Under the umbrella of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Joseph Solomkin led a group of infection control specialists, epidemiologists, and microbiologists in the fight against SSI. The goal of this project is to shift practices away from anecdotal evidence and professional opinion in order to deliver treatments that have been proven to be beneficial in randomized control studies. Over the course of two years, the efforts came to fruition when the new guideline for SSI prevention launched

on November 3rd.

On November 3rd 2016, The World Health Organization launched its latest “Surgical Site Infection Prevention Guideline” and their guide to Infection Prevention and Control. The newest guideline was constructed based on extensive evidence-based medicine researches and clinical trials.

Each guideline is graded based on the degree of recommendation and the quality of the evidence. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) Working Group is an organization that has developed a method of assessing the reliability of a study and the quality of its results with minimal bias. OASIS uses the GRADE system to evaluate the quality of data in relevant studies; evidence is rated as very low, low, moderate, or high quality. The ratings are then used to determine whether a treatment should be or should not be recommended, and if that recommendation is strong or weak.

Some of the strong recommendations include:

  1. Discontinuing the use of chlorhexidine wipes and pre-surgical showers. Although these procedures are part of the standard clinical protocol, there is insufficient research to show that such activities are related to the reduction of SSI.

  2. Use of povidone, chlorhexidine, and alcohol for pre-operative sterilization.

  3. Administration of antibiotics prophylaxis no more than 120 minutes before incision.

  4. Administration of 80% saturated oxygen through tracheal intubation

Every year WHO commemorates the global annual hand hygiene day, on 5 May. Many resources are made available to support infection prevention and control including in surgery. Find all information here https://www.who.int/infection-prevention/campaigns/clean-hands/en/ and support this annual campaign every 5 May.