Emerson Hospital

Surgical Care Infection Prevention

If you or a loved one is undergoing a surgical procedure at Emerson Hospital, we want you to know that we take every possible precaution to prevent surgical-site infections, following evidence-based best practices to ensure your safety and optimal outcomes.

These important practices include:
  • Antibiotics are administered before surgery so they have taken effect when your procedure begins—clinical evidence shows this is the most important antibiotic dose to prevent surgical site infection
  • We use a long-lasting antimicrobial agent on your skin to prepare the surgical site
  • Our surgical team uses a Safe Surgery Checklist at three critical points: before you receive anesthesia, before an incision is made, and before you leave the operating room—ensuring that every step of your surgery is performed when and how it should be
  • You are kept warm during surgery so your normal body temperature is maintained (known as “normothermia”)—contributing to positive surgical outcomes 

We see our patients as partners in this effort since there are steps you can take to help prevent surgical site infections, too, such as:
  • Be sure to shower or take a full-body bath with soap the night before your surgery is scheduled
  • If hair removal is necessary at the operative site, do not shave the area—clipping hair is the best practice, and we will do that here at the hospital
  • It is crucial to keep your hands clean when recovering from surgery; good hand hygiene—regular hand-washing—is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infection
  • Your visitors should also wash their hands upon entering your hospital room as well as frequently while you are recovering at home

At Emerson Hospital, educating you and your caregivers about effective infection-prevention is a priority to ensure you know what to do when you leave the hospital, how to recognize the signs of infection, and whom to contact if you need help.