Patients Unaware of Surgical Site Infections, Don’t Understand Significance

January 2, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Nearly half of the patients participating in a small study, performed in the United Kingdom, were unaware that they had a surgical site infection, and the rest “lacked overall awareness, concern, and understanding” about them, according to a study published in the January 2013 issue of Journal of Hospital Infection. Through interviews with 17 patients, researchers found that patients were not aware of or worried about surgical site infections prior to surgery, didn’t recognize them when they developed, and perceived that staff members “downplayed” the existence of the infections. Patients were aware of being given antibiotics but were unaware of the infection’s link to the surgery.

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