In this section :

Post Procedural Infections: Introduction

Overview and Implications

A Post Procedure infection is associated with a medical or surgical procedure and results from colonization with a bacterial load greater than the capability of the immune system to manage. These infections can significantly increase cost, morbidity and even mortality.

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are infections of the incision, or organ, or space that occur after surgery. Surgical patients initially seen with more complex comorbidities and the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens increase the cost and challenge of treating SSIs. The prevention of SSI is increasingly important as the number of surgical procedures performed … continues to rise. It has been estimated that approximately half of SSIs are preventable by application of evidence-based strategies (Berríos-Torres et al., 2017). SSIs affect up to one-third of patients who have undergone a surgical procedure (World Health Organization, 2018). Surgical site infections are a frequent cause of morbidity following surgical procedures and  have also been shown to increase mortality, readmission rates, length of stay, and costs for patients who incur them. (Cataife et al., 2014).

The pooled incidence of SSIs in low- and middle-income countries is 11.8 per 100 surgical procedures. Although it is much lower in high-income countries, it remains the second most frequent type of healthcare-associated infections (HAI) in Europe and the United States of America (USA). The highest cumulative incidence was for colon surgery with 9.5 per cent episodes per 100 operations, followed by 3.5 per cent for coronary artery bypass graft, 2.9 per cent for caesarean section, 1.4 per cent for cholecystectomy, 1.0 per cent for hip prosthesis, 0.8 per cent for laminectomy and 0.75 per cent for knee prosthesis (WHO, 2018).

Many factors in a patient's journey through surgery have been identified as contributing to the risk of SSI. The prevention of these infections is complex and requires the integration of a range of measures before, during and after surgery (WHO, 2018).


To prevent post procedural infections and deaths in hospitalized patients by reliably implementing evidence-based procedural care for all patients undergoing invasive procedures.

Table of Contents


Hospital Harm Measure

Back to Hospital Harm Measure

Hospital Harm Measure

Back to Hospital Harm Measure