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Preventing a Post-surgical Infection

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 18 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Preventing A Post-surgical Infection

Preventing A Post-Surgical Infection.

Suffering from an infection following surgery can seriously compromise a patient’s recovery and the overall success and outcome may not be as successful as it could be . Along with the healthcare staff using their skills to help prevent these post-operative complications the patients themselves can take some responsibility to help along their road to recovery.

What Types Of Infections Are Post-Operative Patients At Risk Of?

The most obvious risk of infection is that concerning the wound. Even if the type of surgery has involved a small incision, there is still a significant risk of an infection developing.Most patients will be compromised as far as their mobility is concerned for a while after their operation. For most this period is fairly short but for others reduced mobility may be an issue for some time. Being immobile not only puts you at risk of developing a deep vein thrombosis but can contribute to the incidence of a chest infection also.

Preventing An Infection.

The most obvious ways of preventing a post-operative infection are to firstly make sure the wound is not compromised by touch or interference and to make sure you try and mobilise when able and advised. If you are having trouble re-gaining your normal level of mobility ask the nursing staff if physiotherapy may be an option as these specialists will be able to determine which types of exercise would be the most suitable and beneficial for your individual needs.Many patients feel tempted to take a peek at their wound to see the scar that they are left with but this can expose the wound to pathogens and should not be tampered with until a dressing change is warranted and carried out by a trained person who will not only keep the wound clean, but change the dressing in what is known as aseptic conditions.It is common for patients to be prescribed anti-biotic therapy during or following a surgical procedure so patients should try and comply with the regime and instructions for taking or receiving their medications.Wound drains are a common existence particularly for the more major forms of surgery and are often left in place for at least a day, sometimes longer and it can be difficult to manoeuvre with these devices in situ, but again they should be accommodated so they are not pulled out of place which may cause bleeding or a possible infection to manifest if the stitch that is holding it in place or dressing become compromised.

The Importance Of Maintaining Hygiene.

It can be difficult to maintain your hygiene needs when in hospital especially if you have had major surgery, cannot mobilise as before, or have catheters and wound drains but there is still a need to maintain hygiene for both physical and psychological reasons. The nursing staff should care for your wounds and drains when you are in hospital but it is important for patients to try and remain as independent as possible and try to keep mobile where possible.Ask the nursing staff to assist you by getting bowls of water, helping you to the bathroom or in others ways but try and do as much possible yourself when able an permitted to do so.

Infections are a risk of surgery and the surge in hospital acquired infections in recent years has meant that both staff and patients need to be vigilant in their preventative measures. Patients and staff should work together to try and prevent the incidence of a post-operative infection developing.

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