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Reducing SSI rates for women birthing by caesarean section

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are the most common type of nosocomial infection, accounting for up to 20% of all hospitalacquired infections in Europe (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control [ECDPC], 2013). There are varying SSI rates reported across the UK. In 2016, Public Health Wales reported an overall 14-day SSI rate for women undergoing caesarean section of 4.35% 83% of which were superficial infections and 92.5% were detected after discharge (PHW, 2016). From 20152016, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) services experienced an increase in the SSI rate for women birthing by caesarean section from 3.07% to 5.86% respectively. Therefore, a multifaceted approach to quality improvement (ABUHB organisational method) was adopted throughout the duration of 2017, with a view to implement by 2018. The aim was to reduce SSIs for women birthing by caesarean section in ABUHB. Interventions included the use of evidence-based practice and guidelines, education and engagement among clinicians, patients and staff, and the gradual implementation of Leukomed Sorbact (Essity) post-operative dressings.