial infections. Accurate data on surgical wound infections can be collected without direct examination of surgical wounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-215
Number of pages5
JournalInfection control and hospital epidemiology : the official journal of the Society of Hospital Epidemiologists of America
Volume14
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1993
Externally publishedYes

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Surgical Wound Infection
Infection Control Practitioners
Infection Control
Wounds and Injuries
Wound Infection
Tertiary Healthcare
Cross Infection
Tertiary Care Centers
Surgical Wound
Nurses
Confidence Intervals
Physicians
Sensitivity and Specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)

Cite this

Validation of surgical wound surveillance. / Cardo, D. M.; Falk, P. S.; Mayhall, C. G.

In: Infection control and hospital epidemiology : the official journal of the Society of Hospital Epidemiologists of America, Vol. 14, No. 4, 04.1993, p. 211-215.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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