Background: There has been no consensus from previous studies of risk factors for surgical wound infections (SWI) and postoperative bacteraemia for patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Methods: Data on 15 potential risk factors were prospectively collected on all patients undergoing CABG surgery during a 12-month period. Results: Of 693 patients, 62 developed 65 SWI using the Centres for Disease Control definition: 23 were sternal wound infections and 42 were arm or leg wound infections at the site of conduit harvest. There were 19 episodes of postoperative bacteraemia. Multivariate analysis revealed that: (i) diabetes, obesity and previous cardiovascular procedure were independent predictors of SWI; and (ii) obesity was an independent risk factor for postoperative bacteraemia. Conclusions: These findings suggest that improved diabetic control and pre-operative weight reduction may result in a decrease in the incidence of SWI. But further prospective studies need to be undertaken to examine (i) whether the increased SWI risk in diabetes occurs with both insulin- and non-insulin-requiring diabetes, and whether improved peri- operative diabetes control decreases SWI; and (ii) what degree of obesity confers a risk of SWI and postoperative bacteraemia, and whether pre- operative weight reduction, if a realistic strategy in this patient group, results in a decrease in SWI.
- Surgical wound infection