Risk factors and outcomes of surgical site infection in children

Brian T. Bucher, Rebecca M. Guth, Alexis M. Elward, Nicholas A. Hamilton, Patrick A. Dillon, Brad W. Warner, Martin S. Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Background: Indices for prediction of surgical site infection (SSI) are well documented in the adult population; however, these factors have not been validated in children. Study Design: A retrospective case-control study was performed by examining the medical records of children (0 to 18 years) who developed an SSI within 30 days of selected class I and class II procedures at our institution from 1996 to 2008. Two controls were selected from among patients undergoing identical procedures within 12 months of each case. Statistical analysis was performed using Wilcoxon test for continuous and chi-square test for categorical variable. Factors thought a priori to be associated with risk of SSI and statistically significant variables from a univariate analysis were used to create a logistic regression model. Results: Of 16,031 patients, 159 children (0.99%) developed an SSI. Univariate analysis showed race, postoperative location, skin preparation, urinary catheter, procedure duration, and implantable device as risk factors for development of an SSI. Independent predictors of SSI in multiple conditional logistic regression were age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 4.97 neonate vs adolescent; 95% CI 1.38 to 17.90), race (aOR 2.36 for African American vs white; 95% CI 1.32 to 4.18), postoperative location (aOR 6.55 ICU vs home; 95% CI 1.58 to 27.21), urinary catheter placement (aOR 3.56; 95% CI 1.50 to 8.48), and implantable device (aOR 3.05; 95% CI 1.14 to 8.21). Wound classification and antibiotic administration were not independent predictors of SSI. Conclusions: Postoperative location, urinary catheter insertion, and use of an implantable device are potentially modifiable risk factors for an SSI in children. The higher risk of SSI in younger patients and non-white race suggest a possible developmental, socioeconomic, or genetic marker for impaired host defense.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1033
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


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