6 Statistics on SSIs at ASCs

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In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers have made headway in determining rates of surgical site infections following ambulatory surgery. An article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association detailed the frequency of serious SSIs after low- or moderate-risk ambulatory surgery in patients with a low risk of surgical complications.

To determine infection rates, researchers used 2010 data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Ambulatory Surgery and State Inpatient Databases for California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Tennessee, the eight of which represent one-third of the U.S. population. The analysis included approximately 284,000 low-surgical risk adult patients who underwent general, orthopedic, neurosurgical, gynecologic and/or urologic surgery.

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  • 3.09 per 1000 patients had developed SSIs 14 days after surgery, representing 63.7 of all SSIs the study population experienced.
  • 93.2 percent of patients with an SSI 14 days after surgery required inpatient treatment.
  • 4.84 per 1000 patients had developed SSIs 30 days after surgery.
  • 19.99 per 1000 patients had either an inpatient or outpatient all-cause postsurgical visit at 14 days. 33.62 per 1000 had either an inpatient or outpatient all-cause postsurgical visit at 30 days.
Researchers concluded that while absolute infection rates were low, the total adverse outcomes might represent a significant proportion of adverse outcomes associated with ambulatory surgery and should therefore be taken seriously.

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