Researchers Find Bundle Can be Effective in Reducing the Frequency of SSIs

Surgical site infection (SSI) after acute hip fracture surgery is a devastating complication associated with increased suffering and mortality. The aim of the study by Andersson, et al. (2022) was to investigate early SSI, sepsis, pneumonia and urinary tract infections over five years, before and after the implementation of the Safe Hands project.

The incidence of early SSIs decreased from 2.5% in years 1–2 to 1.1% in years 4-5. Similar results were observed for sepsis (2.7% to 1.3%) and urinary tract infections (14.2% to 4.2%). The multivariable regression results suggest that, for every observed year, the odds of early SSIs decreased. Male gender, procedure time, sepsis and preoperative skin damage increased the odds significantly.

The researchers say their preventive bundle, based on partnership between researchers, managers and clinicians and a strong commitment to change from the involved professions, appear to be effective in reducing the frequency of potentially devastating SSIs and other hospital-acquired infections after hip fracture surgery. The use of external and internal facilitators was crucial to enable individual and organisational learning and overcoming barriers to improvements.

Reference: Andersson AE, et al. Reduction of early surgical site and other care related infections in 3553 hip fracture patients: lessons learned from the 5-year Safe Hands project. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control. Vol. 11, article number 113 (2022).