Annamaria Bagnasco completed her PhD in 2010 at the University of Genoa, Italy. Since October 2011 she is Assistant Professor & Researcher in Nursing area at the Department of Health Sciences - University of Genoa. She has published more than 80 papers in reputed scientific journals.


Background: An observational prospective study of the perioperative procedures for prevention of surgical site infections (SSIs) was carried out in a tertiary referral teaching hospital in Liguria, Italy, to evaluate their adherence to international and national standards.

Methods: A 1-month survey was performed in all surgical departments, monitored by turns by trained survey teams. Data regarding pre-surgical patient preparation and intraoperative infection control practices were collected.

Results: A total of 717 elective interventions were actively monitored in 703 patients who underwent surgery. Hair shaving was performed mainly using a razor (92%) by the nurses (72.8%) on the day before the operation (83.5%). All of the patients were showered, either with a common detergent (87%) or with an antiseptic solution (13%). Antimicrobial prophylaxis was administered properly in 75.7% of the patients at induction of anaesthesia; however, according to current Italian guidelines, inappropriate prophylaxis was provided in 55.2% patients. Appropriate antisepsis of the incision area was done in 97.4% of the operations, and nearly 90% of the interventions lasted less than the respective 75th percentile. The doors of the operating theatres were mostly open during the duration of the operation in 36.3% of the cases.

Conclusions: This review of infection control policies identified significant opportunities for improving the safety and the quality of routine surgical practice.