Surgical Services

Rebecca J. Murphy, RN, MSN, CNOR Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital

Winfield, IL

Revised Publication:
May 16, 2019
Original Publication:
October 2, 2014
Declarations of Conflicts of Interest:
  • Rebecca Murphy is currently the president for her local Association of periOperative Registered Nurses chapter.


Surgical site infection (SSI) is one of the most common healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and the most common HAI for surgical patients. SSIs may affect the incision, deep soft tissues, or some other part of the anatomy (e.g., organs or spaces). Most SSIs result from endogenous or exogenous microbial contamination of the wound during surgery. The risk for infection is influenced by multiple factors related to the patient, the operation, the surgeon(s), and the healthcare facility, thus creating a need for an all-encompassing infection prevention and control program focusing on preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative interventions. One standard of care, including strict adherence to aseptic and surgical techniques and ongoing vigilance to prevent SSIs, should be applied for all surgery patients, including those undergoing ambulatory surgeries, those who are admitted for same-day surgery, and those having minimally invasive surgery using advanced technologies.