Surgical Infections and Antibiotic Stewardship: In Need for New Directions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background and Aims: Patients undergoing surgery are prone to infections, either at the site of surgery (superficial or organ-space) or at remote sites (e.g. pneumonia or urinary tract). Surgical site infections are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality, increased length of hospital stay and represent a huge burden to the health economy across all healthcare systems. Here we discuss recent advances and challenges in the field of surgical site infections. Material and Methods: Review of pertinent English language literature. Results: Numerous guidelines and recommendations have been published in order to prevent surgical site infections. Compliance with these evidence-based guidelines vary and has not resulted in any major decrease in the surgical site infection rate. To date, most efforts to reduce surgical site infection have focused on the role of the surgeon, but a more comprehensive approach is necessary. Conclusion: Surgical site infections need to be addressed in a structured way, including checklists, audits, monitoring, and measurements. All stakeholders, including the medical profession, the society, and the patient, need to work together to reduce surgical site infections. Most surgical site infections are preventable—and we need a paradigm shift to tackle the problem.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Stavanger University Hospital
  • University of Bergen
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Surgery


  • guidelines, prevention, risk factors, Surgical site infections
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Surgery
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019 Dec 11
Publication categoryResearch