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2020 | 92(3) | 26-31
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Does the use of chlorhexidine gel reduce the frequency of surgical site infections?

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Introduction: Surgical site infections (SSI) involve 2–11% of all surgical procedures.
Paper assumption: The use of 6% gel with chlorhexidine as an element of preoperative skin preparation of the operated area reduces the number of surgical site infections.
Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the impact of body mass index (BMI), neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR), total protein, glucose, length of hospitalization before surgery, duration of surgery, length of drainage maintenance, transfusion of red blood concentrate on the number of SSI.
Materials and methods: 248 patients were subjected to prospective analysis. Patients were operated at the Department of General and Oncological Surgery of the Provincial Specialist Hospital in Zgierz. Patients were divided into three groups depending on the microbiological degree of cleanliness of the postoperative wound: Group I – clean wounds, Group II – cleancontaminated wounds, Group III – contaminated wounds, which also included emergency surgerical procedures. In each group two subgroups were distinguished depending on the method of preoperative preparation of the surgical field: A – gel without CHG, B – 6% gel with CHG.
Results: Surgical site infections were found in 22 patients (8.9%). The respective frequencies for groups I, II, III are: 3.0% vs 12.9% vs 12.7%. An increase in NLR by one unit resulted in a higher incidence of surgical site infections by 11%. A transfusion of RBC to the patient resulted in a 3.5-fold increase in the frequency of surgical site infections. Extending the drain maintenance time by one day increases the SSI frequency by 41%. Lowering the total protein concentration by at least 1 g/dl below normal increases the risk of surgical site infections almost three times.
Conclusions: The use of a 6% gel preparation with chlorhexidine as an element of preoperative preparation of the surgical field reduces the risk of surgical site infections, especially in clean-contaminated and contaminated wounds.
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