BACKGROUND: Surgical site infections (SSI) represent a considerable burden for healthcare systems. They are largely preventable and multiple interventions have been proposed over past years in an attempt to prevent SSI. We aim to provide a position paper on Operative Room (OR) prevention of SSI in patients presenting with intra-abdominal infection to be considered a future addendum to the well-known World Society of Emergency Surgery (WSES) Guidelines on the management of intra-abdominal infections.
METHODS: The literature was searched for focused publications on SSI until March 2019. Critical analysis and grading of the literature has been performed by a working group of experts; the literature review and the statements were evaluated by a Steering Committee of the WSES.
RESULTS: Wound protectors and antibacterial sutures seem to have effective roles to prevent SSI in intra-abdominal infections. The application of negative-pressure wound therapy in preventing SSI can be useful in reducing postoperative wound complications. It is important to pursue normothermia with the available resources in the intraoperative period to decrease SSI rate. The optimal knowledge of the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic characteristics of antibiotics helps to decide when additional intraoperative antibiotic doses should be administered in patients with intra-abdominal infections undergoing emergency surgery to prevent SSI.
CONCLUSIONS: The current position paper offers an extensive overview of the available evidence regarding surgical site infection control and prevention in patients having intra-abdominal infections.