Protecting Yourself from Infection

Thank you for choosing Sky Ridge
Medical Center for your surgical care. 

Your safety is our top priority and we want to provide you with the information you need to manage your journey to recovery.  From time to time, patients may acquire a surgical site infection (SSI) after a procedure.  Most patients who have surgery do not develop infections, but we want to alert you to the possible symptoms:

 

  • Redness and pain around the surgical area
  • Drainage of cloudy fluid from your surgical wound
  • Fever

If you have any of these signs, please be sure to alert a member of your healthcare team.  Most of these infections are treated with antibiotics.

What Can I do to Prevent a SSI?

Before Surgery

  • Tell your physician about other medical problems/conditions you may have.  Allergies, diabetes or obesity may affect your surgery and treatment.
  • Quit smoking.  Research has shown that patients who smoke acquire more infections.  Talk to your physician about smoking cessation strategies before surgery.
  • Do not shave near the site of your surgery.  Shaving with a razor can irritate the skin and make it easier to develop an infection.
  • Shower prior to arrival at the hospital.
  • Wash/change your bed linens.

At the Time of Surgery

  • Speak up if someone tries to shave you with a razor before surgery.
  • Ask if you will receive antibiotics just before surgery.

After Surgery

  • Insist that your healthcare providers wash their hands before examining you.
  • Ask your family and friends to wash their hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub) before and after visiting you.

How Can I Protect Myself When I Return Home?

  • Your physician or nurse will explain how to care for your wound when you return home.  Make sure you fully understand how to care for your wound prior to leaving the hospital.
  • Before you leave the hospital, make sure you know who to contact if you have questions about your wound when you return home.
  • Always wash your hands before and after caring for your wound.
  • If you have any symptoms of an infection, such as redness and pain at the surgery site, drainage or fever, call your physician immediately.
  • Keep your pets away from the incision.

What is Sky Ridge Doing to Prevent SSIs?

  • Healthcare providers clean their hands before and after caring for each patient.
  • Our team wears protective hair covers, masks, gowns, foot covers and gloves during surgery.
  • Our surgical teams clean their ands and arms up to their elbows with an antiseptic agent before every surgery.
  • We administer antibiotics before your surgery starts.  In most cases, you will receive a dose 60 minutes before the surgery starts.  The antibiotics are typically stopped within 24 hours of surgery.
  • We clean the skin at the surgery site with a special soap that kills germs.

If you have any questions about surgical site infections or caring for your wound after surgery, please be sure to ask any member of our healthcare team.