Discharge from hospital and its effect on surgical wound infections The Israeli Study of Surgical Infections

Eliheva Simchen, Yohanan Wax, Noya Galai, Avi Israeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A multicenter study of 2846 consecutive hernia operations was conducted to identify risk factors for infections that occurred during the hospitalization and post-discharge from hospital. Operated patients were followed-up for 30 days after surgery, whether at home or still hospitalized, and half the wound infection episodes were found to occur at home. Risk factors for both in-hospital and post-discharge infections seemed to be influenced by; (a) the selective nature of discharge, (b) the differential effect some risk factors had on either early or late infections. On any given day, patients selected by the clinical team to remain in hospital were more "at risk" for infection than those who left. As a result, they had a better chance of being diagnosed as infected during hospitalization. By contrast, those who were discharged home were perceived as low risk for complications. Subsequent infections in these patients occurred either due to factors "causing" late infections, therefore, unappreciated at the time of discharge, or unknown risk factors. More study risk factors were associated with in-hospital than with post-discharge infections, especially those associated with "early" infections. The implications of these findings for fuure evaluations of medical care in hospitalized patients are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1155-1163
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Hospitalized patients
  • Surgical infections
  • Wound infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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