DOI: 10.1111/iwj.14583 ISSN: 1742-4801

A retrospective cohort study of the impact of COVID‐19 infection control measures on surgical site infections in an academic hospital setting

Houman Teymourian, Mohsen ArianNik, Babak Mohit, Nilofar Massoudi
  • Dermatology
  • Surgery


Previous studies show that both the frequency of surgeries and incidence of surgical site infections (SSIs) have been lower during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) pandemic. This study's purpose is to analyse the possible association of the COVID‐19 epidemic‐related increased health measures, such as protective equipment and products, increased hand hygiene and restrictions imposed, on the incidence of SSIs in an academic medical centre. We designed a single‐centre, retrospective cohort study and collected data on the frequency of surgeries and the incidence of SSIs, among patients who had surgeries pre‐ and post‐COVID‐19 pandemic. Besides the intervention and outcome variable, we sought information on patient gender, surgery type, body mass index (BMI), smoking, and type II diabetes mellitus. We used Wald 95% confidence interval (95% CI) and the p values of the odds ratio (OR) to report results. Of the N = 24 098 surgeries performed in this hospital, there were 269 patients who reported post‐surgical SSIs in this hospital between March 2019 and March 2021. The OR of developing a post‐surgical SSI was 0.40 (95% CI: 0.33–0.57, p < 0.05; adjusted for confounders 0.39 [95% CI: 0.30–0.52, p < 0.05]) among patients who had surgery under post‐pandemic infection control measures, as compared to patients who had surgery under pre‐pandemic usual care infection control measures. Our significant results conclude that an association may exist between the enhanced infection control measures used during the COVID‐19 pandemic and lower incidence of SSIs we observed during this period.

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