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Predictors of Surgical Site Infection in Contaminated Abdominal Surgical Wounds: Our Experience in Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital

West Afr J Med. 2023 Nov 30;40(11):1223-1231.


BACKGROUND: Secondary peritonitis is a common emergency surgical condition with varying aetiologies managed by surgeons all over the world. One important morbidity associated with it is postoperative surgical site infection (SSI). A better prevention strategy can be instituted if this complication in patients can be correctly predicted. The study aimed to identify factors in patients with peritonitis that have a significant bearing on the development of postoperative SSI.

METHOD: A total of fifty patients operated on for peritonitis in a period of one year were studied. Factors including age, gender, comorbidities, presenting symptoms, time of presentation, time of intervention, intraoperative findings, duration of surgery, and postoperative SSI were noted. Chi-square, Fisher’s exact test and Student’s t-test were used to test for association where appropriate and a p-value of < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

RESULTS: Peritonitis was most commonly due to a ruptured appendix (46%) followed by perforated peptic ulcer disease (42%). The incidence of SSI was 44%. For the patients that developed SSI, the lowest rate was observed in cases of ruptured appendix (39.1%) and the highest in perforated gastric ulcer (64.3%) which was closely followed by perforated duodenal ulcer (57.1%). The association between the time of presentation and the occurrence of SSI was statistically significant (p = 0.028).

CONCLUSION: The SSI rate (44%) from peritonitis in our centre was quite high and the time of presentation played a crucial role. Prevention strategies focusing on predictors of SSI is necessary to reduce the rate of SSI in our setting.


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