Staphylococcus aureus infections after elective pediatric surgeries

Iona M. Munjal, Jill Dreyfus, Holly Yu, Elizabeth Begier, Alejandra Gurtman, Julie A. Gayle, Margaret A. Olsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine the 180-day cumulative incidence of culture-confirmed Staphylococcus aureus infections after elective pediatric surgeries. Design: Retrospective cohort study utilizing the Premier Healthcare database (PHD). Setting: Inpatient and hospital-based outpatient elective surgical discharges. Patients: Pediatric patients <18 years who underwent surgery during elective admissions between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2015, at any of 181 PHD hospitals reporting microbiology results. Methods: In total, 74 surgical categories were defined using ICD-9-CM and CPT procedure codes. Microbiology results and ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes defined S. aureus infection types: bloodstream infection (BSI), surgical site infection (SSI), and other types (urinary tract, respiratory, and all other). Cumulative postsurgical infection incidence was calculated as the number of infections divided by the number of discharges with qualifying elective surgeries. Results: Among 11,874 inpatient surgical discharges, 180-day S. aureus infection incidence was 1.79% overall (1.00% SSI, 0.35% BSI, 0.45% other). Incidence was highest among children <2 years of age (2.76%) and lowest for those 10-17 years (1.49%). Among 50,698 outpatient surgical discharges, incidence was 0.36% overall (0.23% SSI, 0.05% BSI, 0.08% others); it was highest among children <2 years of age (0.57%) and lowest for those aged 10-17 years (0.30%). MRSA incidence was significantly higher after inpatient surgeries (0.68%) than after outpatient surgeries (0.14%; P <.0001). Overall, the median days to S. aureus infection was longer after outpatient surgery than after inpatient surgery (39 vs. 31 days; P =.0116). Conclusions: These findings illustrate the burden of postoperative S. aureus infections in the pediatric population, particularly among young children. These results underscore the need for continued infection prevention efforts and longer-term surveillance after surgery.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInfection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • blood stream infection
  • elective surgery
  • epidemiology
  • pediatric
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • surgical site infection


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