Full Length Research Paper
This study evaluated the prevalence of Surgical Site Infections (SSIs), the enhancing risk factors in small animal hospitals and clinics, and clinicians’ perception of SSIs in South-west, Nigeria. Ten years (2007-2017) surgical patients’ case records from four government veterinary hospitals were initially studied. Fifty-seven copies of structured pre-tested questionnaires were further administered to practice representatives in government and private small animal facilities in 6 states of South-West, Nigeria. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and Pearson Chi-square at 95% confidence intervals. One hundred and twenty-six out of 584 small animal surgical patients satisfied the inclusion criteria. Eight (6.3%) cases from the case records had SSIs. Fifty out of 57 retrieved questionnaires satisfied the inclusion criteria for analysis. Sixty-four percent of respondents had the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree while 36% had additional degrees. The majority (64%) of respondents had 1 to 3 years practice experience with the rest having above 3 years. Most of the respondents (96%) had good knowledge of SSI, 78.7% usually manage SSI cases and 18% had lost patients due to SSIs. Only 48% of the practices perform surgery in designated operating rooms. The environment (94%), hands of clinicians/caregiver (80%) and patients’ skin (62%) were the main sources of SSIs in respondents’ practice. Few respondents (19.1%) administer prophylactic antibiotics for all surgeries, 6.1% discontinue within 24 h post-surgery, while 75.5% continue antibiotic therapy for 3 to 7 days post-surgery. Lack of facilities (40%) and funds (54%) prevented some clinicians from keeping up with SSIs prevention measures. There was an association between the risk factors of post-operative wound dehiscence (P=0.006), classification of the surgical procedures (P=0.032) and SSI occurrence. Although many small animal practitioners are aware of SSIs risk factors, only few adhere to prevention protocols.
Key words: Surgical site infection (SSI), risk factors, small animal clinicians, perception.
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