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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Surveillance of surgical site infection in a teaching hospital in Ghana: a prospective cohort study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  1. High rates of multi-drug resistant gram-negative organisms associated with surgical site infections in a teaching hospital in Ghana

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  2. Nasal localization of a Pseudoterranova decipiens larva in a Danish patient with suspected allergic rhinitis

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  3. Oxacillinase-181 Carbapenemase-Producing Klebsiella pneumoniae in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Ghana, 2017-2019

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  4. Risk factors for surgical site infections in abdominal surgeries in Ghana: emphasis on the impact of operating rooms door openings

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BACKGROUND: Surveillance systems for surgical site infections (SSIs), as a measure of patient safety, help health institutions devise strategies to reduce or prevent them. No surveillance systems exist to monitor SSIs in Ghana.

AIM: To establish a system for monitoring trends and detecting outbreaks in order to create awareness of and control SSIs.

METHODS: An active 30-day surveillance was undertaken at the general surgical unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, from July 1st, 2017 to December 31st, 2018 to identify SSI. It involved a daily inpatient surveillance of patients who had had a surgical procedure, followed by post-discharge surveillance by means of a healthcare personnel-based survey and a patient-based telephone survey. We supplied quarterly feedback of results to surgeons.

FINDINGS: Among the 3267 patients included, 331 were identified with an SSI, a 10% incidence risk. Patients who acquired an SSI experienced increased morbidity including nine extra days in hospital and an adjusted relative mortality risk of 2.3 (95% confidence interval: 1.3 - 4.1; P=0.006) compared to patients without SSI. Forty-nine per cent (161/331) of SSIs were diagnosed post discharge using the healthcare personnel-based survey. The patient-based telephone survey contributed 12 additional cases. SSI incidence risk decreased from 12.8% to 7.5% during the study period.

CONCLUSION: Post-discharge surveillance is feasible using existing healthcare personnel, and the results highlight the high risk and burden of SSIs in Ghana. A surveillance system with feedback for monitoring SSIs may contribute to reducing SSIs; however, firm conclusions regarding the impact need longer observation time.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of hospital infection
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)321-327
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Child, Cohort Studies, Cross Infection/epidemiology, Female, Ghana, Hospitals, Teaching, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Patient Safety, Population Surveillance, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors, Surgical Wound Infection/epidemiology, Young Adult

ID: 61990540