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Info for surgical patients on avoiding infections

Hon Jo Goodhew

Associate Minister of Health

10 January 2014

Media Statement
Info for surgical patients on avoiding infections

Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew has today launched a brochure which gives patients information about avoiding infections after surgery.

“While it is not common, some patients will develop an infection following an operation,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“The brochure Preventing infection after surgery explains what Surgical Site Infections (SSIs) are, and what patients can do to help prevent them.

“International research suggests that up to five per cent of surgeries can result in a person suffering from a SSI.

“SSI rates in New Zealand are now being collected as part of the Surgical Site Infection Improvement Programme, with data on hip and knee replacements due to be released later this year.

“Patient safety is a priority, and while the data is being collected we’re getting on with the job of reducing the number of SSIs in our hospitals.

“These infections can be really nasty. They can cause emotional and financial stress, serious illness, longer hospital stays, long-term disabilities and even death.

“The brochures are being released as part of the Open for better care campaign, which is currently focusing on ways to prevent and reduce SSIs.

“The Open campaign is being coordinated by the Health Quality & Safety Commission, and is a mature approach to healthcare which encourages the sector to identify and learn from incidents which cause patient harm.”

The brochure is being distributed to hospitals around New Zealand and is also available to download from the Open for better care websitehttp://open.hqsc.govt.nz/infections/publications-and-resources/publication/1286/

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