Date of Award

Spring 1990

Document Type



Life & Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Rev. Joseph Harrington

Second Advisor

John Addis

Third Advisor

Jack Semmens


In this study we looked at the wound infection rate in surgeries at Hospital A for the months of August, September, October, and November, 1989. For these four months the hospital acquired an overall infection rate of 7.34 % for the 463 surgeries performed during this time period. A databank was established to acquire as much information as possible concerning the patients, the surgeons, and the surgery that was to be performed. Checks for postoperative infections in surgical wounds were made at three, seven and twenty eight days. Wounds were judged as infected if purulent drainage collected from the wound was found to have microorganisms in it. Many other aspects of wound infection rates were looked at, including whether or not the patients were diabetics or nondiabetics, whether or not patients were given antibiotics or steroids before surgery, and infections by wound class. Anesthesia risk category was also considered. It was found that the higher the patient's anesthesia risk category, the more vulnerable the patient was to infection in a surgical wound. By stratification of different aspects of patients and their specific surgeries, more and more information can be gained with the result that wound infection rates from surgical procedures can be minimized.