Collaboration with an infection control team for patients with infection after spine surgery

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The risk of infection, including surgical site infection (SSI), after spine surgery has increased due to aging and more immunocompromised hosts. An infection control team (ICT) is responsible for management of health care-associated infections at our institution.


The study subjects were 40 patients (18 men and 22 women with an average age of 54 years) referred to the ICT after spine surgery since 2010. Pathogenic bacteria and treatment in these cases were reviewed.


Collaboration with the ICT involved guidance on use of antibiotics for infection in 30 patients (16 SSI and 14 non-SSI) and a search for the infection focus for fever of unknown origin in 10 patients (7 patients were found to have urinary tract infections and 2 patients were found to have pneumonia). The detection rate of causative bacteria in ICT consultation was 88% (35 out of 40 patients). SSI patients with instrumentation involved had a significantly higher rate of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection compared with those without instrumentation (42% vs 13%; P < .05).


All cases of SSI with instrumentation involved were cured by ICT support without removal of instrumentation. Early assistance from the ICT was important for prevention of worsening of methicillin-resistant S aureus infection.


Collaboration with the ICT was helpful for detection of pathogenic bacteria and allowed appropriate use of antibiotics at an early stage.

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