Surgical site infections in elective and emergency general surgery cases in a tertiary public hospital of South India: a retrospective study


  • Rahul G. Reji Department of Surgery, Jawaharlal Institute of Post-Graduation Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, India
  • Chellappa Vijayakumar Department of Surgery, Jawaharlal Institute of Post-Graduation Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, India
  • G. S. Sreenath Department of Surgery, Jawaharlal Institute of Post-Graduation Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, India



Surgical site infection, Morbidity, Mortality, Hospital stay, Post-operative care


Background: Surgical site infections (SSIs) are responsible for increased morbidity and mortality among post-operative patients worldwide. They also increase healthcare costs and prolong the duration of hospital stay. This study aims to determine the incidence of SSIs in elective and emergency general surgery and its association with various risk factors.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was carried out using the case sheets of 200 patients who underwent general surgery in a tertiary public hospital of South India. The patients were selected from two cohorts- emergency and elective (100 from each). The data retrieved from the hospital’s electronic medical records were analyzed using STATA version 14.0.

Results: Of the 200 patients included in the study, 57% were men and the mean (range) age was 49.3 (18-88) years; 122 patients (61%) had contaminated wounds, 68 patients (34%) had a pre-existing comorbidity and the average duration of hospital stay was 6.98 days. The overall surgical site infection rate was 11%; 13% in emergency surgery and 9% in elective surgery. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from 36% of the patients with surgical site infections.

Conclusions: Emergency surgery reported a higher infection rate than elective surgery. Old age, pre-existing medical illnesses, wound contamination and prolonged hospital stay were also found to increase the risks for developing SSIs.


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Original Research Articles