James S. Harrop Abstract
Surgical site infections (SSIs) are the most common nosocomial infections. These complications lead to revision surgery, delayed wound healing, increased use of antibiotics, and increased length of hospital stay, all of which have a significant impact on patients and the cost of health care. Such intraoperative factors as proper skin preparation, adherence to sterile technique, surgical duration, and traffic in the operating room contribute more to SSIs than do patient-related risk factors such as diabetes mellitus, obesity, and preexisting colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Surgeons have a responsibility to understand the current evidence regarding the factors that affect the rates of SSIs so as to provide the highest level of patient care.