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Prevention and Treatment of Surgical Site Infections

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are a major cause of postoperative illness, longer hospitalization, and increased health care costs, making the prevention and treatment of SSIs an important aspect of patient care for hospitalists. The following module outlines patient and procedural factors that increase the risk of SSIs, examines the basic principles of antimicrobial prophylaxis for SSI, reviews nonantibiotic interventions to lessen the risk of SSI, and outlines evaluation for and treatment of an SSI. In addition, a discussion of the controversy surrounding preoperative decolonization of Staphylococcus aureus is provided.
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