Department of Cardiovascular Sciences

Surgical interventions to reduce infection risk

How do the surgical team reduce my risk of developing an infection

The surgical team reduce bacteria by wearing sterile gowns, sterile gloves, hats and face masks and by performing rigorous hand washes called surgical scrubs. The operating rooms are cleaned thoroughly, and use filtered clean air. All surgical instruments are sterilised before use. The following list includes some of the actions which are used during surgery to reduce bacteria

  • Patient skin is cleaned with antibacterial solution and the patient is draped in sterile sheets leaving just the wound area uncovered.

  • Antibiotics are usually given to treat an existing infection, prophylactic antibiotics are given in advance to stop you developing an infection. You will be given prophylactic antibiotics before surgery to prevent an infection).

  • Sutures (stitches) may be coated with antibiotics.

  • Blood sugar level in diabetic patients is kept within normal range – this will be monitored during surgery. Bacteria thrive where blood sugar levels are higher than normal.

  • Patient’s temperature is kept within normal range – a low body temperature can increase the risk of wound infection. During some operations we may deliberately lower your body temperature. If this happens, we will closely monitor your temperature and give you powered warming blankets after surgery.

  • Amount of fluid in the patient’s body is kept within normal range.

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