- Surgical site infections affect millions of people worldwide.
- Infections may lead to the spread of antibiotic resistant superbugs like Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
- WHO has issued few guidelines to be followed before, during or after surgery to avoid infections and antibiotic resistance.
The World Health Organization has recently issued guidelines to prevent surgical site infections in patients who undergo surgery.
Surgical site infections affect millions of people around the world every year. These infections usually occur when the bacteria gets inside the body through the incisions made during the surgery.
‘Risk of surgical site infections can be reduced by following the recent WHO Guidelines.’
Infections may lead to the spread of antibiotic resistant superbugs like MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
The new guidelines advice patients to have a bathe or shower before surgery and avoid shaving the surgical site. It also states that antibiotics can be used before or during the surgery to prevent infections as it could help in preventing antibiotic resistance.
Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO's assistant director-general for health systems and innovation said,"No one should get sick while seeking or receiving care."
Around 11% of the patients from poor and middle income countries pick up infections during surgery. One fifth of the women in Africa who undergo caserean section are susceptible to wound infections.
According to the WHO, an additional annual cost of $900 million is being spent by the patients for surgical site infections and hospitalization in the United States.
Dr. Ed Kelley, director of WHO's Department of Service Delivery and Safety said,"By applying these new guidelines, surgical teams can reduce harm, improve quality of life, and do their bit to stop the spread of antibiotic resistance."
"We also recommend that patients preparing for surgery ask their surgeon whether they are following WHO's advice."
Shaving increases the risk of infections due to minor cuts or abrasions that occur in the skin. These cuts may help the bacteria to enter the body. Therefore the new guidelines restricts shaving before surgery.
The Global guidelines from international experts includes 29 recommendations out of which 13 are designed to prevent infections before or during surgery and 16 guidelines for preventing infections after surgery. These guidelines are valid for any country and studies have also proved that these guidelines are effective in reducing surgical site infections by 39%.