A survey to identify the breach between evidence and practice in the prevention of surgical infection: Time to take action

Josep M. Badia, Anna L. Casey, Inés Rubio-Pérez, Cynthia Crosby, Nares Arroyo-García, José M. Balibrea

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 IJS Publishing Group Ltd Background: The knowledge of the grade of implementation of preventative measures for surgical site infection (SSI) is crucial prior to planning dissemination strategies. Methods: Online survey among the members of the Spanish Association of Surgeons (AEC) to know the actual application of measures, and to compare them with new recommendations issued by international organizations. Results: Most of the 835 responding surgeons work in National Health Service Hospitals (91.3%). Surgeons of all super-specialties answered. 90.4% of responders recommend a preoperative shower, with normal soap or chlorhexidine. 60% recommend hair removal, preferably clipping, although 30% still recommend shaving. Povidone-iodine in aqueous solution or chlorhexidine in alcohol are used for skin preparation. Only 51.9% of surgeons allow solution to air drying before applying surgical drapes. In 83.2% of cases surgeons operate with a single pair of gloves. Perioperative normothermia and hyperoxia were used in 92% and 27.9% of cases, respectively. At the end of the procedure, peritoneal and wound lavage are used, in most cases with saline. Antimicrobial impregnated sutures are rarely used (85.7%) by surgeons, and 32% occasionally use negative pressure therapy on the closed wound. Conclusions: There is great variability in the level of awareness and application of the main measures of SSI prevention among Spanish surgeons. Several areas for improvement have been detected, as core prevention measures are not in common use, and discontinued practices are continued to be used. These practices should be addressed by the AEC by drafting specific recommendations for the prevention of SSI in Spanish hospitals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-297
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Preventative measures
  • Prevention and control
  • Surgical site infection
  • Surgical wound infection
  • Surveys and questionnaires


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