An economic analysis of surgical wound infection

J Reilly*, S Twaddle, J McIntosh, L Kean

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Audit of surgical wound infection is not only an outcome indicator, but also an important aspect of infection control. The literature suggests an expensive ‘gold standard’ involving a full-time audit nurse collecting prospective data, including a 30-day follow-up into the community.

Our study indicates that the cost of surgical wound infection is three-fold: cost to the hospital, the community services and the patient. Although the greatest costs were due to prolonged stay or re-admission to hospital (just under £90 000), costs to the community and patient cannot be ignored. Hospital expenditure varied according to the type of operation. The study clearly demonstrated the potential cost savings to be highlighted by this type of audit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-249
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2001


  • surgical wound infection
  • surveillance
  • infection control
  • economics


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