DHB first in fight against infection
Nelson Hospital has been the first hospital in New Zealand to host a booth that aims to help reduce harm from infections that develop after surgery.
The Health Quality and Safety Commission put together the booth as part of its infection prevention and control programme. It is part of a campaign called "Open for Better Care" intended to reduce falls, surgery-related complications, infections associated with healthcare and medication errors that occur in hospitals.
DHB chief executive Chris Fleming said the surgical site infections addressed by the booth could cause life-threatening illnesses, long-term disabilities, longer stays in hospital, and emotional and financial stress.
He said the infections could develop when bacteria entered a surgical incision and multiplied in the tissues.
"Most [surgical site infections] can be treated with antibiotics, but surgery is sometimes needed to treat the infections."
The booth is meant to remind healthcare professionals to streamline the infection surveillance process, give patients the right antibiotic at the right time, use appropriate skin preparations before surgery and clip rather than shave the surgical site.
Mr Fleming said it was an honour to host the booth's first appearance on Tuesday.
"Nelson Marlborough DHB was part of the surgical site infection trial which means our staff had input into the guidance materials for [surgical site infections]," he said.
"We are also very fortunate to have [the] Nelson orthopaedic department's long term study of deep infection after hip or knee replacement surgery. This 20 year study, led by orthopaedic surgeon Allan Panting, identified a number of issues that were resolved which led to reduced infection rates."
- © Fairfax NZ News