• We estimated costs of major postoperative infections (wound infection, 1.2%; bacteremia, 0.2%; pneumonia, 0.9%; and symptomatic urinary tract infection, 0.2%) in patients with common elective operations done in 22 community hospitals during 1985 to mid-1987 by review of 3936 medical records randomly drawn from 17500 postoperative patients. Calculations based on observed rates of major infection by class of operation and hospitalization days beyond diagnosis related group assignments assumed that daily costs for infection management would be $750. Potential savings per 100 patients from infection control efforts was $13230 to $47 970 for largebowel operations, laminectomy, total hip prosthesis, other hip prosthesis, and hip fixation operations and $480 to $4455 for cholecystectomy, hysterectomy, and transurethral prostatectomy. Determination of infection surveillance and control priorities should include consideration of differences in prolongation of hospitalization among various operations by similar infections.
(Arch Surg 1988;123:1305-1308)