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ARTICLE |

Wound Tissue Oxygen Tension Predicts the Risk of Wound Infection in Surgical Patients

Harriet Williams Hopf, MD; Thomas K. Hunt, MD; Judith M. West, DNS; Peter Blomquist, MD; William H. Goodson III, MD; J. Arthur Jensen, MD; Kent Jonsson, MD; Philip B. Paty, MD; John M. Rabkin, MD; Robert A. Upton, PhD; Karl von Smitten, MD; Joanne D. Whitney, PhD
Arch Surg. 1997;132(9):997-1004. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430330063010.
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Objective:  To test the hypothesis that subcutaneous wound oxygen tension (PsqO2) has a predictive relation to the development of wound infection in surgical patients.

Design:  A noninterventional, prospective study.

Setting:  A university department of surgery.

Patients:  One hundred thirty operative general surgical patients at notable risk of infection as predicted by an anticipated Study on the Effect of Nosocomial Infection Control (SENIC) score of 1 or greater.

Outcome Measures:  PsqO2 was measured perioperatively. Its relation to the subsequent incidence of surgical wound infection was then determined and compared with the SENIC score as a criterion standard.

Results:  Although the SENIC score and PsqO2 are inversely correlated, PsqO2 is the stronger predictor of infection. Low PsqO2 identified patients at risk and concentrated them in a cohort that was about half the size of that identified by the SENIC score.

Conclusions:  Subcutaneous perfusion and oxygenation are important components of immunity to wound infections. The SENIC score identifies systemic physiological variables that are important to the development of wound infection. Nevertheless, PsqO2More-he more powerful predictor of wound infection. Moreover, PPsqO can be manipulated by available clinical means, and thus may direct interventions to prevent infection.Arch Surg. 1997;132:997-1004

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