Home E-Weekly December 6, 2016

ACS Releases New SSI-Prevention Guidelines

Published: December 5, 2016

LIGHTS OUT Smokers should be urged to quit before having surgery.

New guidelines issued by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the Surgical Infection Society aim to enlist both clinicians and patients in the battle to prevent, detect and manage surgical site infections.

Studies suggest that up to 60% of SSIs are preventable, says a release from ACS, and the new guidelines are designed to provide step-by-step ways to address them, says principal author Therese M. Duane, MD, MBA FACS, FCCM.

Some of the new guidelines suggest changes in the ways patients are managed. For example, while high blood sugar levels during surgery increase the risk of SSIs, excessively low blood sugar levels don't reduce SSI risk, but do increase risks of other adverse outcomes. So the guidelines set preoperative target blood glucose levels of 110-150 mg/dL for all patients, including diabetics.

Additionally, since smokers have the highest risk of contracting SSIs, the guidelines encourage surgeons to advise patients to stop smoking 4 to 6 weeks before surgery. Obese patients should also be encouraged to lose weight before having surgery, they say.

The guidelines are based on research and clinical practice experience.

Jim Burger

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