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September 1969

Sepsis Complicating Elective Surgery

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and the Bacteriological Laboratory, Ashkelon Hospital, Israel.

Arch Surg. 1969;99(3):385-387. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340150093018

The opening of a new surgical unit in our hospital two years ago gave us the occasion to study postoperative sepsis on a prospective basis. Though the spread of bacteria is most difficult to follow, the substratum favorable for their growth is always the same. Sterile operating rooms and perfectly sterile wards are a eutopic ideal unachievable in practice, and some incidence of sepsis seems unavoidable. The present paper might contribute to the understanding of some conditions creating the necessary substratum for bacterial growth and leading indirectly to sepsis.

Material and Methods  The newly constructed surgical unit consisted of an operating block composed of four operating rooms, a 32-bed general surgery ward, and a 20-bed orthopedic ward. The operating rooms and the ward treatment rooms were examined for pathogenic bacteria at weekly intervals using the settle plate technique.Upon admission of the first patient all the medical personnel had a