Surgical Site Infection (SSI)

What is an SSI?

A surgery site infection, or SSI, is an infection that occurs at a patient’s operative site following surgery.

How does this happen?

Your skin is a natural barrier against external, foreign contaminants. When a breech in this defense occurs, sometimes pathogens may gain access to the area and cause a postoperative infection.

What are we doing to prevent SSIs?

  • We use special cleansers that have been clinically proven to reduce infections before making an incision.
  • We give patients antibiotics immediately before surgery.
  • We avoid the use of razors to remove hair.
  • We maintain a sterile environment in the operating rooms, which includes properly sterilizing the surgical tools and machines that will be used during the surgery.
  • We involve the parent/guardian in the risk assessment.
  • We wear professionally laundered surgical attire.
  • We thoroughly clean the operative suite after every patient.

How common is SSI reported at Children’s?

Surgical Site Infection (SSI)On average, we see one SSI for every 3,000 Neurosurgical shunt, Orthopedic spine and Cardiothoracic cases.