Factors associated with risk of surgical wound infections

Christopher S. Hollenbeak, Judith R. Lave, Timothy Zeddies, Yanfen Pei, Constance E. Roland, Eugene F. Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Surgical wound infections are the most common hospital-acquired infections among patients who undergo inpatient surgery. Risk of infection is a function of both patient susceptibility and exposure. The authors studied all discharges in Pennsylvania from October 1, 2004, through September 30, 2005, in which a circulatory (n = 65 940), neurological (n = 6706), or orthopedic (n = 107 825) procedure was performed using data from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. They estimated the impact of patient-specific factors on risk of infection and compared the ability of these factors to predict infections relative to hospital effects. Results suggested that for all 3 types of procedures, patient-specific factors were a significant determinant of risk of surgical wound infection. However, prediction of infection was improved by 23% to 33% when hospital fixed effects were included. Although patient-specific factors had a statistically significant association with risk of infections, much of the risk of surgical wound infections is determined by hospital factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29S-34S
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Quality
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy


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