A paper from the KIWI study demonstrates how investing in health technologies may help reduce the costs associated with Surgical Site Infections (SSIs) for both the patient and low-resource health systems

The Key resource use In Wound Infection (KIWI) study was carried out to estimate the cost burden associated with SSI. The specific objectives of KIWI were to:

  1. Measure the additional within-hospital resource use for patients with SSI compared to patients without SSI
  2. Identify and measure the resource use for patients who have SSI detected after hospital discharge
  3. Explore the relative cost burden for patients with contaminated-dirty operations compared to patients with clean-contaminated surgeries
  4. Explore the healthcare needs and resource use of patients with an unresolved SSI at 30 days and beyond

A total of 335 patients were included in the global study with data collected on postoperative resource use and costs from consecutive patients undergoing abdominal surgery with an incision >5cm (including caesarean section) that were recruited to the FALCON trial between April and October 2020. A mix of both prospective and retrospective data was used which recorded SSI occurrence in 7% of clean-contaminated cases and 27% of contaminated-dirty cases.

Using data from inpatients in India, Mexico, Ghana and Nigeria, researchers were able to conclude that SSI was associated with an increase in postoperative healthcare costs by 75.3% (€412) after clean-contaminated surgery and 66.6% (€331) after contaminated-dirty surgery. The overall mean additional post-operative costs with SSI were higher in clean-contaminated cases compared with contaminated-dirty cases. This led researchers to conclude that investment in health technologies to reduce SSI may mitigate the financial burden to patients and low-resource health systems.

The findings have been published in Journal of Hospital Infection which you can access by clicking here.

You can read the full UoB press release by clicking here.

You can also access additional information on the projects involved by clicking here for KIWI and here for FALCON.